Greg Stier, President of Dare 2 Share, a man for whom I have great respect, is branded “an evangelist.” While I have no doubt he has this gift, one of the things I really appreciate about him, as I have watched him over the last few years, is that He has a great love for the Word, the Church and ALL People. In Christendom we often see those who are more drawn to Discipleship and others who are more drawn to Evangelism. Where did this gap come from and why does this separation exist? It shouldn’t!
Greg, on his blog posted about this same subject. Check that out here.
After I read it, my blood was flowing a little faster, so I commented. My comments are posted here as a stand-alone blog (slightly edited so as to be a post, rather than a comment).
My hope and prayer is that each Youth Leader (and student) will truly understand that Evangelism and Discipleship are not meant to be divorced. For years many have separated something that has never been separated in Scripture! As we fall in love with the lost (evangelism) we need and fall deeper in love with the church (and discipleship). Youth Leaders (and unfortunately those who influence them) emphasize more Bible Study, better fellowship, longer worship and further-out missions and then wonder why these very students walk away from the church after high school.
Students who fall in love with the lost during middle-school and high school will carry that love onto their college campus or into their careers. If our emphasis continues to be to get Christian students to programs instead of to people, the trend will continue! The natural outflow of discipleship is living/sharing/breathing The Great Commission (THE Cause, as Greg and Dare 2 Share are rebranding it).
Youth Leaders (and I’d add Parents, Adults, Students) start modeling it! Not by just preaching about it, but by doing it yourself. If you don’t have non-Christian friends (your own age) that you are loving and sharing with, why do you expect your Christian students to fall in love with something you don’t even love? Talk about your failures (missed opportunities), praise God in your successes (the times you were faithful in sharing, leaving the results to the Spirit). Deeper love for the lost leads to deeper love and reliance upon Christ (and vice-versa!).
So, what do you think?
What do you want to do differently in your Discipleship/Evengelism?
Why do you think the gap has been created or exists?
I’d love to hear your rant!
One thought on “Evangelism or Discipleship, the debate.”
It’s not a rant really, but you say instead of having students fall in love with programs we should help them fall in love with people. I think it’s even more simple than that. Let’s fall in love with Jesus, and then all else will simply just fall into place. But for Christ, we would have no evangelism or discipleship for that matter. Why must we make it any more difficult than that? Let’s simply get to know Him.