For the last few days, and for a few more to come, I have been taking a crash course in German reading. This class only lasts 8 days total, and the last day is taken up by the proficiency exam. So, in 7 days, we are supposed to learn how to read theological German. Now, it is true that we previously had to take and pass a semester-long course (approx 10 weeks) in German syntax and grammar. But, still, this is a very intensive introduction to a very complex language.
I also took two intensive courses in Greek a few years ago. Those two courses lasted 6 weeks (3 hours per day, 5 days per week, for a total of 75 hours). I learned Greek. But, in the long run, my learning Greek had little to do with those first 6 weeks of intensive introduction to the language. How did I learn Greek? I learned it my using it, translating it, studying it, etc. for the next two or three years – and I’m still learning it.
This reminded me of a conversation about discipleship that I had a few days ago with someone. In many contexts, discipleship is seen as an intensive 8 week (okay, maybe 12 week) program. A group of people get together to read a book or work through study material or watch a video series. Unfortunately, this has been called discipleship.
But, is this discipleship? I believe discipleship is much more like my experience with Greek than with my experience (so far) with German. Discipleship is a process that involves much more than imparting information – as important as that information may be.
Originally, I had planned to write this one post about discipleship. But, this is going to turn into a series. I hope to examine what Scripture says about discipleship. I look forward to interacting with you in this series. So, begin thinking now about discipleship. What is it? Who does it? How do we do it? When do we do it? What are some other questions that we need to discuss concerning discipleship?