Don’t take make out of discipleship 2

Posted: May 10, 2011 in Uncategorized

God has given me a passion to see people come to Christ. My 26 years of ministry life have emphasized seeing people become Christ followers. This idea of reaching the unchurched is the driving force behind my church planting passion. New churches can be a very effective tool in reaching the lost. Many unchurched people simply will not step foot into an established traditional church, but will come to something new and different. Our purpose at riverwoods is to reach and make passionate followers of Jesus who are fulfilling their life’s purpose. The short version, our purpose is to make disciples.
For us discipleship begins with the going and making part, not just the teaching and growing part. Jesus said go and make, so we first emphasize the going and making. If you forget the first step you are not having biblical discipleship. It is just like in evangelism if all you do is focus on getting people to pray and receive Christ you don’t have biblical evangelism. Evangelism that leaves out growing and maturing people to reproduce is an incomplete evangelism. Discipleship that leaves out making (leading people to Christ) is an incomplete discipleship.

We make no bones about the fact that at riverwoods we are focused and strategic in reaching the unchurched. Recently a young man who has an emphasis on this current trend of disciple making, which I discussed in the previous post, and he was part of a church with the same emphasis, (I think that’s where he got it) said; “well maybe riverwoods can be the church that brings people to Jesus and his church could disciple them”. Several things about that statement I want to discuss. First, he was making an assumption that riverwoods didn’t disciple. Second, his church could do a better job of discipleship. Third his view of disciple making is skewed. Fourth, why would we want more disciples like the ones his church’s discipleship making process produced.

First, riverwoods is very focused on discipleship by making and growing Christ followers. We have a process we take people through, of seminars, classes, life groups and growth groups, and most importantly we teach them how to be active about reaching, connecting and making people Christ followers. We teach them to reproduce themselves. That means making and growing disciples to the point they can make and grow other Christ followers. Second, if his church can do a better job I rejoice. Third, because he and his church are focused only on the teaching and digging deeper into God’s word philosophy of discipleship, his view is skewed. Biblical discipleship as mentioned earlier is making and growing. If you are not making disciples and just growing people who are already believers, you don’t have biblical discipleship and your view is skewed. Fourth, most importantly why would I want more people who just want to sit inside the four walls of a church and dig deeper into God’s word. God, please give us some disciple makers who win people to Jesus and teach them to win people to Jesus. If someone wants to grow, I mean really grow in the things of God and His word, then start being a witness everywhere you go. Start sharing the good news with others. You will face circumstances and questions that cause you to dig into God’s word and dive deep into a relationship with God because you realize you must have Him and His word daily. I believe if you get people on fire about talking to people daily as a witness, they will outgrow those who huddle in a room and dig gems from the word. This will lead to a practical disciples, those who know how to practice what they learn. I don’t want a discipleship process that just produces a bunch of people getting mature (so to speak) and leaves out the witnessing part. We don’t need anymore holy huddles what we need is for laborer’s to work in the harvest. God help us to break free from this current trend of discipleship, because, they have taken the guts out of Christ command to make disciples by skipping the 1st step of reaching people with the gospel.

  1. Mike says:

    And THAT is why I am a member of Riverwoods!

  2. Chris Young says:


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