I was reading a blog written by my cousin who pastors in Wray, CO, and was struck again by the sad state of discipleship in our churches today. I believe most Christians have been forced into one of two molds when it comes to their discipleship. First, they innately believe they have become a disciple at the moment of conversion. Second, they take a course, read a book, or sign a form and declare themselves discipled.
The basic form of pop Christian culture today encourages these kinds of views. Your book and/or program will sell if it has a measurable goal, can be achieved in a certain time-frame, and is easy to implement-none of which describe biblical discipleship.
In the blog linked above Steve quotes an interview with Dallas Willard in which he says the teacher/student relationship is basically nonexistent. Not only do most evangelical Christians have a basic suspicion of education (which translates into a suspicion of teachers), but in general they shy away from things which take a concerted effort over time. On top of that, the value of an educated pastor has gone steadily down hill. Evangelicalism has replaced training and mentoring with zeal and charisma. Ironically, Proverbs 19:2 warns us against this very thing, “It is not good to have zeal without knowledge, nor to be hasty and miss the way.”