Friday, August 04, 2006


Letting go of disciples

I think that everyone who is involved in discipleship eventually finds himself with the need to pull away from a disciple. In Mario's case, He feels the need to belong to a traditional church. The only ones in his neighborhood have serious doctorinal problems. He shared with me this week that he felt that God wanted him to attend one of them, to which I responded that they have different beliefs, and if he chooses to go there, that's fine, he can learn from them. Because of the differences, I would not continue to teach him. I let him know that he needs to choose whether to attend that church, or work with me to start another church in his neighborhood which is doctorinally sound. For now, I am back to square one in the area of town where I work. I spent this morning walking, praying and seeking God's direction.

I took his Bible to show him a passage, and glanced through it quickly and noted that the passage was already highlighted. Several of my favorites were already marked in his Bible. Here is a guy that knows the truth, yet wants to hang on to a traditional church, even at the expense of sound doctorine.

I suppose that if he choses to go, he may. I can work with someone else. However, my prayer is that he will note the differences, and choose to return. Please join me in this prayer.

Our experience in Ecuador has been that in several of these cases, those we have poured ourselves into, have likewise chosen to return to the traditional churches from which they came. What happens though in many (if not most) of the cases is that within 6-8 weeks, sometimes longer, they come back around and have seen the "light" for themselves. I don't make a big deal about their abscense, we just simply pick up where we left off. Some of our strongest church planters have gone through this process of going back to traditional churches, and yet eventually leaving them for good to become solid leaders. I am not saying this will happen with Mario, I am simply sharing our own experience. What I try to do is always have an open, positive attitude with the person who has left us. I ask them how things are going, what the church they are attending is up to in regards to reaching the world for Christ, offer them any material that might be useful, etc.
Thanks Guy for the encouragement! That is my prayer for him. He is much more influential than he realizes.
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