Odd paradoxes in the Christian community

  • We expect parents to disciple their children. We frequently reflect on how parents spend more time with their children than any pastor or youth group leader. Churches provide materials to support parents as they have spiritual conversations with their kids.
  • We advocate for Christ-following men and women to serve as mentors for children–and even adults–who are in some ways less fortunate (e.g. kids who have lost one or both parents and who are at risk, or prison ministries).
  • We urge people to join in various forms of evangelistic campaigns, ranging from “invite your neighbor to church” to “share the Gospel with your neighbors, co-workers, friends, family members.”
  • Some churches encourage peer-to-peer accountability groups, where two men will meet to share with each other about their week, perhaps read Scripture together, pray for each other, confess to each other.
  • In fact, some churches go so far as to encourage people to host small groups, most often around subjects like whatever the pastor talked about on Sunday.

But for some reason, despite these facts, I run into person after person and church after church that flinches at the idea of the average person “discipling” another ‘average person’, or starting a group that would eventually itself become a church.

Discipleship, in this context, simply means a group of people who gather, pray for each other, read the Scriptures together, and ask (a) what they learn about God’s character, (b) how can they obey the Scripture, and (c) who can they share the stories with.

How is this so very far off from any of the 5 cases outlined above?

If *every *parent is expected to have spiritual conversations with their children, and disciple them, why can’t we expect people to disciple “our children in the faith”?

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