Jesus built a movement on 12 disciples, not 12 consumers.
That quote was thrown out at a recent conference. The challenge was for church leaders to get their congregation beyond simply consuming for an hour each weekend. Consumers give little back and eventually burn out a leadership team.
James said faith without works is dead, and Christ called us to be disciples. But what is a disciple?
I appreciate Rob Bell’s take on it in a recent Neue magazine article. A disciple is fundamentally an apprentice and a learner. So we should evolve, grow, mutate, transform, and move to higher stages of consciousness. We should move from egocentric (about my needs), to tribal ethnocentric (about my family or church’s needs), to world centric (beyond my selfish interests). If we’re not moving through these stages, something is wrong.
My friend Rex Miller says that only 17% of a typical church congregation is pulling the church forward. Does that mean that 83% haven’t grown beyond the egocentric stage? And does the fact that most churches in America are stagnated at less than 100 members suggest that the church at large may be stuck somewhere in the egocentric or tribal ethnocentric stages?
Which leads to another provoking question….in which stage are you and I?