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Bona Fide Discipleship: Every Church’s Challenge

Bona Fide. 

It translates as “good faith”.  Can faith be anything else?  Jesus thought so.

Idolatry and even atheism are kinds of faith. Do you know anyone who argues that all organized religion is hype? To me, if the church is not missional, is that good faith? Good for what? The whole movement towards “missional church” was a prayer that churches might again hear the call of the gospel, and repent of the cultural consumerism that now characterizes so many churches. Result? We became more adept at marketing the concept of missional. This is not bona fide.  

A church planter’s task is to make disciples: bona fide followers of Jesus. What is God showing us about disciples being bona fide? How do they get that way? Until we have  very specific clarity on that, we can’t plant “good faith” churches.

Anyone called to Jesus, called to ministry, or called to church planting wants church to be bona fide. There are some people who don’t go to church who will when they see people who live under the leading of Jesus. So Alex McManus writes that one aspect of discipleship is always attraction.

  Not attractions: the curious things we do to draw a crowd, but attraction as in     . . .    “How amazing. These people are bona fide.”

So this post is hopefully going to be a spring-board, and I will invite several pastors and church planters to share what has helped them best understand this task. Making Disciples… What approach has God impressed upon you and your church, to helping others live in good faith, and do it well?