The one thing we must do, make disciples, is the one thing that the church in America is failing at. Do you think that is too harsh a comment? Too pessimistic?
I don’t think so. What I do think is that if we don’t take seriously Jesus’s command to make disciples and give real intention to that work our churches will act more like social clubs than outposts for the Kingdom of God.
Back in 2010 I was introduced to a book that was based on a logitudinal study of over 200,000 American churches. The book was titled The American Church in Crisis and documented some alarming trends in American church. Robby Gallaty quotes Olson in his book Growing Up: How to be a Disciple Who Makes Disciples.
T-NET International, a Colorado-based organization that trains and coaches pastors to fulfill the Great Commission, conducted a survey to determine if churches were producing disciples. Their team polled over 4,000 churchgoers from thirty-five churches representing different denominations. Bob Gilliam, co-founder and president of T-NET International, reported, “Many people in these churches are not growing spiritually. Of those taking this survey, 24 percent indicated that their behavior was sliding backward, and 41 percent said they were ‘static’ in their spiritual growth.”5 Thus, 65 percent of believers are either stalled or declining in their spiritual life.
Does not that last line haunt you?
“. . . 65 percent of believers are either stalled or declining in their spiritual life.”
If you are stagnant in your Christian life,
If you are attending but not participating,
If you don’t have a greater love for Jesus now than you did a year ago,
If you have ever wondered if there was more to the Christian life than what you are experiencing,
get serious about discipleship!
If your church has an intentional discipleship process, tell your pastor you are ready to get started.
If it doesn’t, start one or find a church that does, because the one that you are attending is a social club masquerading as a church.