Discipleship: The Bedrock for Church Growth - Part 1
TEXT: Matt. 28:18-20
“Then Jesus came to them and said "All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.” - Matthew 28:18-20 NIV
Discipleship is the heartbeat of God. Christ did not come to make "Christians; rather He came to make disciples. While the word, “Christians” appears only 3 times in the New Testament, the word “Disciples” appears 269 times.
On the contrary, the church of today is shifting and moving off course from the divine mandate of discipleship. The emphasis of churches today, particularly the Pentecostal, Charismatic and Apostolic churches, is raising millionaires, business moguls, entrepreneurs, and successful people in the secular, financial, business and intellectual spheres.
We have more of “Supper Room” Christians and less of “Upper Room” believers. Research shows that less than 50 percent of people attending Pentecostal churches today are truly born again. “Churchanity” has taken over “Christianity”. Our emphasis has shifted from Discipleship to Attendance, Building and Cash.
THE SPIRITUAL HEALTH OF TYPICAL CHURCH MEMBERS TODAY
Dr. Rolland O. Leavelli came up with this revelation about the spiritual state of health of typical church members and leaders in our churches today.
- 20 percent never pray.
- 25 percent never read the Bible.
- 30 percent are never regular in church.
- 40 percent never gave to any cause of the gospel (tithe inclusive).
- 50 percent never attend Sunday School.
- 60 percent never attend evening service/house fellowship.
- 75 percent never attend prayer meeting.
- 90 percent never have family devotions.
- 95 percent never win a soul to Christ from year to year.
- 99 percent never spend time following up or disciplining young Christian.
WHY CHURCHES SHIFT AWAY FROM THE MANDATE OF DISCIPLE MAKING
- Ignorance of The Great Commission - Matt. 28:19-20.
Several Pastors and preachers never bother to look into the scriptures to discover the Great Commission mandate. All their attention is on how to preach well to draw big crowd.
- 2. Pastors That Were Never Disciples.
Majority of Pastors and leaders on the pulpits today were never discipled. Baby Christians who are made Pastors will never be able to disciple others for Christ. "And what the priests do, the people shall do”. - Hosea 4:9 (NIV).
- Attendance Building and Cash Mentality.
Most modern Pastors and Preachers believe that if you have good attendance, fine building and continuous flow of cash, you are a success in the ministry. Making “it” has replaced making disciples.
- No System and No Process of Disciple Making.
Most churches don't have a workable system and process for disciple making. Several churches don't have the patience to see it work before scrapping it altogether.
- Building Religious Empire
Many General Overseers have deviated from raising quality men for God to raising quality offering for God. They use men to build the sanctuary, instead of using the sanctuary to build the men for God. This is done through modernistic secular management system and carnal administrative methods. They place more emphasis on public relation and media hype than waking men from their slumber and dead spiritual lives.
- Worldliness and Carnality On The Pulpit.
Our pulpits today are a shameful display of motivational pep-talks and one-sided prosperity by all means. Love of ‘things’ has been elevated above the love of God on our pulpits.