Friday, January 22, 2010

Guest Blogger: Jess Bousa "The Discipleship Dare"

My friend Jess Bousa (he and I were in Teen Challenge together, and were room mates at Valley Forge Christian College) has written a book called the Discipleship Dare. Like Jess, I am convinced that discipleship––genuine discipleship, is perhaps the greatest need in the Church today. Many thousands of college students, in American and around the world leave the Christian faith every year, not because the arguments against Christianity are better than those for it, but because Christianity has never really become their faith. We hope to one day use this book as a resource in Zambia for youth discipleship. Check out the link for the The Discipleship Dare below, and consider if this might be helpful to you, your church, or someone you know. God bless you as you follow Christ.
By Jess Bousa (Guest Blogger), author of The Discipleship Dare: Living Dangerously for God

The American Church is in the middle of a discipleship crisis. In Dallas Willard’s book, The Great Omission, he concludes that the Church is full of undiscipled disciples. Instead of making disciples, we have made converts and instead of baptizing them into the Trinitarian community, we have baptized them into church membership. When the discipleship process is reduced down to converts and church membership, it often takes the real challenge out of following Jesus through our everyday lives. Without the challenge to be pushed to the Biblical standard of discipleship, the world will be full of unChristian Christians, which is the general consensus of outsiders to the Christian faith the Barna Group discovered in their extensive research project reported in the book,UnChristian.

Marines are challenged to thrive not only survive at all times no matter the costs. Every year approximately 38,000 Marines receive their basic training, which is far more challenging than any other branch of the military. Most Marines testify that going through the twelve weeks of boot camp to gain entrance into the Marines is the most challenging thing they ever had to do in their lives. There is no such thing as an unMarine Marine. If the Marines were filled with such a person, they would not be known as being the most elite armed forces in the Military. Their reputation is the result of their training process. Without a training process that challenges every area of life, they would not perform the tasks necessary.

The process determines the product. What if the process of training disciples in the local church has been sidetracked as a result of mass producing discipleship for the crowds? What if discipleship starts and ends with the personal development of a few? Without a tool that builds a bridge from the preaching and teaching in the local church to the real life of a disciple through the week, “real disciples” will continue to be sidelined.

To combat the discipleship crisis in the American Church, I created an experience called: The Discipleship Dare. It is a journey that lasts for 40 days. It can be used alone or in the context of a group. I designed it to jumpstart the lifestyle of a new disciple or revive the lifestyle of a veteran disciple. It can be used as a companion guide for a sermons series, small groups or Sunday School classes. What if the biggest risk in life is not taking any risks for discipleship? I dare you to experience the 40 day Discipleship Dare challenge and dare others to do the same!

For Free Resources & To Purchase, The Discipleship Dare,

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