When you drop a pebble into a body of water, there is always a ripple effect. The depth & mass of the pebble dropped into the water determines the breadth of the ripple effect, that is how far out from the center it moves.
I wonder if we have gotten that a bit backwards in the church, particularly as it relates to discipleship. While it is true that we ought to "cast the net wide" at times, certainly Jesus did, but the primary way he "made disciples" was in smaller groups. As he poured himself into the 12 disciples, he certainly gave them more "depth". And, subsequently, the effect of his "discipleship" rippled out from the center...it's still rippling today.
If that's the case, why do we seem to approach discipleship from the opposite direction? Or, maybe we don't approach it from the opposite direction, but we certainly do not give the time & attention necessary for the "depth" to take place, do we?
I was reminded last week at the Reveal: Disciple-Making Conference by one of the speakers, Dhati Lewis, who said: "Discipleship is not a ministry of the church; it is THE ministry of the church."
If that is true, and I believe it is...what are the ramifications for how we "do" church? At least in my mind, the ramifications are HUGE! Not only for the way that I "pastor" the congregation I serve (what I give my time & energy to), but for the "programming" church employs, our approach to events & activities that we schedule, the expectations we have for church members, how we seek to equip the saints for the work of ministry (disciple-making)...and the list goes on and on.
Now, what if we took this seriously? What if we truly bought into this Great Commission"? What if we decided we weren't going to "go on with business" in the church as usual?
I admit. I'm not exactly sure what this would all look like fleshed out, especially in my context. But, I'm pretty sure, some things would have to change...beginning with me.