A Discipleship Reformation
|Written by Patrick Morley|
|Monday, November 17 2003 10:06|
America has so many problems: divorce, fatherlessness, unwed mothers, drugs, alcoholism, abortion, crime, suicide, poverty, truancy, cheating, disrespect for authority…the list seems endless. Who, or what, is responsible for America’s sad state of affairs? What is the “root” cause of all these problems?
Is it the Individual or the Institution?
Is it corporations exploiting our youth? Is it government deconstructing social justice? Is it media sliming us into a new decadent worldview? Is it the church apathetically letting the culture let it become lukewarm? Is it the family neglecting the moral and religious instruction of its youth?
Institutions don’t make decisions. Individuals make decisions. No, it is not corporations, government, media, or churches that have decimated our families. It is “individuals” in corporations, government, media, and churches that have gutted our families.
Which Individuals—Women, Children, or Men?
What “type” of individuals are we talking about? Is it the women? Every now and then we hear a sensational story about a woman who went berserk and ruined her family. The rarity of such an example, of course, is what makes it so sensational. No, it’s not the women.
Maybe it’s the children? Every now and then we hear about a youth who fractures his family, often by an act of violence. But it is the rarity of such events that make them so newsworthy.
That leaves the men. By and large, it has been men that historically have run the corporations, the governments, the media, and the churches. This is changing, but we are who we are today because of decisions made by our men.
Our Greatest Need and Best Hope
There are 108,000,000 men 15 years of age and older in America, and 42,000,000 of these men profess faith in Christ. Shouldn’t 42,000,000 Christian men have changed the world? Why not? The answer is that only 6,000,000 of these men are involved in ongoing discipleship or spiritual formation. BOTTOM LINE: Only 6 of 108 million men—1 out of every 18 men—understand how to live a Christian life. The rest have not been discipled about how to be Godly men, husbands, and fathers.
This lack of men’s discipleship has decimated the family and our nation.
There are many psychological and sociological studies to explain why we have so many problems in America. Many of these studies offer meaningful insights. By all means, let’s encourage psychologists and sociologists to continue their research. However, let us also get about the systemic work of discipling men to be Godly men, husbands, and fathers.
Do you see any greater need, or any greater opportunity, than for a discipleship reformation within the church?
The survival of our way of life may depend on how we, the church, decide to answer this question.
We call on the church to bring about a discipleship reformation in this generation.
For the glory of Christ and no other reason,