Friday, September 14, 2018

Jesus Is Looking for Followers, Not People Who "Make a Decision"

Custer Airport, Monroe

To the Church in America: Focus on making disciples, rather than providing programs to entertain and hopefully retain the deciders

Jesus commanded us to make followers. Invest resources in this. 

Many make "decisions" for Christ and stop there, or fade out. Some of these deciders become disciples - praise God! Others don't.

Jesus is not trying to get people to some decision point, with discipleship as a nice, but unnecessary, add-on. For Jesus it's all about being a disciple and following after him. It's in following Jesus that we come to see that a person's decision was real.

Is it possible to make a decision to follow Christ as Lord and not follow him? No, it's not. It makes as much sense as saying, "I have decided to take up the game of golf," and then not take up the game of golf. Or, proclaiming in front of hundreds of people, "I have decided to eat this banana," and then proceeding to not eat it.

Here is Dallas Willard's definition of a "disciple" of Jesus:

"A disciple is a person who has decided that the most important thing in their life is to learn how to do what Jesus said to do. A disciple is not a person who has things under control, or knows a lot of things. Disciples simply are people who are constantly revising their affairs to carry through on their decision to follow Jesus."

Disciple-making is not popular in American entertainment-driven, consumer churches. For one reason, disciples cannot be microwaved. But a life of slow-cooked Jesus-following is vastly more satisfying, as any of Jesus' disciples know.

My two books are:

Leading the Presence-Driven Church.

Praying: Reflections on 40 Years of Solitary Conversations with God.