So how can we have horse churches that reproduce like rabbits and produce duckling’s . . . and not produce more “mile wide, inch deep” Christianity? [If you are wondering about what in the world is up with horses, rabbits and ducklings, see entry below.]
Curtis Sergeant shared several keys with us last week in our South Africa meetings—here are my top take-aways.
One, new believers should immediately be taught how to share the gospel, and also to make a list of 50 people they would like to share with. Like a day or two after they trust Christ. Then helped to do that, and held accountable to do it.
Two, they should be taught to be self-feeding. Meaning they immediately need to be taught how to read, understand and obey the Bible. Not just tell them about the Bible. But teach them how to get into it for themselves And learn how to pray for themselves.
Three, practice dual accountability. This means 1) obey what they learn and 2) immediately teach it to someone else. That’s the duckling principle put into practice. If they don’t obey lesson 1 and teach it to someone else, don’t give them lesson 2 until they do. Radical? Or simply Biblical?
“But wait,” one leader asked, “doesn’t this open the door to heresy and problems if you turn so much responsibility over to new believers?”
Curtis’ answer made me smile with agreement., as well as everyone else. “If you look at church history, every heresy has been introduced by those with advanced theological training. There is not much temptation to put the opinion of a poorly educated person over the plain words of Scripture.” He went on to say that of course more education is important, but that should not delay sending out a new believers to share with his friends, and then teaching them whatever lesson he just learned. And someone should stick with them to disciple them to help them stay on course.
Another African leader posed this question. Which church is healthier? One with 3,000 people who worship together each weekend, but do little else during the week? Or a church of 300 with 80% of its members ministering in some way during the week?
As I stew over these challenging concepts (which are so thoroughly Biblical), I wonder if maybe the US many times is a mile wide and an inch deep?
What do you think? Or more importantly, what could you do about it? Would love for you to leave a comment.