Church Life & Discipleship 3

Organisational methodology and discipleship

Issues that affect whether it is possible to develop a culture where growth in discipleship is considered the normal expectation include:


  • We pour a lot of energy and time into our main meetings. These are often attractive and enjoyable. The downside of a predominance of main meetings is that the generally understood model of spiritual development is passive receipt by the many of what is provided by the few. A main meetings culture doesn’t necessarily encourage people to be actively involved in their own spiritual growth. It is possible to have a meeting that is enjoyable and well attended, leaving people with a feeling of “a good service”, but that doesn’t produce what we want it to produce
  • Connected with this, the danger of relying almost entirely on the sermon for encouraging spiritual growth is that it is possible to assume that because we have taught a subject, that it has been learned. Home groups provide some help for rooting and applying sermons but, as above, it is possible for a predominance of this model to lead to people passively receiving preaching and not doing anything actively with it for their spiritual growth
  • In a church like ours where there are a lot of (good) activities introducing additional activities and emphases on discipleship would stretch people and resources very thin. Developing discipleship as a key theme in church life inevitably means refocusing current activities and time use rather than introducing extra things. But people are often very committed (rightly so) to the activities we have at present
  • Home groups universally working to both deepen knowledge and help people to take accountability for their own spiritual growth. Everyone in every home group should be helpedto the point where they are saying (by the Spirit's help)  “I count my life worth nothing as long as Christ is exalted”. Home groups are best understood as foci for discipleship