“Aintsobad” does a good job of expressing my understanding of discipleship.
Argue with me about this one, please.
My view of discipleship over the years has been all wrong. The errors have been two-fold.
One, I look back on my practice of evangelism/discipleship and note that I was more into information (education, learning) than into seeing a life really changed. To look around at deeper life materials these days, with the possible exception of Experiencing God, is to look at a near Bible College experience. For Jesus, discipleship seems to be a matter of how one lives rather than just what one knows.
Two, I looked on discipleship as the result of evangelism rather than the cause of conversion. That is, a person began to be discipled some time after conversion. In truth, discipleship is the catalyst for conversion and thus the heart of evangelism.
So, now I think an evangelist is a disciple-making disciple. Most discipleship has to happen outside the instituional church. We are pretty good at helping people figure out how to act at church. Wear this, don’t act like that and the usual church informality. Is that why people like Brian McLaren seem so annoyed when someone announces to them breathlessly that they have started a post-modern church (meaning that they have started burning candles and using choruses)?
To disciple, I think, means we have to help people figure out how to live at home, work, school, play and in idleness. If worship occurs, as I believe, when a holy God reveals Godself from Heaven in power to God’s people on earth, how can we help people seek God until that moment of revelation? A Sunday experience is vital but will not usually suffice until Wednesday.
So we are going to need more weekday coaches than Sunday preachers. The street, the home, the school, the storefront will become the centers of discipleship and thus of conversion. And discipleship will include what we do with what we know rather than the naming of our latest guru.