Discipleship is a foundational aspect of the life of a believer. It is necessary for believers to disciple and be discipled. Much of our Church life today is geared toward building membership and, particularly here in the South, high Sunday School attendance. This leads to a great deal of compromise in the local churches and allows for the cutting of corners and watering down of the Gospel.
Jesus told us to go and make disciples, He did not tell us to build grand buildings or develop Sunday School programs. Making disciples means actually investing our own personal time in the life of another person - all week long every week. This means we cannot have our Sunday persona and our weekday persona, this means that we have to be the same person every day.
According to James Brown (no, not the singer) of Christian Discipleship Ministries, only 1 in 3 new young born again believers actually believe that Jesus is the only way to salvation. When we are simply focused on making converts and attempting to be "purpose driven" to the point that we do not want to offend or "push people away" we fail to present difficult truth. Difficult truth does not need to be given harshly or in a commanding way, it can be presented in love. Jesus told the woman caught in adultery "go and sin no more." Jesus did not sugar coat her lifestyle of give her a pass to sin, but He demonstrated love to her and then presented her with the difficult truth. We need to do the same. This can only be done through relationship which is basically discipleship.
If you are a mature believer, you should be actively investing your life in the life of a newer believer - even if it is your own child. Academia, media, entertainment - these are all attacking and contradicting the truth of scripture on a daily basis. We, as older believers must, more so now than ever, recognize that the enemy, Satan, is working overtime to destroy our young people. We need to work overtime to show them that we care about them and teach them God's Word.
The Bible is not a book of guidelines or made up tales with good moral lessons, it is an historical account of God's love for man. It is a book of indisputable truth. When the Bible states emphatically that Jesus is the only way to salvation, it is unconscionable for churches to allow it's young people to believe otherwise.
My challenge is to mature believers to be obedient to Jesus in the great commission and invest in the lives of new believers. Know your Bible, live your Bible, model Christ.