I've been thinking about discipleship a lot lately. After all, it's my job. To help people become fully devoted followers of Christ. But what does that mean and how do we do it? A lot of us in church world like to set people on a track of academic type classes that are designed to help people rise to the next level of discipleship. We offer stuff like Membership 101, Growth 201, Discipleship 301, and Leadership 401. It's easy to implement, manage, and measure. But are people really being changed? I'm not sure.
At NCC, we've implemented something called "non-linear" discipleship. We embrace the idea that growth into Christ-likeness is never the same, linear path for every person. And Jesus' approach with his disciples appears to be anything but linear. It was personal and born out of relationship. I think spiritual growth can be predictable to some degree, but it never seems to be linear. This is a theme that I keep coming back to.
Still...I'm not sure people are truly being changed or if they are just checking off boxes. We run the risk of building programs instead of building people. How can we make sure we stay laser-focused on building people. I'm convinced that information without relationship is not true discipleship.