Archives For Discipleship

If the church spent 10% as much time focused on true Jesus-style discipleship as it does on “leadership”, we wouldn’t be having the church leadership issues we are experiencing today. Badly discipled “leaders” don’t just badly disciple their followers, they leave a trail of broken people in the wake of their “ministry”.

Jesus-style discipleship does not take place from platforms or within classrooms.ⁱ It happens in lives lived together with laughter, love and, oddly enough, mutual submission. Demanded authority or domination are not remotely connected to true discipleship — they, like power & control, are simply symptoms of the fall. True disciplers are people who have laid down their need to be seen as leaders, to be the servants Jesus describes in Matthew 20:25. People who need or demand leadership titles rarely are able to be disciplers. Instead they cultivate the warped human desire for control over others.

In fact, we have warped Jesus teaching in the above mentioned passage by creating the oxymoronic “servant leadership” — with the focus on “leadership”. Servant becomes too easily a throwaway adjective, (much like we have down with the word “missional” which has been applied to so many different “programs” that it effectively has no meaning). Jesus uses “servant” as a noun in that passage. As we should. Or rather, as we must.

ⁱUPDATE: My friend and SPU Prof, Jeff Keuss says this via Twitter, “be careful with “always” “does” “does not” when it comes to how God works esp. w/ discipleship. God shows up in my classroom BTW


Other thoughts on discipleship:

Discipleship is Conspiracy

Church Discipline does NOT Equal Discipleship

Diss-Missional Discipline or Missional Discipleship

Sermons Don’t Make Disciples – Missional Discipleship Part 2

Zero-Sum Games & the Church

Releasing the UnLeader!

Undiscipled – It isn’t Change You can Believe In

Moving from Undiscipled to Transformed — Imbi Medri-Kinnon

The UK Real Interview – Was it of the Undisciplined or the Undiscipled?

Follow this link for more discipleship posts, please.





I love Eugene Peterson’s paraphrase of John 1:14,

The Word became flesh and blood,
and moved into the neighbourhood.

This is the season we sing of the coming of the new born King – Immanuel, God with Us.

The shocking concept that the creator of the Universe comes as a babe to be with us — to be in our midst — he moves into, and grows up in our neighbourhood.

And when he grows up, he is accused by both the religious authorities and the occupational rulers of conspiring to overthrow their power — conspiring with his disciples.

Coffee Chat Discipleship Conspiracy

Conspire, as stated in the previous post, at its latin root means to “breathe together”. Jesus and his disciples in deep relationship with one another, ‘conspired’ — they ‘breathed together.’

Discipleship, in its truest sense (as practiced by the One we claim to follow) is life lived together in conspiracy — ‘breathing together.’ There is an intimacy that is not reflected in the Western pedagogical sense of classroom with teacher/pedagogue, and multiple students listening at their desks.

Jason Blair tweeted this, this morning:

American discipleship has a lot of ‘talk’ and ‘study’ but not a lot of ‘do.’ Why do we expect anyone to listen to us, and why do some?

I often read of pastors/church leaders conducting Sunday morning “discipleship classes.” I believe they are mistaken. Perhaps these are catechism classes — which some might be shocked to know I believe are important.

But. Discipleship cannot be taught in a classroom setting, it can only be caught from lives lived together.

As “discipleship” begins to replace “missional” as the subject du jour, I think it critical we look at how Jesus discipled.

And ask him to help us ‘conspire’ to build his kingdom.


And it wouldn’t be Christmas at the Kinnon abode without a little Rob Mathes Music – When The Baby Grew Up