Here are some thoughts from Chuck Lawless on the problems/uncertainties that develop in your life if you are undiscipled.
1. I heard the leaders tell me I needed to read the Bible and pray, but I didn’t know how. I tried, but it was tough to do when no one had really taught me how. In fact, I often prayed exactly what I heard others pray because that’s all I knew.
2. I wrestled with ongoing sin, often because I didn’t know you could talk with other believers about losing battles. Nobody talked about accountability and confession to one another in those days. We just kept surrendering to temptation instead.
3. I knew the Lord had called me to preach (actually, the same day He saved me), but I had no idea what that calling would require. Our church was excited about my calling, but I still had to figure it out on my own. Attending everything the church offered was not enough to answer my questions.
4. I learned the “language” of Christianity without always walking the walk. It didn’t take me long to realize that Christians have their own lingo—and you can leave a good impression if you know that insider talk. Too often my words were hypocritical back then, but they sounded good.
5. I was both happy to be part of the Christian family and lonely at the same time. My church family really did become family to me, but again, I didn’t know that Christian faith was to be life-on-life . . . vulnerable . . . deep . . . accountable. Looking back, so much of it was surface level that it didn’t always reach to my heart.
6. I wasn’t sure what to do the first time I saw church conflict in action. It was at a church business meeting, and I’m sure the topic was an important one—but I was unprepared for the emotion and division in the discussion. I don’t know if stronger discipleship would have equipped me for that, but I once again only internalized my questions and fears rather than talk to someone discipling me.
7. I’m really still deeply grateful for those folks, though. I’ve learned since then that many of those church members had not really been discipled, either—and they were simply serving God the best way they knew how. God used them in my life then.
Here’s a question: How well were you discipled as a new believer? How did that affect your life?