“Contrary to what some might think, discipleship is not the engine of the church. The gospel is. Without the gospel, both discipleship and church fail. Without the driving force of the gospel, discipleship devolves into self-help religiosity motivated by conservative pietism. The church is reduced to a glorified non-profit in which people lose interest. But the gospel reactivates both church and discipleship!
The good news that Jesus has defeated sin, death, and evil through his own death and resurrection and is making all things new, even us, changes everything! In the gospel, God in Christ welcomes sinners and sends out disciples. The gospel, not discipleship, is central to the church. If we make discipleship the engine of the church, we’ll run quickly out of gas. But when the gospel is central, the church gets traction and disciples get depth.”