I recently had the opportunity to connect with an amazing team of church planters. They were spending the day together praying, sharing stories and learning about how to multiply disciples as they planted new communities of faith. One of their leaders asked me to stop by and introduce myself. As we were talking about how important it is to cultivate a healthy, Jesus-centered culture from the very beginning of any new church plant, our conversation began to focus on how important it is to invest time into growing healthy leaders.
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Making disciples is messy. Looking at the apostles’ letters to the churches, or Paul’s letters to his spiritual sons, we see the early church fathers grappling with a wide range of issues that would hold believers back from becoming more like Jesus—blatant sin, faulty doctrines, false teachers, lack of faith, and many more. At one point, in response to the unbelief and perversion in His own generation, Jesus even asked, “How much longer do I have to be with you before you get it?”
As a disciple maker living out the Great Commission, it can often feel discouraging to pour so much of your life into a person or group of people, so much time and energy and prayer, only to watch them get entangled in the same sin again, struggling with the same character issues, running into the same wall. Luckily for us, Jesus Christ didn’t come for perfect people.