Be a Disciple; NOT a christian – part 1

Today I began teaching a two week course on Discipleship at Plumstead Christian School. Class began with this statement: “I pray that none of you are Christians by the end of these two weeks.” What?! Is this heresy? Not if we consider that the majority of Americans who call themselves Christians (85 percent of the US population) live hypocritical lives. What?! How dare I make this judgment call?! I don’t have to make this call – “Christians” judge themselves with the testimony of their lives. Jesus said, “If you love me, you will obey what I command” (John 14:15, NIV). What are Jesus’ commands? Are Christians obeying Jesus’ commands when their divorce rate is higher than that of a person who claims not to be a Christian? Are Christians obeying Jesus’ commands when they are no more likely than a professing non-Christian to meet the needs of the poor? Are Christians obeying Jesus’ commands when their attitudes and actions are no different from those who claim to be non-Christians?

As Dave Ferguson wrote in his book, The BIG IDEA: “If the contemporary concept of a Christian is of someone who is no different than the rest of the world, is Christian really the word you want to use to describe your willingness to sacrifice everything you have to see God’s dream fulfilled? No way.”

Oh. And one last question, when did Jesus ask anyone to become a Christian?

Over the next two weeks, we are going to begin putting these statements and questions into perspective as we discover what it means to be a disciple of our Rabbi Jesus. I hope you will join us on this journey through this blog. And please comment your frustrations, questions, and “wow” moments as you read and interact.

The students in this class rock. I look forward to learning with them as disciples of our Rabbi Jesus. Today, we reviewed the objectives for our course of discussion (you can reference the objectives at the bottom of this blog) and agreed upon the assignments for their grade. My prayer is that no student will seek a good grade, but rather, seek to be transformed from the label of “Christian” to a passionate love of Jesus Christ; that they will walk so closely with Jesus that they get dirty from the dust of His journey. Here is what I know – if these students desire transformation, they will get a good grade. I hope you will join us in this journey.

Course Objectives:
Each student will…

Discuss and discover what it means to be a disciple of Jesus
Discuss and discover how spiritual disciplines interact with discipleship
Discuss and discover the mandate of discipleship
Discuss and discover how to live the mandate of discipleship in everyday life
Discover how to search, read, and apply the Word
Identify (each day of class) the big idea or truth they are leaving with from the class conversation
Compile the big ideas and truth discovered in each class to form a next step spiritual growth plan

To read more about our journey from Christianity to Discipleship click here

Endnotes: Many of the ideas in paragraph one of this blog came from Chapter 1 of THE BIG IDEA by Dave Perguson and The Scandal of the Evangelical Conscience by Ronald J. Sider.


9 Responses

  1. Ron,

    I will certainly be following this series.

    What age group are you working with here?

    Be sure to tell them they are not alone in trying to answer these questions. I’ve been a Christian for more than 20 years and I still struggle to know how to be a disciple of Christ. Of course the answers are in Scripture, and I am a student of the Word. It takes diligence and faith to put those answers into practice.

    Keep asking the tough questions.


  2. Chad,

    I’m discussing this topic with 15 high school seniors – it is an elected course.

    As I shared with the students this morning, I’m not facilitating this class because I am a yoda on discipleship, but because God has been searing these thoughts in my heart, mind, and life-style for the last five months. I am facilitating so I can learn and hopefully make disciples in the process.

    I’m glad you are going to join us on this journey as we learn to apprentice under Jesus.

  3. Hey Ron…
    It’s my first visit to your blog. Why have you NOT told be about this before? Awesome work… love it.

  4. […] To read more about our journey from Christianity to Discipleship… click here. […]

  5. […] Radiate « Be a Disciple; NOT a christian – part 1 Be a Disciple; NOT a christian – part 3 » Be a Disciple; NOT a christian – […]

  6. im so glad that there a church teaching Discipleship and lets pray together that the Lord’s kingdom will come, and HIS word will spread that a lot of people would stop being a christian and start being a disciple…..pray with us and let us all all do our part….

    “Therefore go and MAKE DISCIPLES of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20and teaching them to obey everything I have commended you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”
    MATTHEW 28:19-20

    and we also discovered that the word Christian mentioned 3x but the word Disciple mentioned 294x
    God did not called us to become a Christian. But he called us to become a Disciple.

    Bless God and God bless
    —-Lord’s Hand Apostolic MInistries
    —-Valenzuela City, Philippines

  7. Is there any way to receive a full copy of the series, “Be a Disciple, not a Christian”?

  8. Yes. Click here –

    Just note I can’t find part 4

  9. I am very interested in hearing and learning more about this I have been questioning myself for ever about this label I would very much like to rid myself of what I learned from man about how to be a good Christian and grow more into bring a great disciple. Please tell me where I can learn more about this…

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