Evangelism – – Disciplemaking

December 18, 2011 by  
Filed under A Monday AM BLOG

This is a challenge to my readers. Find the word evangelism in the Bible. When you locate the number of times and places in which it is used, please send me an e-mail noting the references in which that word was found.

The church for the past two centuries has invested immense human and financial resources pursuing what is known as evangelism. The text of Scripture speaks of making disciples.

I challenge my readers to do a similar search on the concept of disciple making. When both word studies have been completed, compare the references to evangelism and disciple making. Why have I offered this challenge?

My observation as to the reasons for this are as follows:

1.  It is much easier to make converts than it is to make disciples.

2.  The metric required for evangelism is simply “numbers”.

3.  The metric required for disciple making is genuine transformation into the image of Christ.

4.  The cost of disciple making. Compared to evangelism is dramatically different. Disciple making requires a costly     investment of building relationships with the one being discipled.

5.  The culture in the Western world has affirmed evangelism rather than disciple making.

The theological foundation of this in the Western world goes back to Charles Grandeson Finney. This phenomenon was perpetuated the in 20th century by the emergence and operation of the Billy Graham evangelistic Association. This philosophy of “church” has accelerated with the emergence of the mega-church and the emergent church per se.

Each of these entities proclaims a gospel that is man centered and synergistic rather than God centered and monergistic. The metric in this system is numbers pure and simple rather than transformation. More is always better. Larger is superior to smaller. Methods matter more than sound theological postulates.

Please notice that the emergence and operation of this phenomenon covered several centuries. Correcting this anomaly will not be quick, easy or painless.

I offer this challenge in closing. Will the current and future pastors in the United States of America embrace sound theology and disciple making with a gracious but unrelenting pursuit of integrity in the church in America?

You can be one of these shepherd leaders. The question-will you?

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