The last several days have seen my feelings about mentoring and discipleship change slightly. In PT 1 of this post I contended that mentoring and discipleship were two different things. Mostly I stated that because of how I see the church perceiving discipleship. In fact, I think the church misunderstands discipleship. So many churches view discipleship as the same as their small group ministry or mens group. Or, perhaps worse yet, view their membership classes as the same as discipleship.
This is woeful and should be stopped immediately. Jesus told us to make disciples, baptizing them in the Name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost. True discipleship starts at the moment of conversion and goes on through much of life, certainly until the disciple is ready to work on his/her own.
I've been honestly so frustrated in the last several years at what I saw was a gross misrepresentation of what Christ wanted from Christians. People treat the word discipleship like it's a catch-phrase, not a way of life. It's so frustrating.
Thanks be to God and my loyal readers! I believe I understand better what it means to do both mentoring and discipleship. The bottom line is that, if the discipleship is true to nature and follows what God and the fathers suggested, then it is legitimate and the same as mentoring. In fact it's a better word to use. It only becomes an issue when churches misuse the concept of discipling that we need a new word (or rather a reconfigured word) to make things work.
Clear as mud? Good.