As I’ve said in previous blogs, God’s primary strategy to win the world is to get his church into the world, not the world into churches. Let’s explore that thought further.
Let me be clear. Jesus did attract large crowds of people throughout his ministry. Our worship should be attractive, too. But Jesus continually called his followers out of the crowd to deeper discipleship and mission. Our Lord did not build his kingdom on crowds; he built his kingdom on disciples. If we celebrate the number coming in our front door but fail to grow them as disciples and send them back out that door, we have missed the gospel and created “club car keepers”.
Are we growing true disciples in our worship ministries? Are our churches making disciples who are on daily mission with God in their family, school, workplace, and community? Sadly, the statistics say we are not. This failing is clearly not determined by worship style either. Contemporary worship leaders sometimes think they have achieved the highest of heights with cutting-edge music and technology and their ability to draw a crowd. Meanwhile, our traditional musicians hold onto their performance standards like a child’s security blanket. But neither our contemporary church-starts nor our old-line established churches are showing much long-term success beyond satisfying the needs of the church club car, regardless of what form it takes. Clearly worship style is no guarantee of effective disciple-making.
Regardless of what we call it, our scorecard for doing church right in the institutional church has usually been: counting monetary gifts, counting the number of people in attendance, and measuring the size of our buildings. Yes, these are important in gauging the effectiveness of our churches. But the real shortcoming in this gauge is that it doesn’t measure true discipleship or our heart for the mission of God. How in the world can we measure that?
The real issue is our heart. Regardless of our worship style, we are very likely to repeat these shortcomings for generations to come if we do not grasp the change of heart needed to grow disciples who make disciples. What a terrible tragedy it would be for us to pass down to another generation the misunderstanding of God’s call to be worshiping disciples on mission.
Will you find your prophetic voice and challenge your family, friends, and church to GROW DISCIPLES and GO MISSIONAL? How? When? Now is your time!