I have lunch about once a month with a really good friend of mine from the church I attend. He is actively involved in the senior adult ministry, but also takes time out of his schedule to fellowship and mentor me. During our lunch I asked him if he thought his Sunday morning bible study would have any interest in hanging out with the college age guys bible study I teach. I explained to him that I hoped it would eventually lead to some mentoring relationships but in the meantime it would at least allow the different generations a chance to get to know each other. He said he would love to and so we started running through the schedule of the average member in his class. There is Sunday morning bible study and then attend the main service, Sunday night service, Wednesday night service, Thursday mornings men’s fraternity, and since the new push this year is to take a seminary class of some type quite a few had either signed up or were planning on signing up for one of those as well. His class did service projects every so often and they helped out some with other various ministries. This of course does not include choir practice, part time jobs, time with wife and grandkids, or any class activities. I sat there for a second with my head spinning and realized this was going to be pretty tough. I suggested maybe we could do it every so often during the Sunday night service or even during the Sunday morning bible study hour, but he assured me there was almost no way his class would miss a service. We both just kind of sat there and I honestly believe we were thinking the same thing. These guys honestly don’t have time to disciple or mentor due to all the church activities they are involved in. Now my friend is clearly the exception because he is mentoring, but at the end of the day most of us have attended thousands of church services, but have never discipled a single person.
Let me see if I can make it a little clearer for you. If I die at 80 and attend church like a good Christian, I’ll sit through 12,480 sermons, but how many people will I disciple? Think about that for a second, and then let me say it again 12,480 SERMONS. Amazing right? Now before you pat yourself on the back for your amazing sitting in a pew staring forward and listening skills let me add a few more things to that list because those numbers are just weekly services. They don't include Bible studies, small groups, Sunday School classes, Christian conferences, youth camps, mens fraternity, seminary classes and the list goes on and on. Now let be as clear as I possibly can so no one reads anything into what I am saying. All of these things in and of themselves are great and essential for the growth of the church, but they never have and never will replace the need for Christians to make disciples. God’s not handing out crowns for church attendance, and if the Great Commission calls me to go into all the world and make disciples, then I really need to take a look at my life and see who I’m discipling!
"Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age."