This post is part of the series, “Base Camp: Preparing for the Journey of Discipleship.” For more information on the series, please click on this link.
I have spent a lot of time thinking about this question. Why have a path of discipleship?
We think the following thoughts:
- Adults should be responsible for finding ways to see their lives transformed.
- No matter when they came to Christ, adults are adults.
- When a child grows up in the church, they must have been discipled and discipled well.
- If you know enough hymns, choruses, or songs, you must have a grasp on theology and know how to grow spiritually.
- Discipleship is caught not taught. Therefore, it stands to reason if someone has been part of our church for any amount of time, they must be successful disciples of Christ.
- We should offer classes on finances, bible study, or just about any subject. If they set through those classes they will get what they need to have a lifetime of discipleship.
- A good Sunday school teacher makes up for not having a plan in place for each person. We can only handle so many relationships at a time.
And I could go on and on…… The reasons for not having a clear and thought out plan keep growing. The problem rests with God. Jesus’ last command forces us to consider we are supposed to make disciples.
18 And Jesus came and said to them, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. 19 Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in[a] the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.” Matthew 28:18-20 (ESV)
The emphasis with Jesus’ command (at least in English) serves as an imperative to those who are going. As you are going, make disciples of all nations. How do we do it? Teaching them to obey everything I (Jesus) have commanded you. Jesus lays the responsibility for deciding how people should be taught on us. Not the what, but definitely the how.
For most churches, we run Sunday school or we have a decent children’s program. We may sometimes mentor for a small amount of time but often we run out of steam when we are overwhelmed with people. This affect both our desire to do evangelism and discipleship. Why lead another person to Christ I cannot or do not have the time or desire to disciple? We do not lay before them a path to follow until they are ready to feed and lead themselves.
Once a week from now until the time I am finished, I will endeavor to give more reasons for a base camp and for for the benchmarks which should surround the journey. What is a base camp? If you don’t hike or climb, you may be unaware or unfamiliar with the term.
A base camp serves hikers and climbers as a place where they can go at the beginning of their journey and prepare for it. They can find experienced climbers who can give them tips or train them in some new technique. They can find sherpas to help lighten their load as they climb. Find maps to plan future hikes. Hikers often return to the safety of the base camp to rest and recover for the next day.
All these things sound like a perfect comparison for what we need in the church to disciple people. The church needs to provide a place where people can get an overview of their journey. They need a place where they can rest and recover from the injuries of life. They need experienced believers who can mentor and guide them into new adventures in their discipleship path. Experienced and inexperienced people sharing tips and life together. New believers need someone to train them in the techniques of bible study, prayer or even social interaction.
You have just finished reading, “Why have a Discipleship Base Camp and Path?,” written for ProcessOfBecoming.org. I believe we learn best when we take the time to express our thoughts with each other. Please take a few minutes to comment or to email me with what you are thinking.