The idea was that we all need to be discipled. We need to go through a period where we are trained one-on-one by someone more mature that we are. It is not a bad concept. It can work. The problem is when we place too much emphasis on it or make it a litmus test. One of the examples that is constantly referred to is Jesus and the Twelve. Take this paragraph from a book of the era,
“Christ Himself has set the pattern. He spent most of His time with twelve - with eternal results. He called the twelve that He might be with them. He worked with them, trained them, and loved them, and He let them train each other. There was a cross-current of the work of God’s Spirit as these disciples were together.
“Discipling is as critical a need as there is among believers today. Every Christian needs some older Christian he’s learning from, and some younger Christian he’s teaching. It’s the function of the whole body to do this.” p. 65The issue is not “is this a good thing?” The issue is the position that it is a requirement.
Think about it. The disciples were personally trained by Jesus and it was the apostle Paul, who never physically met Jesus who became the great evangelist. He learned how to be effective by studying the word, the work of the holy Spirit and a personal encounter with the living Christ. This works against all out theories of discipling.
In fact the men who spent so much time with Jesus were pretty useless until the Holy Spirit came at Pentecost and got them moving.
What we as believers need is not more training, more books, more classes. What we need is more power and more obedience. We already know more than we are doing. Our hearts and minds are reasonably full but our lives are not reflecting the contents.
Let’s get salty. Let’s stand up and be counted. Let’s speak up for truth in public meetings and private conversations. Let’s seek our own personal Pentecosts to begin the revival that our world needs.
Salt is used in grains, not blocks.
Ortlund, Raymond C. Lord, Make My Life a Miracle. Glendale: Regal Books, 1974.
homo unius libri