What is a Disciple?

If you make disciples, you will always get church, but if you make a church you will rarely get disciples.

What exactly are we trying to produce? What does a disciple look like? Your answers to these questions are crucial — they will determine the development strategy that you pursue.

Everyone is a disciple of something and/or someone.

1) A disciple is someone who does certain things.

2) A disciple is someone who understands certain things.

Recently I was sitting pool side for one of my 5 year olds swimming lessons where he is in a small class where the instructor is also teaching a younger instructor-in-training. As I glanced around at the other swimming classes I noticed that many of the classes, not all of them, but most of them, had in-training-instructors. They were helping the other kids in the classes by watching the instructor and then doing the same, action for action, word for word. They were being discipled and teaching at the same time. This happened over and over again through out the 30 minute class. At the end of the class the instructors then evaluated the trainee through verbal and written instructions.

A light bulb went off in my head as I was sitting there with my wife and leaned over to her and said, “When was the last time that you saw this in the church?” She turned and looked at me and said, “What !?! Swimming?” Realizing I had not said my thoughts out loud I then expressed my thoughts. She smiled and she then saw the same thing that I did.

Why does the local Recreational Centre understand and do discipleship for swimming instructors, yet the church cannot even follow the basic function of telling the stories of God to the next generation according to Psalms 78?


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