the weblog of Alan Knox

Discipling those who are not interested in being discipled

Posted by on Mar 31, 2010 in discipleship | 7 comments

I’ve noticed that some churches expend great amounts of time, energy, and resources trying to disciple people who are not interested in being discipled.

And, I wonder, is this a good thing? How much time, energy, and resources should we (as a church and as individuals) spend on people who are content where they are and are not really interested in maturing in Christ any further?


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  1. 3-31-2010

    It gets worse, I think. I’ve known many folks who seem to be hooked on the discipling process, much as some get hooked on attending conferences or devouring books on a subject. But nothing much results, except that in each case an industry (or a church program) grows up around feeding their desires.

  2. 3-31-2010

    I’m not sure we can find a single example of the Lord chasing after someone who was indifferent, but there are plenty of examples of Him giving people ample opportunity to leave (including asking the disciples, “will you also go away?”).

    Paul told Timothy to work with “faithful” men (II Tim 2:2) who would continue the cycle.

  3. 3-31-2010


    You’re right. There are many, many people who are hooked on “discipleship,” but are not discipled.


    I think you’re right.


  4. 3-31-2010


    I was discussing this with a friend about an hour ago. The context was this: I asked when she had last attended church regularly. That was just a casual question that came up in conversation. She admitted that she had not attended regularly since high school. She also said she had attended on a few occasions since then. I ask her what prompted her to attend. At first she was hesitant, than she confessed she attended as the result of several invitations. I asked her if she really wanted to go. She said no. She also said she was tired of people asking her to join their church.

    Will we likely have further conversations on the topic? I’m sure of it. Will I push the issue beyond telling her what Scripture says and letting her know I am always available to answer any questions. I don’t see any benefit to that.


  5. 3-31-2010

    I have had two guys that I’ve been spending some time with for about a year now. One I have recently decided to hang out with less frequently…he’s “content” with his life and it appears that until something or someone draws him toward something more, he’ll stick with what he’s got. Every time I think it’s time to move on from the other guy, he asks some questions or we talk about his religious past. All I can say is, I believe that God has moved me on from one of them, the other I’m not sure yet. So, until I sense that God is telling me it’s time to move on I’ll keep having lunch with him every week or so…

    Will it result in fruit? I don’t know, Jesus said He would build His Church so it’s really not my job. I’m just trying to be faithful to be salt and light.

  6. 4-1-2010

    Jeff and Brandon (and others),

    How do you decide when it is time to move on? How much time, energy, and resources should leaders (especially) expend on trying to get people interested in growing in Christ?


  7. 4-1-2010

    It also depends on whether the “discipling process” is any good. “Oh, here they come with that thing again.”