Discipleship…Will You Pay The Price?

By Keith Drury

What Discipleship Is:
Discipleship is not going through a manual, or completing a series of cleverly designed booklets… Discipleship is helping people actually develop a Christ-like lifestyle. It is fulfilling the second half of the Great Commission… “teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you.”

The Great Commission, Part B
Matthew 28:20

Discipleship Is About Multiplication

“And the things you have heard me say in the presence of many witnesses entrust to reliable men who will also be qualified to teach others.” II Timothy 2:2

“Fifty percent of the world’s population have not heard the gospel. Without multiplication, world evangelization will continue to limp along behind the population growth. It takes 1,000 Christians 365 days to introduce one person to Christ. At this rate reaching is a fantasy. A major reason for the rarity
of multiplication is the unwillingness of the church to make disciples.”

Bill Hull
The Disciplemaking Pastor (Revell)

“Disciple making exists in three primary forms: the large group, the small group, and one on one. The greatest weakness of the large groups is that it only serves to tell people what they should believe and why. It lacks the personal touch, the fine tuning. The large group communicator fires a shotgun:
he sprays out the principles and they land where they may… This is first and important in disciple making, but only a start. One on one provides a great deal of fine tuning, but it takes too long and is an insufficient use of a person’s time. The small group is the most effective vehicle that exists for
full-orbed disciple making.”

Bill Hull
The Disciplemaking Pastor (Revell)

“The pastor is primarily a trainer of people, not a prophet foretelling the future, or a priest representing the people to God, or a counselor leading people on therapeutic journeys through their past. His main task is to train people to do ministry.
Bill Hull
The Disciplemaking Pastor (Revell)

“Television is discipling America. ‘When a disciple is fully taught, he will  be like his teacher’ (see Luke 6:40). The media erode the moral base of our land, desensitizing you and me to evil and blurring the line between right and wrong. The people sitting in the pew are products of television more that the Word of
God. Their world views are not scripturally based; rather they are disciples  of their culture.”
Bill Hull
The Disciplemaking Pastor (Revell)

“Telling people what to do without providing the means to do it is cruel and defrauding. It creates spiritual schizophrenia, Christians who are expert on what they are not experiencing… When an army never goes to war, it by necessity focuses on shining boots, making beds, and marching in a straight
line. The church that does not move to action by necessity must focus on Robert’s Rules of Order, committee rules, and acquisition of pulpit furniture.”

Bill Hull
The Disciplemaking Pastor (Revell)


(This is from the perspective of The Wesleyan Church but the truths probably apply to other churches as well.)

Wesleyans lead 21 people to Christ for every one person they add to their  Sunday morning attendance. In North America last year (1989-90) we led 17,886 people to Christ, while we grew in Sunday morning worship service attendance by only 847.

What’s wrong here? Two things:

(1) Lack of passion for evangelism … if we won more people to Christ, we’d grow more. And,

(2) Lack of discipleship … if we did a better job of helping new believers become “practicing Christians” we wouldn’t lose so many between decision and discipleship.

So what? What commitment should we all make? Wesleyans need to become better soul-winners … winning more people to Jesus than we do. And Wesleyans must help new converts move beyond their decision to discipleship … seriously adopting the habits of a changed life. It’s time to move beyond decision- making to discipleship.

Keith Drury, General Secretary of Local Church Education, The Wesleyan Church