8 December, 2003 7:34 AM
'The word �disciple� occurs 269 times in the New Testament. �Christian� is found only three times and was first introduced to refer precisely to the disciples.... The New Testament is a book about disciples, by disciples, and for disciples of Jesus Christ....
For at least several decades the churches of the Western world have not made discipleship a condition of being a Christian. One is not required to be, or to intend to be, a disciple in order to become a Christian, and one may remain a Christian without any sign of progress toward or in discipleship....So far as the visible Christian institutions of our day are concerned, discipleship clearly is optional.'
Dallas Willard — The Spirit of the Disciplines
Do Willard's words ring true for you in your church context? How do have you seen churches effectively disciple people? If you were asked to disciple a new believer how would you approach it?