David Sessions reviews Brett McCracken’s Hipster Christianity.
Tim Brister reviews Darrin Patrick’s Church Planter.
Mike DeLong takes a look at podcasts: those he used to listen to, some he no longer listens to, video podcasts he’s checked out and those he currently listens to.
The new issue of Next Wave is out.
What’s next for church planting?
Sessions’ riff on why moral revival will never change the world.
Ben Witherington interviews Frank Viola.
Ordinary pastors project.
Free Kindle books!
Red flags in discipleship.
The Acts 29 Network blog on Red Flags in discipleship has my favorite quote of the week – it’s awesome!
“Isolated discipleship produces random elbows and eyeballs and that is freaky.”
LOL, Esther…that IS a good quote.
A week or so ago a conversation I had put the image in my head of many churches looking like a Mr.Potato head (missing key parts of the body and magnifying others)- this quote really tickled me because it conjures up a very similar picture.
Maybe so….I’m not totally sold on Mars Hill’s vision of church right now.
I do agree it’s probably best to be discipled and not to disciple one’s self. How do you get discipled, though, when your church doesn’t practice such a thing? Discipleship was a thing I often read about and rarely saw for much of my Christian life.
I think discipleship works very well when it incorporates living life together. It’s not a bad thing to sit in a coffee shop once in a while and talk about the principles of the faith (as a matter of fact that is one of my favorite pastimes)- but it’s as we are actually encountering circumstances and challenges in life that we need each other to offer up wisdom, counsel, and Biblical principles and concepts.
Lots of people go through little notebooks and learn the details and facts like a tutoring session, but then don’t experience how it is applied in life. I think you need both. A 6 week or 12 week class, does not answer all of the faith questions it should not be considered a completed discipleship process in my book.
I think choosing several mature believers to build relationships with works very well for discipleship. You can still go through a study together with one or more of them, but maybe joining another in an ongoing ministry (serving meals to the homeless, checking on the needs of the elderly or widows in the church and helping them with chores, etc.) or finding others ways to experience life together, maybe more like the Big Brother/Big Sister program for discipleship, rather than just weekly conversation.
That’s a good system, Esther. Again, that didn’t seem available to me for the longest time.
I think a lot churches and groups substitute real discipleship for a program or notebook because it’s easier but I think it’s sad…
Discipleship is a little bit like parenting though, just because you didn’t experience the best model growing up, doesn’t mean you can’t offer a better one to the next generation. We don’t have to duplicate what we got.
Brian – Last night we had dinner with a wonderful couple, and it felt just like discipleship should – I wish you had been over. What a blessing to hear their wisdom on parenting, ministry, grief. We talked about hard things, laughed about life, shared a meal, shared scriptures, struggles,joys. We asked questions, wondered out loud, and it was real – no platitudes, no acceptable scripts, just real. I felt like we learned so much from a couple who have lived life with the Lord for many years, gone through tremendous trials, experienced great loss, grappled with matters of faith, and who hold on dearly to the Gospel of Grace, and who are learned that we experience God through His love, both receiving it and giving it. When they left I thought about you and our discussion, and found myself wishing that this was more the “normal” Christian experience.
Brian – I guess I had not had enough coffee when I posted last – the Anon comment was from me but somehow my name didn’t carry through.
It’s good, Esther.
I think you have to trust the couple, and there has to be a bonafide friendship there for it to work. That sort of thing does not easily happen for anyone, and for some it seems particularly difficult to make it come close to happening.
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