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Invitation and Challenge

When we read the gospels and observe how Jesus discipled his followers, we see he carefully calibrated two aspects of that relationship - Invitation and Challenge.  A few examples include:

  • Come follow me (the initial invitation to be close to Jesus)
  • Come away to a quiet place (after a busy time of ministry),
  • Being indoors with the disciples explaining the parables

  • I will make you fishers of men (challenge of transformation at the initial call to discipleship),
  • You give them something to eat (challenge to feed the 5000 rather than sending the crowd away)
  • You can't be my disciple unless you take up your cross and follow me

As we seek to be disciples and disciple others, we need to be aware of these important dimensions of the discipling relationship.  With different amounts of each you get different experiences:




We can experience invitation when we get encouragement from people, the chance to hang out together, have fun together, receive prayer, get to talk through issues etc.


We can experience challenge when a person asks us to step outside our comfort zone, a particular area of sinfulness is highlighted for the purpose of being changed, we face new or difficult circumstances.


You might like to think about:

Where are you on this matrix?

Where are the people you help disciple?

Where is our church on this matrix?


Then think about:

What could I do in the next two weeks to help move me, those I'm discipling, or wider church towards the empowered quadrant?

David Wanstall, 01/05/2012