“It’s a pity that most churches seem to be more focused on “the lost” and less on the development of those it has already “acquired”. I think this is why many young people leave the church. It does a good job of maybe bringing us in, but at least with every church I’ve seen recently it does a very poor job of “training the saved” or developing those whom it has brought in. I think this would be the reason why teaching just isn’t enough at some point, there needs to be at least some emphasis on training which often there isn’t.”- Bennett (one of my former students who is now 19 years old)
This quote was sent to me yesterday after he read a post that I made concerning the difference in teaching and training. I asked Bennett if I could use his quote to help show what one in the younger generation is thinking. I believe Bennett speaks for many young people and I agree with him that we often concentrate so much on reaching the lost just to release them back into the world without any training or discipling or by informing them that they are accountable to go out into the world to reach more of the lost. We must have a much bigger vision than simply numbers. We must be training and replicating our efforts through those we lead to the Lord. Young people and old alike will begin to think that in some ways we were disingenuous about our concern for them if we just baptize and then forget about them. Discipleship implies investment. That is why it takes much more than just the staff of a church to do that work. It takes a church being trained to go out, witness, disciple and train others to do the same. Yesterday, I posted a short quote. “Win the lost, train the saved.” Let’s add to that. “Win the lost, train the saved to win the lost…” This is multiplying efforts.
So maybe it is time for new paradigms in discipleship to be formed in our churches. We must win, train, send out, hold accountable, encourage, and repeat the process over and over again. Our young people like Bennett need to see that we truly believe that the most important thing is the spread of the Gospel to the ends of the earth and that it starts right where you are….