"When you begin to think outside the box, you often become some other "leaders" lousy follower. That usually costs something" (Andy Rayner)

"Our guardian angels are bored." (Mike Foster)

It's where I feel I'm at these days. “In the second half of life, it is good just to be a part of the general dance. We do not have to stand out, make defining moves, or be better than anyone else on the dance floor. Life is more participatory than assertive, and there is no need for strong or further self-definition” (Falling Upward. Richard Rohr.120).

Friday, April 19, 2013

Western Church Discipleship Models Have Been Tested & Failed!

(I originally published this in 2009)The true success of our church discipleship is found in the litmus test of our very own born-and-raised" evangelical church kids. I'm not speaking about evangelism outside the church. I'm talking about our own glaring inability to transfer faith within the family unit. Consider the following:

"Every year, hundreds of thousands of American evangelical young people lose their faith while attending college: An estimated 65% (My Note: This is very conservative estimate. I have seen studies that suggest 75%). Here they are confronted with a secular humanist world view, often anti-Christian, which they have not been prepared to engage. Next year a new batch will be sent, and this spiritual holocaust will go right on with few people seeking to do anything about it.

Now why is that? And what is the real problem? Could it be that we are merely entertaining our young people in youth groups across the country instead of disciplining them? On the other side, why can almost all of our great Christian leaders point to someone in their life who mentored them in faith? Is there a connection here? Many missiologists believe so....

What kind of Christianity are we seeking to establish around the world? Is it a copy of our own- one in which we can't even keep our own young people who have been raised in Christian Homes"

(Discipling All Peoples: Today's Imperative and Vision of Tokyo 2010. David Taylor. Mission Frontiers, September-October 2009 vol. 31, No. 5. US Center For World Mission)
Interestingly, home-schooled kids have a 95% faith retention rate when they go off to college and university. We can not pass this off as merely "Sheltering", becuase once these kids are out of the nest, they are exposed to the same secular humanism and challenges in university and college.

So, if home-schooled kids are exposed to the same influences in university, why the amazing success? The difference is found in the type of discipleship the kids have received at home. They have not been brainwashed, but rather "mentored" in a very effective manner. Rather than sheltered, most have actually been exposed to the fallacies of secular arguments and ideologies, and been given adequate Christian answers and tools by which to measure the philosophies they encounter with a Christian World view.

The home-schoolers success rate in transmitting their faith to their children is so impressive, that non-homeschooling Christians best not criticize them. Their mentoring discipleship approach is working much better than the methodology the average christian family or church is using- or not using.

Effective discipleship involves more than just transmission of "information". But also requiring Relation, Conversation, and Assisted Application. Unfortunately, the only conversation most kids get about Jesus is, "Great ready for Sunday School or Youth Group". But little actual mentoring from many christian parents or church staff.

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