student ministry, youth worker, youth ministry

Scrub Brush Christianity

By Doug Franklin February 27, 2013

Shallow roots produces scrub brushes. If we think discipleship is a small group program we are likely to produce students with shallow roots. We have to evaluate what we are teaching students; is it topical subject matter that peaks students’ interest or is it the Christ-centered gospel? I think small groups is a great way to build mentoring relationships between mature and immature believers but in and of itself it’s not discipleship. Being a disciple of Christ requires us to live like Christ, in how we speak, act and care for others. It is part head knowledge and part action.

If students are not producing fruit by the time they graduate high school what are their chances of leaving college still walking as a disciple of Christ?

When was the last time you evaluated how your discipleship program was working? Is your program really making disciples or are you playing youth ministry? If you are not sure how to evaluate then use these three questions to get an idea of where your program is at:

1. Are your students sacrificing for Christ?
Have they put aside personal preference for the sake of the gospel? Are they looking for ways to meet the needs of those with less than them? Will they defend their faith when their friends campaign for “there are many ways to heaven”?

2. Are your students reaching the lost?
Too often I see students who are willing to bring their friends to church but don’t know how to bring their friends to Jesus. Can your students articulate their faith and why sin needs to be forgiven?

3. Can your students feed themselves?
Spiritual maturity is being able to grow closer to Christ on your own. Do your students know how to open the Bible, study it and make applications for their life? Do they have a desire to grow closer to God?

These are tough questions. Don’t think that students can’t do these things, because they can, I have seen it. Students will rise to the challenge we give them. Where have you set the bar? Are you calling students to discipleship or are you asking them to come to your program at church? In Luke 9:23-27 Jesus lays out the cost of being a disciple. Use it as a blueprint to develop your discipleship program.


About the Author

Doug Franklin

Doug Franklin is the president of LeaderTreks, an innovative leadership development organization focusing on students and youth workers. Doug and his wife, Angie, live in West Chicago, Illinois. They don’t have any kids, but they have 2 dogs that think they are children. Diesel and Penelope are Weimaraners  who never leave their side. Doug grew up in…  Read More