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Evangelism Vs. Discipleship- ( 1) - Religion - Nairaland

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Evangelism Vs. Discipleship- ( 1) by malvisguy212: 5:36am On Oct 26, 2014
It seems to me that there is a constant discussion, or you could call it a
debate (or you could even call it a family fight) among us evangelicals
over whether we should be focusing all our attention and efforts on
evangelism or discipleship. Trust me...this is a big deal in the church
right now. If you could hear just a small fraction of the conversations I
have as I travel and preach... Because I am an evangelist (see Ephesians 4) by call and trade, I get
bombarded by the discipleship camp with questions like, "What
happens after all those people respond to the gospel when you
preach?" Because I am a pastor, I also get comments from soul winners like, "If
all you ever do is teach the Bible to Christians, how will the lost ever
hear the gospel and be saved?" These are both very good, and, eternally important questions. And to
answer those questions, let me first draw your attention to the false
dichotomy that we have created in our little evangelical church culture
here in the West. This is a simplification...but is a fairly accurate
synopsis of the two teams, tribes, camps, etc.
1. We follow the Great Commission! Jesus never said make converts. He
said make disciples (Matthew 28:18-20). And that is what the church
must do.
2. A true disciple will become a witness, will share their faith, and will
lead the lost to Jesus. Therefore we don't have to focus on evangelism.
3. Focusing on evangelism hurts the process of discipleship because
evangelism is all about numbers and results and ignores spiritual
4. Discipleship takes more time and investment than evangelism, and
therefore is spiritually superior and more important.
5. We would never declare that a person is "saved" or a "Christian"
until they have proven their faith by following Christ over a period of
6. God alone converts people to faith, but it is our responsibility to
make disciples out of those that God saves.
7. Jesus made disciples! (Peter, James, John, Thomas, Mary, Martha,
1. We follow the Great Commission! Jesus told us to preach the gospel
every creature (Mark 16:15-18). We preach the gospel and God
saves the people.
2. A true Christian should automatically want to share their faith, so we
teach them how to be a witness and bring others to Christ.
3. Focusing on discipleship hurts the work of evangelism because it
focuses too much on the individual who is already saved, ignoring
those who are lost.
4. Evangelism is more grueling and difficult than discipleship because it
takes us to the front lines of the lost world, making it spiritually
superior and more important.
5. The Bible says that when a person confesses sin, repents and
believes in Christ, they are saved (Romans 10:13, 1John 1:9). It's not
"false assurance" to say they're saved.
6. The same God who saves a sinner will complete the work of
discipleship in that new believer (Philippians 1:6).
7. Jesus was an evangelist! (The woman at the well, Zacheus, the
woman caught in adultery, Nicodemus, etc...) Go back and re-read these lists. Do you see how the wedge can easily
be driven down into the church if all we ever do is repeat our
platitudes? Are these two tribes really in disagreement? Are they mutually exclusive? What do you think about this? What "team" do you more naturally fall

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