The Lost Art of Disciplemaking by LeRoy Eims is the textbook for one of my classes this quarter at the seminary. So, as I was reading it, I jotted down some quotes I thought were interesting.
These first two have a lot to do with that old saying “People before programs.” The italics are quotes from the book, and the rest are my comments on the subject.
- “Yet in all these programs people are still primary, for ultimately they cannot be helped by some thing but must be helped by someone.”
I think this is key to our thinking about ministry. Most of the time, we think of discipleship as a program or a class, when really it is the investment of a life in another. Programs are just excuses for building relationships.
- “The ministry is to be carried on by people, not programs. It is to be carried by someone and not by some thing. Disciples cannot be mass produced. We cannot drop people into a ‘program’ and see disciples emerge at the end of the production line. It takes time to make disciples. It takes individual, personal attention. It takes hours of prayer for them. It takes patience and understanding to teach them how to get into the Word of God for themselves, how to feed and nourish their souls, and by the power of the Holy Spirit how to apply the word to their lives. And it takes being an example to them of all of the above.”
I like the part about time and personal attention. It’s not a cookie cutter or assembly line process to share your life with someone else. It goes against a lot of what we do in traditional church, with no life-sharing. We come, sing, listen, and leave usually. Where’s the discipleship in that?
More to come…