REPLIES: Page 2 of 2.
Editor (14/06/2012 16:40)
It may be helpful to clarify whether the 'discipleship' question relates to (a) creating new disciples i.e. outreach or (b) nurturing and building up existing disciples.
Jenny (14/06/2012 18:34)
True. You did originally say "...bringing to maturity those who have professed faith" , which implies the second.
I think it's common to think of the Great Commission as fulfilled by professions of faith, but "making disciples" needs more (just as a marriage is more than a wedding day).
I think there's a bit of a lack, certainly in most churches.
Editor (14/06/2012 18:38)
"I think there's a bit of a lack, certainly in most churches."
I would agree with you there Jenny. Where (in your experience) does the problem lie?
Jenny (14/06/2012 22:16)
As far as my own experience goes in my previous church, - the idea of discipling or teaching new believers would never have entered anyone's head. It wasn't the way they thought or operated, but that was just as well, because the leadership had nothing but apostasy to teach :-(
Where I am now, I'm not sure yet if anything in the way of mentoring goes on (student church with a very fluctuating congregation).
But the preaching is so good and so Biblical, it's a solid learning experience in itself.
That's where it should start, I think, and if that isn't there, there's a hollow where the foundation should be to build any systematic discipling on.
Not sure if you'll agree -? :-)
B. Lever (Guest) (15/06/2012 07:59) From a biblical point of view discipling/discipleship applies to all believers from cradle (so to speak) to grave from a spiritual perspective. From the moment we are born again to the moment that we draw our final breath, we are all disciples and responsible for discipling others (irrespective of their age or stage).
There seems to be an assumption (and maybe even an arrogance) that the longer someone is a Christian the more mature they will be. This evidently is not the case. In fact it could be argued for some, that the longer they are on the Christian road the more likely they are to backslide.
We need to recapture what it means to belong to the body that Paul talks about in 1 Cor 12.
Jenny (15/06/2012 08:30)
"....There seems to be an assumption (and maybe even an arrogance) that the longer someone is a Christian the more mature they will be...."
but that's assumed in the NT, when Paul warns against appointing as elders those who are young in the faith. I'll look up the ref when I get back :-)
Jenny (15/06/2012 10:33)
1 Tim 3,
"....the "overseer" [episkopos] must be blameless.....apt at teaching....one that ruleth well his own house.....NOT A NOVICE, lest being lifted up with pride he fall into the condemnation of the devil".
The word which the AV translates as "novice" is neophyton, in the NIV "a recent convert".
So that wouldn't rule out the new believer's witnessing as able in his own small corner , but it would preclude his taking on a position of authority in the wider congregation.
B. Lever (Guest) (15/06/2012 11:57)
The point that I am making Jenny goes beyond leadership and applies to all believers, and relates to a gap between knowing the bible and applying it!!
Jenny (15/06/2012 14:52)
"....The point that I am making Jenny goes beyond leadership and applies to all believers, and relates to a gap between knowing the bible and applying it!!.."
that's ok, that's what I said :-)
a new believer certainly should be witnessing away and discipling, for eg, in his own family - just not taking on responsibility beyond that.
B. Lever (Guest) (15/06/2012 20:10)
We seem to be talking at cross purposes :-/
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