Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Jesus Discipleship is NOT Bible Studies

yesmagazine.org 
HISGROUP DISCIPLESHIP. When you talk of discipleship, churches are likely to think of bible studies in small groups. The Jesus discipleship does use cell grouping, but it's definitely not bible studies as churches today use the term bible studies. It's not even a church program or activity, in the sense that people today use the term church. I like saying that an authentic Jesus discipleship is really camaraderie, the same camaraderie you find in a closely knit family, with the discipler getting all the support.
For instance, camaraderie in doing a project. The discipler gets a Word from God about a task he must do and all his disciples join in on it. Let's say, the discipler gets an impression that he must buy a certain book. His disciples join him buy it from a bookstore--even share a certain amount for the payment--and read it after the discipler does. It's camaraderie to help the discipler fulfill his call from God. That's authentic Jesus discipleship.
Doing bible studies together as a discipleship activity is often nothing but man's program--especially if you do it using bible study materials. Believers in the bible never had "bible study materials." They were solely led by the Holy Spirit, and with such hunger and desperation. Today, they do it to keep themselves busy and avoid boredom to set in. It's a tactic churches do to avoid losing members to other churches. That's not how Jesus did it. Jesus gathered his disciples so they could help him fulfill what the Father wanted him to accomplish. He trained them for it. He wasn't there to see how he could be of help to them. They were there to help him do things to the end.
Later on, Jesus told them to do exactly the same to their disciples. "Make disciples of all nations...teaching them everything I have taught you," he said. In a discipleship, what matters most is the discipler's call from God. Everything should be focused on that. Churches today do differently. The pastor is there to help members do what they want to make happen. I heard one famous and mega church say they ask people how the church could be of help to them. Well, people like that. No wonder their church memberships grow in leaps and bounds. Just give people what their flesh wants--make them the star of the show--and they'll stay loyal to you.
Now, when you have grown as a faithful disciple and start to have your own followers and disciples, your discipler starts releasing you to obey God's call on your life. You become discipler to your followers and their only business in life is to help you fulfill your call in Christ. In the meantime, you stay connected to your discipler, continue to give him your tithes and offering, though you now have your own discipleship. When your disciples start having their followers, you also release them, and so on. 
As disciplers release disciples, they also get new people to disciple. That's how a discipleship grows in spirit. That's how a genuine Jesus church grows.

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