‘God is not pleased,’ warned Stott, ‘with superficial discipleship.’

D. Shallow growth:  At the First International Consultation on Discipleship, held last month on England’s scenic South Coast, John R. W. Stott called attention to the ‘strange and disturbing paradox’ of the contemporary Christian situation: We have experienced enormous statistical growth, he said, without corresponding growth in discipleship. ‘God is not pleased,’ warned Stott, ‘with superficial discipleship.’ Theologian Tokunboh Adeyemo called attention to this same paradox on his continent, where the phenomenal numerical growth of Christianity is matched only by the mind-boggling butchery of Christians engaging in the horrors of ethnic cleansing. ‘The church in Africa,’ said Adeyemo, ‘is one mile long, but only one inch deep.’[1]





[1] The quote is a selection from David O. Kueker’s Fuller Seminary Doctor of Ministry project submitted in September, 2007, entitled Diagnosis, Dialogue, and Decision: A Threefold Process of Revitalization For the Illinois Great Rivers Conference.
It is shared here in recognition of its 12th Anniversary along with comments to update and provide perspective on the material. The original project was a Training Manual/Study Guide of three Seminars supported by three chapters of research and an Introduction. The material is available for download at www.disciplewalk.com/Resources.html. In 2009 it was provided for purchase as a softcover book entitled Designing Discipleship Systems: Christian Disciple Making For Any Size Church, Any Theology through CreateSpace.com.

[2][3] [4][5] [6][7] [8]

All Scripture quotations are from the Revised Standard Version of the Bible, copyright © 1946, 1952, and 1971 National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved. Please review the page How and Why We Use Quotes.

[1]John Stott, “Make Disciples, Not Just Converts,” Christianity Today, October 25, 1999, 28. Cf. David P. Gushee, “Church Failure: Remembering Rwanda,” Christian Century, April 20, 2004.

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