The “Brave New World” of the 21st Century requires a “Brave New Discipleship” strategy.

The Marks of 21st Century Discipleship

Posted on: May 05, 2015

What some spiritual resources are going to have to look like in the 21st Century.

On this website, you will see an approach to discipleship that, I believe, is going to be essential for spiritual success as we move deeper into the 21st century.

Many people agree that the church seems to be losing the discipleship mandate. There seem to be a number of reasons why.

6 Reasons for the Decline of Christian Discipleship in the “Brave New World” of the 21st Century

  • Cultural deterioration, affecting the church as well as the world, makes discipleship and the cost of discipleship, less appealing to many rank and file Christians.
  • The surge of electronic media makes traditional discipleship methodology less appealing.
  • New and serious problems today have come up so suddenly that they have outpaced the ability of many Christians to speak effectively to them.
  • The national loss of general biblical knowledge and understanding is so great that we must start at a very basic level.
  • The difference between people with no biblical background and those with a strong biblical background is so pronounced, you often cannot talk to both of them at the same time. You overwhelm one or bore the other.
  • Some churches have bent over backward so far to make church “easy” for people that they cannot now make any demands on their congregations without alienating them. What they won them “with” is what they have won them “to.”

These are not all the reasons. I just wrote these obvious ones off the top of my head. These tell me that discipleship today, if it wants to reach the broadest number of people possible, must find a way of accommodating these realities without dumbing down the process so far that it doesn’t work.

Given these realities, discipleship curriculum that is going to be effective for a broad number of people today must have several characteristics:

  • At the basic, most foundational level, it must be video based. Otherwise, a broad percentage of people are likely not to participate.
  • At the same time, it must not replace other more stringent and personal discipleship systems, but rather, prepare the disciple for them.
  • It must be entertaining, yet also educate and edify, not merely entertain.
  • It must be helpful for beginners as well as veterans. Even the veterans are sometimes not as far along, spiritually, as we might think.
  • It must be flexible, easy to facilitate, and spiritually compelling. It must answer questions people are actually asking.

With the “shallow-ization” of the Church that has already occurred in this “Brave New World”, if we don’t begin using a more effective way of discipling younger generations as we move deeper into the 21st Century, Christianity in the U.S. may soon be a skeleton of its former self. The Brave New Discipleship System is one step in that direction, with many more steps planned, as God allows. In the days ahead I will be discussing these discipleship realities further and what I believe can and should be done to maximize the potential for spiritual growth in the followers of Jesus. I’ll blog on Tuesdays. I hope you’ll join us.

If you know someone you think may find this blog valuable, please share it with them. I am always glad to hear from readers, and you can write to me at I will not be able to reply to all emails, but I will answer some, and I may address in future blogs the questions/issues you raise.