The other day I was skimming through Facebook and saw this ad:
Disciple Fast Track. I had to do a double take. Seeing this add made me stop and consider what the purpose of this program might be. I read a little bit more about it.
“Fast Track … is ideal for busy people who want to fit a comprehensive Bible study into their schedule.”
I no doubt think that the producers of this curriculum have the best intentions. In fact, it looks like it could be something that everyone would benefit from: a 24 session overview of both the Old and New Testaments. But I think the title of the series misses several crucial pieces of discipleship.
Busy lives are counter-productive. You don’t need me to remind you about sabbath. Sabbath is anti-empire. Sabbath makes us acknowledge that we aren’t really in control of anything. Instead of producing curriculum to meet the needs of busy lives, why not invite people to reorient their lives into something more holistic?
Discipleship is slow. Jesus walked around with his crew for three years. Relational bonds take an investment of time. Disciples are grown and cultivated, watered and nourished. You can’t mass produce them or assemble them in a production line.
Following Jesus is not a race. Calling it a “fast track” implies that there is competition. It implies that there is a slow track where all the losers end up. Arriving at the disciple finish line first means you win.
We don’t ever finish our participation in Christ. We never stop growing into the reality of what it means to be in Christ, guided by the Spirit, living lives of love to the glory of God. We don’t follow Jesus on a race track and there is not a faster lane. It is a journey, it has scenic views and side trails. Going faster doesn’t get you to the destination more quickly.
It’s clear you don’t like the title. Your implications are negative in nature. It is also important to meet people where they are on their discipleship journey to help them grow. That includes helping them make a level of commitment to study they can accomplish. It’s not that your bullet points are wrong; it’s that you are making those points at the expense of a program of study that can help people in their faith growth.
Thanks for the comment Jerry. As I said in the post, I don’t doubt that the curriculum is helpful. I just think the title could mislead people in how they think about discipleship.