Many Christians feel too busy for discipleship, even though they say they are interested in it.

A recent study by the Barna Institute [] dispelled the myth that the main reason Christians are not involved in discipleship is a lack of time. In fact, those who are already involved in discipleship communities tend to be just as busy as those who are not. The real reason, according to the article, is a lack of prioritization.

This lack of prioritization can stem from a number of factors, including:

  • A belief that discipleship is only for a select few. Many Christians believe that discipleship is something that only pastors,missionaries, or other “spiritual leaders” should be involved in. This belief can discourage ordinary Christians from getting involved.

Jesus Himself shattered the “select few” myth. He didn’t reserve His teachings for an elite clergy, but called ordinary people like fishermen and tax collectors to be His disciples (Matthew 4:18-22). In Luke 9:23, He declares, “Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me.” This is not an exclusive invitation, but a universal call to a life transformed.

  • A lack of understanding of what discipleship is. Some Christians may have a vague or negative understanding of discipleship. They may see it as something boring, legalistic, or even cultish. This lack of understanding can make them less likely to want to get involved.

  • A fear of commitment. Discipleship requires a commitment of time, energy, and resources. Some Christians may be hesitant to make this commitment, especially if they are already busy with other things.

The fear of commitment can be quelled by remembering the blessings that follow. Discipleship isn’t a burden, but a shared yoke, made lighter by Christ’s promise in Matthew 11:28-30: “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.” True, discipleship demands sacrifice, but the rewards far outweigh the cost.

The study goes on to highlight the benefits of discipleship, both for individuals and for the church as a whole. Among them:

  • Spiritual growth. Discipleship provides a supportive environment for Christians to grow in their faith.

  • Community. Discipleship helps Christians to connect with other believers and build meaningful relationships.

  • Service. Discipleship equips Christians to serve others in their communities and around the world.

Barna’s study concludes by calling on Christians to make discipleship a priority in their lives. It suggests that the key to involvement is a willingness to commit. Christians who are willing to make this commitment will find that discipleship is a rewarding and enriching experience.

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Jeff Hagen
President & Founder
Hill Cities, Inc.

3 Replies to “Are We Too Busy for Discipleship?”

  1. I think the fear of not wanting to do it wrong is probably stopping a lot of people. Equipping and training followers of Jesus is important. What is the function of the church?

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