By Michael Leyde
“Your view of discipleship is different than mine.” This is what I heard the Lord say one day as I was driving to work.
“Kinda random,” I thought.
As I began to think about it, I realized that it was quite true. My idea is to get a bunch of people in a room, get a book, and teach them what I know. God’s idea is: “Come, follow Me.”
Unfortunately God was right. The modeling of pastors, leaders, and the church life I’ve known for the past ten years has formed my view of discipleship.
This has included small groups, which for a season I knew them as soap-box meetings (one person ranting on and on about this or that), Sunday School classes (a small group with one person teaching about this or that) and church services (a larger group of people listening to one person talk about this or that).
The commandment of Jesus to make disciples seems to keep coming around every few years or so to the forefront of our churches and leadership teams. It makes me wonder: what in the world does that look like?
Jesus’ style of leadership seems to place a high value on relationship, community, and love, whereas, these days the going trend seems to be a more mechanistic, hierarchical approach. By placing high value on bottom lines, security of the structure, and protecting the man on top, we lose the very relationships we were designed to foster. As Jason Upton’s father-in-law said recently “We don’t need more CEO’s in the church, we need more fathers.”
CEO’s versus Fathers.
More and more, we are seeing churches and people rallying around fathers rather than shared truths. Whereas in times past we united around doctrines, these days people are longing for relationships that empower and release rather than limit them with requirements and laws.
The CEO wants to know what you can do for him. The CEO is concerned with you keeping the Party line. The CEO requires your allegiance.
The Father wants to know what he can do for you. The Father empowers you to think for yourself. The Father wants you to cultivate a culture of honor.
The Jesus style of disciple making doesn’t seem to make much sense in today’s fast-paced, driven society. His approach of sharing life, using nature as object lessons, and befriending sinners, would take too much time, energy, and commitment for most people. But still, His ways are higher than ours, and until we find our way into His, ours will continue to produce what we’ve always produced.
If you liked this article, check out: Searching for a Spiritual Father
Michael , a Northwest native, is currently serving as director of music and creative arts at the International Church of Las Vegas. His passion for missions has led him to Europe, Asis, and India where he spent six months in 2003. A singer/songwriter, Michael has recorded five albums, and is currently working on his sixth. To learn more, visit his blog .