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Bob Young

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Thanks for visiting the website! This month’s picture is of a group of church leaders, most of them are from newly established churches, Neyba, Dominican Republic, March 2019. [Click picture to enlarge.]

Haitian church leaders

Ministry and mission work is a team effort -- Jan and I have shared the task of ministry and mission work for over 50 years! (We traveled together to preaching appointments during the year before we were married.) Countless people have encouraged us, supported us, loved us, and prayed for us. In addition to the customary "Brother Bob" or "Hermano Bob," I am also known as dad and papaw. One of my favorite breakfasts is huevos fritos, frijoles, and tortillas, with a good hot sauce and a cup of rich Colombian coffee! My greatest joy in life is being part of the kingdom; my #1 priority is to advance "kingdom things" and to help develop authentic "kingdom people." I seek to share the good news about Jesus everywhere I go, helping people find Jesus and helping people mature as disciples of Jesus. One of the greatest blessings of my life is to be loved by countless people around the world!


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May 2019

Upcoming Mission and Ministry Schedule

  • May 3-5: Evangelistic campaign, Madill iglesia de Cristo, Madill, OK
  • May 10-20: Mission Trip to El Salvador (Miramonte, San Salvador) and Honduras (Baxter Seminar)
  • May 28-June 8: Preaching, teaching, mission visits, Nashville, TN; Lexington, KY; Michigan; Missouri
  • July 11-31: Mission trip to southern Colombia (Pasto, Túquerres, Cumbal, Ipiales) and northern Ecuador (Tulcán, Pilanquí-Ibarra, other sites as possible)
  • Listings with specific dates are confirmed. I hope that you will attend an event when I am in your area (or perhaps we can share some time together). Contact me for specific details of events listed or to schedule an event. A few open dates for shorter activities remain on my 2019 Calendar.

    Barriers to Effective Discipling

    Note: the original three-page article is summarized here; a link to the entire article appears at the bottom of this page.

    Looking at the state of the contemporary church, there is little doubt that there is a great need for Christians to be discipled. "Disciple" as a verb reflects the basic meaning of the word: teaching and learning. A disciple is a learner. "Discipling" refers to the teaching that is necessary to help Christ-followers develop as genuine disciples of Jesus. The early church was involved in evangelism, discipleship, sharing with other believers, worship, and ministry. "They persevered in teaching and learning the teachings of the apostles, fellowship, breaking bread and praying" (Acts 2:42). They cared for one another (Acts 2:45). These descriptions of the first disciples tell us what they did and that they did it continually and sacrificially. They grew in fruitfulness and maturity.

    Discipleship is a great need in the church of today. New Christians need to learn how to be committed followers of Jesus. Jesus described the process of making disciples as baptizing and teaching (Matt. 28:18-20). New Christians need additional teaching that is specifically focused on increasing their understanding of the teachings of Scripture. Many who have been Christians for a while have quit growing spiritually and need encouragement toward continued spiritual growth. All Christians need to experience personal care. Most could benefit from relationships with other Christians that are specifically designed to nurture every believer toward maturity and fruitfulness.

    Discipling begins with the spiritual leaders. The Bible places the first responsibility for discipling squarely on the shoulders of leaders--evangelists and elders (Eph. 4:12-16). Yet very few church leaders today have a well-defined, active plan for discipling the members God has placed in their charge. Few church leaders are actively discipling others. Many church leaders do not have a plan for preparing and involving every member in the ministry of the church. The activity of many church members is limited to attending worship. How unlike the early church! All of the members in the early church were involved in learning and teaching -- evangelism and discipling, sharing with others, worship, and service.

    Why do church leaders and churches struggle with effective discipling? This article suggests twelve potential problem areas. Each of these is explained in more detail in the article.

    • Discipleship is not built into the DNA of many local churches
    • Contemporary culture works against transparent, vulnerable relationships
    • The culture has developed a consumer attitude toward church and religion and the church has bought into the cultural view
    • The church functions and looks like a secular organization
    • People, including many Christians, do not want others to interfere with their personal lives
    • The church has encouraged a version of "openness" that does not depend on discipling relationships
    • Many church leaders are not willing to invest the time and commitment that discipling requires
    • Discipling can be frustrating
    • Discipling is spiritually taxing
    • Discipling requires training
    • Effective discipling in a local church requires planning
    • Effective discipling is intentional


    This article is available in PDF format at: Barriers to Effective Discipling

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