Ways To Keep Young People In Church After Graduation

ChurchAlthough there are many blog posts and books written on the subject of keeping young adults in church after they graduate high school, I want to narrow the solution down to four practical solutions for churches to adapt in order to keep young adults in church when they graduate.

Biblical Depth

Sam Rainer who has been heavily involved in the study of the millennials with Lifeway records that students who hear sound sermons each week, are involved in a small group Bible study, and those that study the Bible on their own are the ones who rarely drop out.[1] I feel that church leaders for years have felt that the solution to keeping young adults in church is through really cool technology, relevancy, casual environment, and contemporary music. I am not against any of these things. In fact, all of the things listed are good things, but they cannot be the most important thing. In fact, millennials do like these things, but according to the research done by the Barna Group as well as Lifeway Research, we find that millennials value Biblical depth much more. Rainer’s challenge to church leaders: go deeper![2]

Mentorship

The second way to keep young people in church is through a mentorship program. It has been proven that teenagers who are being mentored and discipled by an adult are less likely to leave the church when they graduate high school. In fact, I believe that churches have gone away from a mentorship program in most cases. The best example that we find of a good mentorship program is in Scripture through the relationship of the Apostle Paul and young Timothy. The Baker Encyclopedia on the Bible described their relationship this way:

“The apostle Paul, undoubtedly Timothy’s spiritual father, refers to him as “my true child in the faith” (1 Tm 1:2); he perhaps converted Timothy on his first or second missionary journey. The son of a Greek (or gentile) father, Timothy was yet uncircumcised; however, when Paul decided to take Timothy with him on the second journey, he had him circumcised, so as not to hinder their missionary endeavors among the Jews. Timothy, who was “well-spoken of by the brethren at Lystra and Iconium” (Acts 16:2), became Paul’s companion and assistant on his second missionary journey at Lystra.[3]

Here we see the Apostle Paul investing in the life of a young adult, Timothy. From this description of their relationship we find that Paul disciple Timothy, he challenged Timothy with practical ministry application, he ministered with Timothy, he did life with Timothy, and he gave leadership away to Timothy. That is a good mentorship program, and if this was done more frequently, I believe that it would reduce the rate of young adults leaving the church.

Connecting Earlier to the Local Church

In youth ministry, teenagers are usually involved in a heavy program. In fact, most youth ministries are programmatic in nature, almost to a fault. They can be so programmatic that they pull teenagers out of “big church” (what it is referred to by teenagers) and into the youth program. Then when students graduate out of the youth ministry, they do not know how to handle adult church, because they have not been exposed to the adult side of church. According to Lifeway’s Research, 20% of young adults left because they did not feel connected to the people in the church. Brad Waggoner, vice president of research and ministry development for Lifeway said this after they uncovered their research on the epidemic of young adults leaving the church: “Relationships are often the glue that keeps people in church or serves as the attraction to begin attending again following a period of absenteeism. Many people are deeply influenced by friends and loved ones. Church leaders should passionately and consistently challenge church members to maximize their influence with youth and young adults. Frequent and intentional contact can either prevent or counteract the tendency of some to drop out of church.”[4] I think it is crucial to have teenagers in adult services regularly. Teenagers should be involved in serving in the local church. Teenagers should be allowed to usher, sing in the choir or through special music, play in the worship band, volunteer, etc. In other words, students should be involved. It is proven through Lifeway’s study that students who are involved and connected are much more likely to stay when they graduate high school.

Have a Singles Ministry

Many churches have absolutely nothing more than a Sunday school class for young adults. Some churches do not even have a class for that age; they just send the college students into classes with all of the adults. Now one could argue that placing them in adult classes can be healthy, and I tend to agree to a certain extent, but you have to have something that brings that group together. Sam Rainer lists several aspects of a good singles ministry that will keep young adults. First, the singles ministry must have Biblical depth. We are not going to spend much time here, because this was one of the overall themes of the entire church that needs to happen to retain young adults. Secondly, set high expectations. 96% of millennials say that they believe that they can do something great. 77% said that they are motivated to make a difference by serving others in society [5] this is great news for the rest of the world, because it is clear that the majority of the millennial generation wants to make a meaningful contribution to society. Therefore the singles ministry must set a high expectation to do something great if they want to keep young adults. Third, Rainer suggests keeping them with multiplication (evangelism). Rainer states that “every church we have studied that is effectively reaching and retaining young adults is highly intentional about evangelism.”[6] Lastly, Rainer suggests keeping them through simplicity, namely discipleship. He challenges churches to possess a strategic discipleship structure.

Although these suggestions may seem simple, they can go a long way. The church must address the epidemic plaguing most churches. When churches address the epidemic, they will find that things must change, or the millennials will not attend their church. When young adults feel that the church is interested in making a difference, they will come.

[1]           Sam Rainer, “Four Keys to Keeping Young Adults in Church.” Lifeway.com. http://www.lifeway.com/Article/four-keys-to-keeping-young-adults (Accessed June 12, 2015).

[2]           Ibid.

[3]           Walter A. Elwell and Barry J. Beitzel, Baker Encyclopedia of the Bible (Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Book House, 1988), 2069.

[4]           Lifeway.com

[5]           Thom Rainer and Jess Rainer, The Millennials: Connecting to America’s Largest Generation (Nashville, TN: B&H Publishing Group, 2011), 116.

[6]           Lifeway.com.

Reasons Young People Are Leaving The Church

Why they leave blog postI can still remember it. I was a full time youth pastor doing the usual responsibilities that I had of giving the announcements to the entire church on Sunday morning. Isn’t that what all youth pastors are supposed to do on Sunday mornings? As I sat on stage preparing to share what was going on in the church, I noticed the large group of students that were assembled in the crowd. I was proud to see such a good number, and seeing this assumed in my mind that I was doing a fantastic job as a youth pastor. Then, something hit me like a ton of bricks. I began to notice the rest of the crowd. I began to notice that there was a massive gap in age in our church. For example, there were hardly any young adults in the service. If my memory serves me correctly, there were roughly 35-40 teenagers in the service, and then maybe 3-5 who fell between the ages of 19 and 30. I noticed that statistic was a major problem in the health of our church. As I examined our church, I began to look around, and I noticed that our epidemic was not just our epidemic. This epidemic is universal. Many churches in America struggle with keeping young adults in church. After researching the reasons, here are some of the top reasons young adults are leaving our churches today:

“Church Members seemed Judgmental or Hypocritical”

According to Lifeway Research, 58% of those who left the church listed a church related issue as to their reason for leaving. The most common was that they felt that the church members were judgmental or hypocritical.[1] Thom Rainer records in his book Essential Church that 84% of young adults claim to know a committed Christian. Of the 84%, only 15% of those young adults see a marked change in their lifestyle from the rest of the secular world.[2] Hypocrisy in the church is a major problem. Jesus said in Matthew’s Gospel in his conversation with the Pharisees, “So you also outwardly appear righteous to others, but within you are full of hypocrisy and lawlessness.[3] Martin Manser, the Bible Expositor, stated this: “An outward pretense masking an inner reality. Scripture condemns hypocrisy, especially in matters of faith. Believers should express their commitment to God in their words and their deeds, as well as in their inner motivation.”[4] The concept of hypocrisy actually refers to wearing a mask. It is the idea that you are being someone that you are not. Rachel Evans, writer for CNN’s belief blog, said something extra profound in her 2013 article entitled Why Millennials are Leaving the church. She said,

“Time and again, the assumption among Christian leaders, and evangelical leaders in particular, is that the key to drawing twenty-somethings back to church is simply to make a few style updates  edgier music, more casual services, a coffee shop in the fellowship hall, a pastor who wears skinny jeans, an updated Web site that includes online giving. But here’s the thing: Having been advertised to our whole lives, we millennials have highly sensitive BS meters, and we’re not easily impressed with consumerism or performances. In fact, I would argue that church-as-performance is just one more thing driving us away from the church, and evangelicalism in particular.”[5]

Young adults can spot hypocrisy from a mile away. D.C. McAllister wrote an interesting article in April of this year entitled, “How not to communicate to Millennials like Hozier.” In the article, McAllister is challenging church leaders in the way they communicate with the millennial generation. The article came in response to a Virginia pastor who sent an open letter to Hozier after he published his secular hit song entitled Take me to church. The premise of the song is a proponent of the LGBT movement. The song openly blasts the hypocrisy found within the church. The article is not regarding the song; the article is in response to how church leaders engage conversation with millennials about these specific things. McAllister said in her article,

“They [young adults] really hate the hypocrisy—and it’s there. Sexual issues are a big part of it. Nothing irritates a millennial more than seeing homosexuality singled out as the big sin, while Christians have premarital sex, get divorces, watch porn, and cheat on their spouses. It’s not that Christians necessarily do these things more than unbelievers (that’s an unfounded claim), but they do them—and, as Jesus said, if nothing else, they lust in their hearts, so some humility (not to mention perspective) is called for. When millennials start hearing Christians condemns homosexuals without admitting their own failings, they stop listening.”[6]

Although, I do not agree with the article in its entirety, McAllister is exactly right in her response to the hypocrisy found in churches. Churches are not to be perfect, but it is true that many churches elevate certain sins such as homosexuality over other sins, and young adults call this hypocrisy. Matthew 5 records the conversation between Jesus and the Pharisees. Jesus tells the Pharisees that they are as bad as the adulterers because they have already committed adultery in their hearts. Now, obviously the sin has different results, but to God, the sin of thinking about adultery is the same as going out and committing adultery. To a millennial, someone who fantasizes in their mind about sex is as guilty as someone who is a public homosexual. Millennials hate hypocrisy, and the church must limit their hypocrisy if they intend to keep millennials in church.

Their Faith is Shallow

David Kinnaman, president of the Barna group, published a book on this subject entitled “You Lost Me.” In his book, Kinnaman suggests that the shallowness of the millennial’s faith has two sides. First, you have the young adults who have a superficial understanding of the faith and of the Bible. Kinnaman states that this group has faith which is an inch deep. Second, we find faith communities that convey a lot of information about God rather than discipling young believers to live wholly and deeply in the reality of God. “When you put these two together, the result is a generation of young adults whose faith is an inch deep and a mile wide- too shallow to survive and too broad to make a difference.”[7] Kinnaman and the Barna Group conducted a survey of over 1200 young adults in 2011. Here are the results of their survey:

Completely True of Me           Mostly True of Me
Church is boring                                                             16%                                      31%
Faith is not  relevant to my career or my interests         13%                                      24%
My church does not prepare me for real life                  9%                                        23%
My church does not help me find my purpose              9%                                        23%
The Bible is not taught clearly or often enough             7%                                        23%
God seems missing from my experience of church       7%                                        20%

These statistics may not seem like large percentages, but they do represent millions of young adults.[8]

Life Changes

Probably the most universal and frequent reason young adults are leaving the church is life changes. 27% of young adults said that they left the church because they simply wanted a break from church. 22% said that they moved away from the church and could not find a new church within driving distance that they wanted to attend. 25% claimed that the reason they left was that they went off to college. 23% said that work took them out of church.[9] All of these statistics show the different life stages of being a young adult. College, work, moving away, and the ability to make their own schedules are all stages that young adults go through. It is more difficult to balance these life stages along with spiritual growth when you have more freedom as a young adult.

Religious, Ethical, or Political Reasons

18% said that they left the church because they disagreed with the church’s political or social issues, and that they were attending church to please others (17%). 52% of the young adults polled identified a religious, ethical, or political reason as a contribution to the reason that they left the church.[10] This is likely the most obvious of the reasons people leave the church as a whole.

All of the reasons mentioned are valid reasons for a young adult to consider leaving. It is important to note that 80% of the young adults who were polled had no real intention of leaving the church to begin with. This implies that the reasons they gave for leaving are legit concerns that the church is faced with in regards to keeping the young adults in church. In fact, I would venture that the statistics given in Lifeway’s research disproves Ken Ham and Britt Beemer’s belief that the majority of the young adults who leave church were already gone long before they graduated high school. Ken Ham along with Britt Beemer published the popular book Already Gone. In their book, they seek to prove that the majority of young adults left the church mentally and spiritually early in their teenage years.[11] Now, I do agree with some of their sentiments in the book, I do not believe that it is true in its entirety. Lifeway’s research suggests otherwise. The majority of the young adults polled said that they had no intention of leaving until they were faced with the different life stages that came after high school graduation.

[1]           Lifeway.com.

[2]           Thom Rainer and Sam Rainer, Essential Church: Reclaiming a Generation of Dropouts (Nashville, TN: B&H Publishing Group, 2008), 104.

[3]           The Holy Bible: English Standard Version (Wheaton: Standard Bible Society, 2001), Mt 23:28.

[4]           Martin H. Manser, Dictionary of Bible Themes: The Accessible and Comprehensive Tool for Topical Studies (London: Martin Manser, 2009).

[5]           Rachel Evans, “Why Millennials are Leaving the Church.” Religion.blogs.cnn.com, http://religion.blogs.cnn.com/2013/07/27/why-millennials-are-leaving-the-church/ (Accessed June 12, 2015).

[6]           D.C. McAllister, “How not to Communicate with Millennials.” Thefederalist.com, http://thefederalist.com/2015/04/10/how-not-to-communicate-with-millennials-like-hozier/ (Accessed June 12, 2015).

[7]           David Kinnaman, You Lost Me: Why Young Christians are Leaving Church…And Rethinking Faith (Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Publishing, 2011), 114-115.

[8]           Ibid, 116.

[9]           Lifeway.com.

[10]          Ibid.

[11]          Ken Ham and Britt Beemer, Already Gone: Why your Kids will quit church and what you can do to stop it (Green Forest, AR: Master Books, 2009), 33-34.

Book Review: Ordinary by Tony Merida

OrdinaryBy: Mark Etheridge

The American church culture loves the extraordinary. We love the big conferences, the flamboyant concerts, and the rock star pastors. Yet, when it comes down to it, will these be the factors that will make the most impact in our world today? In his book, “Ordinary: How to Turn the World Upside Down” Tony Merida challenges the contemporary ideas of how the church will impact the world, and provides insightful alternatives to answer this question. Merida explains the answer is not to become more “extraordinary” but rather to become more “ordinary” by showing gospel intentionality within the ordinary rhythms of life. I found this a very challenging and insightful book to read, so here are a few takeaways from this helpful book:

  • This book encourages the church to live ordinary by extending their arms of mercy ministry for the sake of the gospel: I will admit that I often get nervous when I hear people speak about ministries of mercy or social justice. I tend to assume the primary motives are simply for the physical well-being of individuals instead of their spiritual well-being. However, Merida helps explain this is not an either/or issue, but is instead a both/and issue. God is concerned for both the physical and spiritual needs of people, and this should be the concern of the church as well. Merida says, “Let’s embrace mercy ministry under the shadow of the cross” (pg. 28).
  • This book promotes hospitality as one of the most effective means of living the ordinary life: In the times I’ve spent overseas and interactions with people from other cultures, I began to notice American culture is not very keen on allowing others into their homes. The home is seen more as a right of passage to Americans, and only those who are considered close friends will be granted the opportunity into one’s home. However, this concept of hospitality was very important in the Bible, and is exemplified by Jesus in the gospels (particularly the book of Luke). Inviting others into your home for a meal opens up a wide array of opportunities to serve others, and show them the love of Christ. Yet this is challenging, and is counter cultural for many of us, but in order to do it we must put to death our own idolatry. Merida states, “We must kill the idea, ‘My home is my refuge.’ I often hear people say that. It’s idolatry. Jesus is our refuge. We need to open our homes to people.”
  • This book shows the necessity for ordinary people to care for the broken and marginalized of society: A majority of this book is spent on this very issue. Merida mentions how this was a blind spot in his life for so long, but now he realizes the necessity of the church to care for the downcast of society. I can say the same is true for me. This book will challenge to serve those who are hurting in ways you’ve never thought of, or perhaps never considered all together. Merida provides a wealth of scriptural support from both Old and New Testaments to illustrate how this issue is near to the heart of God. The reality is that God is a Father who has welcomed the broken, oppressed, and orphaned in His family. What a privilege it is to reflect in our lives what the Father has done for us! Merida also provides several practical ways to be involved, along with other helpful resources to be a part of God’s global mission in this way.

This book was incredibly challenging, and I encourage you to read it, and pray it will do the same for you. There is also a bible study curriculum produced in conjunction with this book, which will assist you in teaching this content in your local church. Here’s the link to this material: http://www.lifeway.com/Product/ordinary-bible-study-kit-P005644105. I am personally planning to begin a series in our student ministry using this content. May you and I both be encouraged to live more ordinary for the sake of the gospel.

Here are some notable quotes from this work:

“If you really want to stop human trafficking, then stop looking at porn. You’re perpetuating the problem of modern-day slavery, and failing to live a just life.” (pg. 11)

“Love involves compassion that leads to action.” (pg. 20)

“Jesus was separated from sin, but never isolated from people.” (pg. 47)

“We care for the fatherless in view of, in obedience to, and for the glory of, the ‘Father of the fatherless’.” (pg. 77)

“Speaking up for the voiceless is part of ordinary Christian discipleship. It’s not all there is to discipleship, but it’s part of being salt and light in the world.” (pg. 94)

“Jesus was the perfect example of living by God’s Word, for the good of others, and the glory of God.” (pg. 121)

Tony Merida is the leader pastor of Imago Dei Church in Raleigh, NC and serves as an associate professor of preaching at Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary. He and his wife, Kimberly, have five adopted children.

Mark Etheridge currently serves as Youth Pastor at Mount Olive Baptist Church in Pittsboro, NC. He is also enrolled at Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary in their Master of Divinity program in Christian ministry. You can connect with Mark on both Twitter and Facebook.

Book Review: Jesus Prom by Jon Weece

Jesus PromI recently received the book Jesus Prom by Jon Weece. At first the book was not that appealing. I just did not understand the title, and did not care to read it, but I am a book junkie and am a sucker for a free copy of a new book so I took it. When I started it, I could not put it down. I was on vacation reading it, and enjoyed it. Jon is a the lead follower at Southland Christian Church and does a fantastic job of leading people into a life of loving people in extravagant ways.

The book very much resembles Bob Goff’s book, Love Does. In fact, Bob writes the foreword to Jon’s book. I read and reviewed Bob’s book (you can read it here), and the two carry the same passion for radically loving people. Few books  inspired the way that I spend my life and how I treat people like Bob’s book, and Jon’s did the same thing. The Prom doesn’t come until you get deep into the book. Jon talks about throwing a prom party for many who did not get the chance to experience prom while in high school. It was such a nice gesture for those. It was just a nice and loving thing to do. These are the kind of stories found in the book. Stories that will inspire, motivate, and touch you to the point of you acting upon them.

The book is not filled with self helps or methods. In fact, it rarely mentions strategies, it is a book full of stories! Stories do the teaching in this book. Jon compiles tons of stories about his own experiences or someone else’s experiences, and from the stories he draws practical insight on loving people. The book’s premise is found on the cover and can summarize the totality of the book: Life gets fun when you love people like God does. This premise is so true and so real. In fact, it is lived out in Jon’s book.

Jon’s book is a good read, it is a simple read. In fact, the book was not designed to be a difficult read. Some might even criticize the book implying that there must be more, but Jon would say love sums it up and was Jesus’ greatest character trait. I recommend this book to anyone seeking to love people the way that God intends for them to love people.

Note:  I received this book free from the publisher through the Booklookbloggers.com book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive/negative review.

Book Review: The Leadership Handbook by John Maxwell

The Leadership HandbookJohn Maxwell, the great leadership expert is at it again with his new book entitled “The Leadership Handbook: 26 Critical Lessons Every Leader Needs” narrows the most important lessons that leaders need to 26 and places them in his book. As I began reading this book, I certainly felt like I had read the book prior. Had I, of course not. The book is brand new. What I was noticing was the different principles that are found in the book that I had previously read in Maxwell’s other famous works. I have read several books by Maxwell, and although they tend to repeat themselves, the content is so valuable that it is impossible to not appreciate the work regardless of the repetition. Maxwell, age sixty at the time of writing this work does a fantastic job in keeping this new work relevant and new even though much of the principles you find are mentioned in previous writings.

Now for the review…

  • The Leadership Handbook is relevant to all leaders- It does not matter if you are a CEO of a secular company, a pastor, a business man, or a small group leader, the book is relevant. The book is full of principles that you can apply to your every day situations. Maxwell has lived  it. He not only writes about leadership, he has lived it. His life speaks to the effectiveness of the principles found in the book. The book is relevant and is relevant to all leaders regardless of your position.
  • The Leadership Handbook is practical for all leaders- I finished the book in two days, that is how good the book is. I was on vacation which gave me more time to devote to reading. Yes that was some of the reason for the quick finish, but the main reason was that the book was gold. The book is so practical that I was marking thoughts, phrases, stories, and quotes that I could apply to my leadership. Regardless of your position, you will receive tons of principles to apply to your leadership today.
  • The Leadership  Handbook is a compilation of all of Maxwell’s learnings and writings- As I mentioned earlier, Maxwell compiles much of his previous writings and combines them into this book. Yes, there is repetition, but every repeated phrase or principles must be a reminder so it is not redundant at all. I have read two or three of Maxwell’s previous writings, and I never felt in this work that I was reading the exact same book again. Maxwell does a fantastic job of compiling his learnings and penning them down. In fact, you will feel while reading this book that Maxwell is the grandfather of leadership teaching and mentoring young leaders on what he has learned on a lifetime of leadership.
  • The Leadership Handbook is a book that all leaders must read- This could be the best book on leadership that I have ever read. Yes, I mean that statement. Maxwell has written some good ones, but this one summarizes much of what you find in his other writings in this new handbook. It is phenomenal. Every statement in the book is a “tweetable” statement. It is that good! I wish that every young leader could read these principles, because Maxwell nails it in his latest work.

Some brief highlights of the book:

* “I don’t have employees, I have teammates.”

* “The toughest person to lead is yourself.”

* “Never work a day in your life. Find your passion to find your potential.”

* “Those who start the journey with you seldom finish with you.”

There are many more, but these are a few of the main points that stuck out to me. I highly recommend this book to any leader.

Note:  I received this book free from the publisher through the Booklookbloggers.com book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive/negative review.

ICYMI: February 28, 2015

ICYMIIf you are like me, there are so many good articles and posts around the internet every week that it becomes difficult to keep up with all of them. “In case you missed it” is my way of pointing out a few good reads  that are too good to overlook. This list will compile the top five posts of the week that I read. 

  1. 5 Things to Remember when Planning Connecting Events – Via Mark Howell
  2. 10 Ways to Read your Community – Via. Chuck Lawless on Rainer’s blog
  3. Every Small Group Needs a Vision – Via Marshall Segal on Desiring God’s blog
  4. How to Choose Student Leaders – Via Jen Bradbury on DYM’s Blog
  5. Taking a Closer Look at Christ and Culture – Via Trevin Wax

Did you read a good article this week? I would love to check it out. Share the link below in the comment section:

What Does It Mean To Be A Disciple Of Christ

What does it mean to be a disciple of Christ blog postBy Andrew Hale

Disciple of Christ. As a Christian, such a title should be your driving ambition. Disciple—μαθητής in Greek—appears 269 times in the New Testament. This word always refers to followers of a particular leader, most commonly Christ. First century disciples were obvious. They would sacrifice everything to follow their master and learn his ways. Pharisees had disciples. Trade workers had disciples. Jesus had disciples.

In our modern vernacular, a disciple would be similar to an intern. He would follow his master with the intent to one day become just like him. The disciples of Christ desired to learn His teachings and His way in order to become like Him—and ultimately to train others to be like Him. First century disciples could be clearly identified, but modern-day disciples may no be so easily spotted. Even still our goal is the same—look like Christ and teach others to look like Him.

Defining the marks of a modern-day disciple can be difficult. We fill our schedules with Bible studies, prayer lists, accountability conversations, and church attendance, but have we really become better disciples? This discussion should be a lengthy one for all Christians to consider, but today we will start with the basics. A disciple of Christ is about being, knowing, and doing life like Christ.

Being – Is you mind Gospel-oriented? Examine your thoughts and motivations. Being like Christ transforms the way you think about your friends, family, and enemies. You relate to coworkers, neighbors, and strangers with an eternal mindset. Jesus was very intentional about every word He spoke and every contact He made. His disciples will carefully inspect their intentions as well.

Knowing – Christ left His disciples with the command to teach others to observe all things He had taught them. (Matt. 28:20) We should consume His word and commands—which is a lifelong journey. The more we know Him, the more we will want to know Him. Studying the Scriptures through church services, Bible studies, discipleship books, daily devotionals, formal training, and other methods can help us know Him better. We should constantly evaluate how well we know Him and how we can know Him better.

Doing – What did you do today that will impact eternity forever? Too often Christians spend the bulk of their time and energy on projects that won’t matter next week, let alone for eternity. God has made us stewards over the time and ability He gave us. As disciples of Christ, we must assess all that we do to ensure we are bringing Him the most glory.

Bible studies, prayer lists, accountability conversations, church attendance, and a ton of other programs can help a disciple start being, knowing, and doing. However, our schedules will be overwhelmed and distracted when these programs act as a substitute to being, knowing, and doing, Take some time this week and consider whether your current journey of discipleship is leading you toward being, knowing, and doing. If not, make some changes! More than likely your discipleship journey focuses on one facet more than the other two—being, knowing, OR doing. Ensure that you journey of growing as a disciple of Christ is balanced, intentional, and focused.

Additional Readings

Gospel Centered Discipleship by Jonathan Dodson

Multiply: Disciples Making Disciples by Francis Chan

Follow Me: A Call to Die by David Platt

Andrew Hale currently serves as Associate Pastor of Education and Discipleship at Turning Point at Calvary in St. Augustine, FL. He is also enrolled at Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary in their Doctor of Ministry degree program. You can connect with Andrew on both Twitter and Facebook.