Wondering Wednesdays – a church to disciple young people

AstonI am still reflecting on some of the sessions I attended at the IASYM conference earlier this month,  As the Church of England published some thoughts on Developing Discipleship this week it seemed apt to post something today from a paper I heard on disciples developing disciples in youth ministry.  I have included a short extract from the paper which is the one which struck me most.  As a priest as well as a youth worker I spend a lot of time thinking about what sort of church I want to be involved in the shared leadership of.  This description resonated with me a lot, the sort of church we want to be has enormous implications on the way we go about discipleship.  It also seems important to see this as a corporate rather than an individualistic endeavour as South African scholar, Nel talks about what sort of church will make disciples in youth ministry:

“There will always be need for the Church as community called and sent by Jesus. But it will always be called to be a community of inclusive table fellowship and gracious foot washing, a boundary breaking rather than a boundary-maintaining community, and a community of mission more than a corporation of maintenance. But in order to do this faithfully and
well, it will always be in need of repentance and always called to inspire and cultivate a discipleship of equals, because it will always need to remember that Jesus said ‘you also should do as I have done to you’ (John 13:13-15). This I submit is the only authentic way we can be disciples, the only honest way to be missional, and the only appropriate way to be Church” (Gittins 2008:198).

One may say that ‘learning’ and coming to peace with ‘our’ own brokenness is almost a prerequisite for disciple making churches (Malan Nel)


Gittins, Anthony J. (2008). Called to be sent. Co-missioned as disciples today. Liguori, Missouri: Liguori Publications.

Malan Nel Extra-ordinary Professor Dept. of Practical Theology University of Pretoria Pretoria, South Africa

Church of England document: https://www.churchofengland.org/media/2140049/gs%201977%20-%20developing%20discipleship.pdf


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