Sunday, March 22, 2009

New Model

Aaron at The Road Less Traveled made a post about Bible colleges and their necessity a few days ago. It has generated a great discussion with many contributors. I think it is a discussion we need to be having. Below are some of my comments I posted there. Please check out the entire discussion...

I think that if at the end of this discussion we only come up with, "We need to reform our Bible colleges and do it better," and "We need to change our churches and do it better," then in the end nothing will change very much. Guys, we aren't the first ones to see weaknesses in both Bible colleges and churches. People have been saying these things for years.

I think what is needed is a new model. Both for Bible college and for church. (Aaron understands new models for church!) I think we should start new churches that have in them a training (discipleship) program. In fact, I think that "program" might just be the way to start a new church. I wrote a lot about Jesus' model for discipleship in my blog, The Koffi House. I won't repeat it here in the comments of Aaron's blog, but you can check it out if you like. I do think that a good discipleship training program should have a major focus on our behavior, understanding and ability and a minor focus on academic knowledge, not the other way around.

Yes, we will always have our Christian liberal arts schools and other colleges that are progressing in that direction. Some may want to study theology and get their PhD's from those institutions. God bless them. We don't have to dismantle those things in order to start a new model. But what we are going for here is something that will...

  1. Be reproducible (meaning virtually every church could copy it).
  2. Demolish the clergy/laity distinction that is upheld by our current models of both church and Bible college.
  3. Be accessible to all kinds of Christians, in any location, who aren't quitting their jobs to go to Bible college.
  4. Train people to live, love and talk like Jesus, not like the Pharisees.
  5. Infiltrate non-Christian communities with our disciples (and disciplers) rather than isolate the disciples from the larger non-Christian community, only sending them on “forays” into that world.


  1. I tend to agree except that a big part of the model should be "adapt" instead of copy. I'm very excited about the things we are working on in the community I live in. The Youth ministries are starting to work together in many different areas. Right now I am working with another church to form a worship band that will travel between our churches.

    Unity is extremely important to a properly functioning body, and this is more than just unity within a local church building and affiliated Christians. We need unity between churches.

    We are working on establishing much of what you are talking about but the one's of us at the core of this are also taking notes about the key ideas that should be replicated into every church community (as opposed to community church) so that if anyone wants to replicate what we are doing because it is successful we can try to make it clear that the exact model as it appears is not the things to be copied, but rather the key points and then adapt the rest.

  2. "Train people to live, love and talk like Jesus, not like the Pharisees." - if by "train" you mean disciple, then yes. Certain things can only be taught if the capacity is there in the first place. (Does that make sense? It did in my head.)

  3. Yes, disciple. You make perfect sense. Here in The Location we have a country teeming with parrots of a certain political persuasion. It's pretty sad when you hear parrots talk and know that they have never once processed these ideas conceptually.