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Altizer, Jim

Making Disciples

by Jim Altizer, D.W.S.

Do the services I plan help to make disciples?  It’s a hard question to answer, but since Jesus’ parting shot was to “go make disciples,” I thought I should at least ask. Robert Webber said that, ultimately, we must judge our services by their content, rather than by their style.  So . . . what’s the content of the services I plan?

I’ll assume that whoever is preaching is staying close to the Book, and telling it straight, but what about the rest . . . is THAT stuff contributing to the making of disciples?  Are my people acknowledging Christ in others, or just shaking hands?  Are their corporate prayers full of truth, confession, belief and thanksgiving, or just petition?  Do I design opportunities for worshipers to actually offer themselves, or just throw some money into the bag?  Have I figured out orderly ways for my people to minister to one another, or just be nice to each other?  Is Communion really communal; Eucharist really thanksgiving?  I mean, we Protestants are so proud that we don’t represent Christ as still hanging on the cross, so why do my Communion services feel so much like a funeral?