Many people today call themselves “followers” of Christ in the sense that I might follow the New York Yankees baseball team. When they win a game I’m happy for a few minutes, and then I get on with my life. When they lose a game I’m disappointed for a few minutes, and then I get on with my life.
Churches are filled with people like that: They dabble in Christianity.
That’s not what Jesus had in mind when He called us to eternal life. He is seeking people who are absolutely serious about becoming new creations in Him – changed from the inside out - individuals who are zealous, mesmerized, passionate, and completely devoted to mimicking Him down to the last nuance. Disciples.
He’s looking for people who will get saved – to the bone – and grow up.
Discipleship is not a program. It’s not a ministry. It’s a life-long commitment to a certain lifestyle.
My study on discipleship (over the last few months, which resulted in a ten week message series) has been eye-opening to me. If we can get people to attend our services, support our programs, and muster enough loving attitude toward each other, we often feel that’s good enough.
But it’s not.
In the Bible, the term disciple refers to someone who is a learner or follower who serves as an apprentice under the tutelage of a master (student and rabbi). The apostles are great examples of this relationship between student and master: They followed Him, learning from His words and deeds, and growing through practical, hands-on training. Discipleship means that we are being prepared for a particular lifestyle more than being a member of a club.
God’s will is that we become complete and competent followers of Jesus Christ. Not a dabbler. God is not looking for a fan club, moonlighters, or the spare-time Christian. He is looking for disciples – spiritually mature and zealous.
This emphasis on discipleship is not going away at PCC because it's the message of the gospel, and it's the mission of the gospel - We are supposed to make disciples. There is no Plan B. It's as simple as that. I'm going to keep preaching it and teaching it until God is through with me.