I am reading through Almost Christian and have had some great affirmation in what is being discussed by those reading it. One of the biggest is that teens are becoming exactly what we are expecting of them.
After reading through this book, I think we face a very similar problem in discipleship that is being seen in teens. Discipleship in our culture and time has become so watered down that it’s a hindrance to the church and it’s people. Just like youth ministry, discipleship has become exactly what we have expected of it.
Jesus had a great model for discipleship that was a compelling way of bringing people into a crisis of faith. It was challenging and often off-putting. Comparatively, many of the challenges of modern discipleship aren’t dropping your nets and walking away from your livelihood, but instead trying to get out of bed early enough to meet someone at a coffee shop. How did we get here?
It is similar to Moralistic Therapeutic Deism. We just don’t expect that much from discipleship. And that is a problem for me. I remember someone once asked Seth Barnes what he thought the best discipleship curriculum was. He said, “You are.” If discipleship is leading people into a deeper relationship with Jesus and helping people practice their faith, then the discipleship is only as a good as the leader.
You can’t lead people where you haven’t been yourself. That is the biggest problem with leadership and discipleship.