Confusing Evangelism and Discipleship
The caricature is so tired it’s wearisome to even bring it up, but it’s so prevalent, we must:
“If you emphasize evangelism, you must not be doing discipleship.”
This is such a patently ridiculous idea it’s almost not worth spending energy to dismiss. If it were true, then Jesus lied, for He is the one who said that not only were we to do both, but that both must co-exist in the church. The Great Commission makes it clear that we are to do both evangelism and discipleship. Doing one does not automatically negate the other.
Even more, if you aren’t doing evangelism, you won’t have anyone to disciple! And the goal of discipleship, if I understand the New Testament, is to be able to turn around and invest in the evangelistic mission! So without discipleship, there won’t be any evangelism.
All to say, it’s not an “either-or,” but a “both-and.” And a very important “both-and.”
So why the tension?
Why the snide dismissals of evangelistically-oriented churches as if it’s inherent that if they are reaching high percentages of unchurched people they must be either a) abandoning orthodoxy, or b) sacrificing discipleship?
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