22-0921-Inside Out_ Growing Disciples Like Jesus Did

Around the country, Christians are exiting the Church or adapting the faith to accommodate their preferences. Dennis Allen believes the way to grow resilient, mature disciples is to return to the way Jesus did it.  

“Until leaders, leaders in Christ, until we start changing the culture, to realize what relationship means, and true biblical discipleship means, we’re going to keep Xeroxing brittle Christians,” says Allen, a corporate CEO and the author of the new book The Disciple Dilemma.

“We need to walk alongside each other,” he says. “And we don’t know how to do that well in the church. We know how to go to church, but we don’t know how to walk alongside each other well.” 

We can return to building disciples relationally, the way Jesus did, helping believers see the importance and cost of commitment. But making the change to labor-intensive disciple-building will take time.  

“We like to think in our culture—the American culture—everything’s a microwave pizza. The reality of this is it’s more of a greenhouse model. Leadership needs to make that richer, fuller soil, to raise up disciples. So if you were raising up plants, bushes, and trees, that’s not an overnight moment, that’s not one sermon, not one program.” 

This isn’t a church culture change that rests on the shoulders of leadership alone. The people in the pews are key to helping to grow Jesus-dedicated disciples.   

“We owe these wonderful followers of Christ who are leading us great respect, love, and support,” Allen says. “And what we do not owe them is a spectator in the pew. We owe them coming up and saying, “Put me in, Coach.” 

Hear my conversation with Dennis Allen by listening to this 8.5-minute podcast.  

Learn more about Dennis Allen and his book  The Disciple Dilemma here.