After participating in 3DM Discipleship training for the last 2 years, I sit at my desk in my office and wonder how I can apply these tools to the ever-increasing mass exodus of youth leaving the church scene. Now, to be fair, some of the shifting is just exchanging one religious institution for another. But to thrive, the church can’t merely be about making converts out of young people, but must focus it’s energies on making disciples….basically, being in line with the command of the Great Commission. And, definitely building relationships by investing in people’s lives. The tools alone are not good enough to have, to know and to use just from an academia and educational standpoint. Once you know and believe that objective you need to get young disciples to walk, talk, think, feel and do as Jesus did. In the book, Real Life, it suggests that this is a process that we need to be committed to and have patience in waiting for the fruit that will develop from our labor.
The process of any new believer is this: they start as a skeptic but to move to the next stage you need to sow trust. They then become a seeker, searching for knowledge and truth, at which time you offer challenges. From the challenges they become followers and begin to recognize what a life of faith is. It builds desire and they want to lead others to have what they have discovered. They become empowered and want to be world changers with visions and goals that are in line with the kingdom. This process of stages rarely takes weeks or months, but years.
So here is my question…..Are we investing the time needed to disciple young Christians? And, what type of model is needed to ensure that we are doing a God-honoring effort?