(because most days you will find me in a robe, kneeling in front of a skull and with a yellow plate stuck to the back of my head)
I got a link to this site a few weeks back. It is not from my usual ‘gotee wearing, pierced, AppleMac, organic, ground coffee drinking emerging church’ sources, but from something that is more Orthodox and ‘high’. That alone makes me think. It perhaps sets up too many ‘either/or’ dichotomies (life is greyer), and I don’t agree with all of it, but maybe because of that it provokes a deeper reaction.
‘A crippling blow to Christianity over the centuries, and to our time in particular, has been the whole-sale adoption by the Church of membership-based Christianity versus discipleship-based Christianity…..
So what’s the difference between discipleship-based and membership-based Christianity? Well, in a nutshell, discipleship based Christianity is about a way of life, whereas membership based Christianity is more of an event-based religion (i.e. going to church). Let me illustrate the differences between these two by some general truths about disciples and church goers. This list was compiled by an Episcopal priest who has spent thirty years studying the differences between discipleship and membership based Christianity.
1. Church goers are more influenced by culture; Disciples are more influenced by the Kingdom of God.
2. Churchgoers are more connected to God by ritual and the institution; Disciples are more connected to God by a relationship.
3. Churchgoers tend to be autonomous in their faith journey; Disciples tend to be held accountable in their faith journey.
4. Church goers view their faith as a matter of individual convenience; Disciples view their faith with a high level of commitment.
5. Churchgoers remain individualistic, independent, and self-centered; Disciples pursue community, interdependence, and are Christ Centered.
6. Churchgoers focus on church work as the major emphasis; Disciples focus on the ministry of the church in the world.
7. Churchgoers are governed more by the natural realm; Disciples are more governed by the supernatural realm.
8. Churchgoers are content with maintance; Disciples are driven by mission and the great commission.
9. Churchgoers are dependent on clergy for ministry; Disciples are dependent on the body of Christ for ministry.
10. Churchgoers look to develop programs; Disciples look to develop ministries.
11. Churchgoers consider themselves owners of material possessions; Disciples consider themselves stewards of material possessions.
12. Churchgoers are content to give according to their own standard; disciples are committed to the tithe and get there.
13. Churchgoers stop with Jesus as Savior; Disciples follow Jesus as Lord.
14. Churchgoers are Sunday only Christians; Disciples are lifestyle Christians’.