I stood on the high dive in the natatorium at the University of Louisville. We had a group of swimmers and divers from the University attending our church and I had agreed to jump off the high dive.
Dallas Willard famously said that every church that seeks to be faithful to its calling must ask two questions: 1) What is our plan for making disciples? and 2) Is it working?
Willard’s questions have haunted the Western church for the past two decades since he proposed them. They’ve certainly haunted me.
But when I talk with pastors about these questions, I’ve noticed that the answers to the questions depend almost entirely on what we mean when we say “discipleship.” So it’s probably worth adding a third question: “How would we know if our plan is working?”
It started out as a great Saturday with my family… and ended with me yelling at my kids and stomping down to the basement to watch sports alone.
And it’s all part of what God is doing in my life right now. Part of the way I am learning to follow Jesus more closely as a disciple.
When I was 27 years old I was offered what I thought was my ministry dream job. I was hired as a team leader for the one of the largest churches in the country.
I had a great corner office and oversaw over 80 staff. I was preaching every week to thousands of people, and the ministry grew numerically year after year.