Discipleship - a patient acquisition of virtue
Been thinking a lot lately about what discipleship should look like within the context of a local church. How exactly does a church help facilitate the spiritual growth of people, without unwittingly creating a culture of consumerism in which people expect to receive but are never challenged to contribute? Well, we're working on some answers, but I wanted to share a quote from a book I am re-reading by Eugene Peterson entitled A Long Obedience in the Same Direction. He says:
"It is not difficult in such a world to get a person interested in the message of the gospel; it is terrifically difficult to sustain the interest. Millions of people in our culture make decisions for Christ, but there is a dreadful attrition rate. Many claim to have been born again, but the evidence for mature Christian discipleship is slim. In our kind of culture anything, even news about God, can be sold if it is packaged freshly; but when it loses its novelty, it goes on the garbage heap. There is a great market for religious experience in our world; there is little enthusiasm for the patient acquisition of virtue, little inclination to sign up for a long apprenticeship in what earlier generations of Christians called holiness." [ p.16]
What a statement. As we struggle and strain at CrossPointe to wisely craft a culture of discipleship, pray that God would give us the gift of a sustained enthusiasm for "patient acquisition of virtue."