Last year a friend who is a missionary in Tanzania asked me to write a series of articles on discipleship to post on his blog. He was going to be traveling and wanted to continue to engage his readers. Since I am traveling this week (I covet your prayers) I have decided to share those articles with you this week.
Have you noticed how many people start driving the same make and model of vehicle as you, right after you purchase that “new-to-you” auto? Few just bought theirs. What has changed is your awareness. After I was asked to write about discipleship I noticed many people doing likewise. Consider the following quote I saw in the Jan-Feb 2011 issue of Mission Frontiers http://www.missionfrontiers.org/issue/article/avery-willis-last-dream:
“Sitting in a pew watching the paid staff put on a Sunday show is all too often the American view of discipleship; this view is not biblical, and it is killing the Church.”
Likely I would have missed that statement if I had not agreed to write this series. We see and/or hear what we want (to a large extent).
Brett asked me to write a 3-part series on discipleship:
- Introduction to—and/or importance of discipleship.
- What does it mean to be a disciple? And/or how do I become a disciple?
- What does it mean to make a disciple? And/or how do I make disciples?
But how do I introduce this topic? How do I convince you of its importance if you think what the quote said? Since Brett has already told you I am part of the pastoral team of his sending church, then you expect me to be angling to get people to Stones River. Or maybe you think I want more to buy-in to our programs. Or maybe we want your money.
Preparing to write this series I stumbled onto something that puzzles me. I even wrote my deepest theologian friend asking for any insights he could share (of course he will probably get back to me after I hit “Send” on this series). The word “disciple” appears hundreds of times in Matthew, Mark, Luke, John and Acts. But it never appears in the rest of the New Testament. Zip, zilch, nit, notta!
How does that happen? How does such an important word disappear?
I do not know! Not even my wildest ideas help.