I don’t want to undervalue the necessity of people making a “decision” to follow Jesus as Lord, but I think it’s somewhat true that there’s a prevalent ideology at work in many churches that simply wants to get someone to “make a profession” or raise their hand as an indication that they want to “get saved.” I’ve been in churches that specifically emphasized that very thing. I’ve also participated in evangelistic “crusades” that tended to lean in the direction of simply getting people to do something to inform the event planners of “success.” So while I’m not downplaying the very real choices that people make regarding their relationship with God through Christ, I want to see a greater emphasis on the aspect of disciple-making. I want to see people committed to the process of living out the implications of the gospel. This is why I love Jason Meyer’s quote here:
“It is indeed a sad reality when the church of Jesus Christ under the new covenant looks and lives too much like the people of Israel under the old covenant. But this problem does not reveal any weakness of the new covenant. Much of the blame should squarely rest on evangelistic practices and membership policies and procedures, not the new covenant. Too many churches put too much emphasis on “getting decisions” and not enough emphasis on “making disciples.” The emphasis evident in the Great Commission clearly stresses discipleship: “Go, therefore, and make disciples of all nations” (Matt 28:19). Stress is also placed on the empowering presence of Christ to make discipleship a reality: Christ has all authority (Matt 28:18) and believers enjoy His presence (Matt 28:20).” (The End of the Law).
Luke is a pastor-theologian living in northern California, serving as a co-lead pastor with his life, Dawn, at the Red Bluff Vineyard. Father of five amazing kids, when Luke isn’t hanging with his family, reading or writing theology, he moonlights as a fly fishing guide for Confluence Outfitters. He blogs regularly at LukeGeraty.com and regularly contributes to his YouTube channel.