Monday, November 23, 2009


Growing Church

Recently ran across two blog posts from two bloggers on te same topic - church growth - from different perspectives. Rev. Bill Quotes Charles Arn on "5 Church Growth Princples:"

2) Social networks a vehicle for disciple - making

3) Church connects with people where they feel their need to be.

4) Relationships are the glue that hold members together and attract others.

5) Transitions are the windows of opportunity.
Justin Taylor quotes Tony Payne:
The real test is how successfully you are making disciples who make other disciples.
There is a lot to like about both of these posts and especially about the posts they link to, but I have a hard time understanding why they cannot just stop with the idea of "disciple-making." Social networking may indeed be a good tool for disciple-making today - but will it be tomorrow? Not all disciples will make other disciples - at least not directly - some will do other vitally important functions in the church.

It seems to me that mature disciples will have the energy, knowledge, and wisdom to adapt to circumstances and do what is best for that time and place. In other words, the key is not what disciples do, but that they are mature. When we define discipleship too narrowly it runs the risk of becoming legalistic and being as much an impediment to disciple-making as a help.

Disciple-making, like parenting, is an art, not a science. It cannot be procedurized. The final product cannot be precisely specified. God has given us, as a collective, many gifts. We are all going to be very different people doing very different things, but all of it for the benefit of God's intention. Our job is to be His instrument in making people who are deeply attuned to that intention, but capable of figuring out for themselves what role they ar to play in achieving it.

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