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Monday, February 25, 2008

That silly "discipleship" fad

We three pastors of Redding be,
In San Diego for NPC.

We arrived at our beach-side digs after the always fascinating journey through the middle of California; 11 hours of tedious driving without even any state lines to cross to keep things interesting.

My first seminar (National Pastor's Convention, by the way) was on discipleship by Dan Meyer and Greg Ogden of Christ Church Oak Brook, a church I once visited (I lived a few miles from there as a kid). I've been reading Ogden's book on Transforming Discipleship.

They're trying to transform CCOB from a typical program-driven, staff-driven mega-church to a church focused on discipleship. What kind of weird book have they been reading to get ideas like that?

Oh yeah. THAT Book.

At TAC we are also trying to go from the typical church model that offers members a smorgasbord of tasty items (some of which are even nutritious) and invites them to pick and choose and then hopes that somehow health will result, to a model that teaches people how to plan and prepare nutritious fare for themselves and others.

Translating the metaphor - from the "elective" model to a strategy which is focused with laser-like intensity on seeking to make disciples of members. (You could say we finally decided: "When all else fails, read the directions!").

At least our buffet hadn't gotten to the point of offering the "Christian" diet club, "Trim for Him" ("He must increase but we must decrease") or the "Firm Believer" exercise class. But this pastor realized he still had a ways to go to get back to the model of Jesus who chose to invest all of his ministry in discipling a few rather than in merely "touching" the many. As AB Bruce wrote a century ago:
"that His Kingdom should be founded on the rock of deep and indestructible convictions in the minds of a few, not on the shifting sands of superficial impressions in the minds of the many."
BTW: What do you get when you cook a frozen waffle on the beach?

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