While in Seminary, I participated in MasterLife and then following seminary, led Masterlife groups in all the churches that I had the privilege to serve. During Masterlife, I adopted as my life verse, Colossians 1:28: We proclaim Him, admonishing every man and teaching every man with all wisdom so that we may present every man complete in Christ.
In the Greek, proclaim, admonish, and teach are not one time acts; Paul meant that He and the church at Colossae and us today were to constantly be proclaiming, admonishing, and teaching every man. Why? So that we can present every man perfect in Christ or mature in Christ. Recently, God has drawn me back to this verse and in this blog, I want to focus on the word Admonish. The word carries the notion of warning, cautioning, gently reproving, and exhorting.
One of the trends that I see in most church’s discipleship ministries is lack of balance. In a presentation at Ridgecrest one year, the following statement was made: Growth occurs when people’s needs are met with the right discipleship experiences. As the State Discipleship Leader, I picked up on this mantra and talked about Tuning in on the Needs of those we serve. It is important that we know people’s needs, but most of our discipleship ministries have become cafeterias where people pick and choose what they want not what they need. In other words, our people are eating plenty of dessert but little meat.
Because of this lack of balance, they are becoming fat but not healthy. All year, my intentions have been to go on a diet. But, to this point, I haven’t exercised the willpower to stop eating what I want and instead eat what I need. I need someone to admonish me, to warn me, to encourage me. In the church, we need to make sure that our people are being admonished to partake of what they need not just what they want. They need to master the disciplines that I learned in MasterLife and to be able to give an answer for the hope that is within them.
Let’s put the TRAINING back in Discipleship Training and get our Discipleship ministries balanced.