Speaker and author Ajith Fernando weighed in on the “discipleship crisis” currently enveloping the Church and shared how pastors and ministry leaders can better set a culture of discipling within the Body of Christ.
In a recent episode of The Crossway Podcast, Fernando, a seasoned ministry leader and author of Discipling in a Multicultural World, said he began to realize that “unless you really invest in individuals — get into their lives — very often change towards Christlikeness doesn’t really take place.”
“I think there is discipling happening, and that’s something that we can thank God for,” Fernando told host Matt Tully. “But I think we have to also remember that discipling today is culturally quite incompatible with the way our world is moving. We are in a very busy world with shallow relationships and the type of commitment that a discipling relationship requires is culturally not all that compatible.”
Many people find discipling “inconvenient,” Fernando argued, as “discipling involves getting involved in people’s lives, in their problems, in struggling with them.”
“So that’s one aspect — our culture is not so friendly with the type of commitment that discipling requires,” he explained.
The type of spiritual accountability that discipling requires — where people are willing to open up and talk about their own lives — is also “incompatible with our current culture,” he said.
“We decide what we are going to share with people. Of course, we do share a lot on social media, but things that are very personal to us we don’t share that much with others.”
“And so culturally, again, that’s a block that we have,” he continued. “And this is very serious today because people have a very private life, especially on the internet. It’s so important that they have help with regard to their private life. Otherwise, they could get into habits that could be very destructive for them. But there is this threat that somebody is going to invade their personal life.”
Fernando, who served as the national director of Youth for Christ in Sri Lanka for 35 years, stressed the importance of accountability between Christians, especially in the age of the internet.
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SOURCE: Christian Post, Leah MarieAnn Klett