10 Signs Church Members Have Not Been Discipled Well

I love God’s people. They’ve been great friends over the years. At the same time, some members of the church don’t always act in Christian ways. Some are simply not saved, but others act like they do because they’re still undiscipled believers. Here are some signs of undiscipled believers:

  1. They quote Scripture that doesn’t exist. “The Bible says ____________,” they say—though the Bible doesn’t say that.
  2. They fight for their own way. Their self-centeredness and selfishness are evidence of their lack of discipleship.
  3. They have little interest in evangelism or missions. Truly knowing and following God result in doing both of these tasks, but undiscipled people have little interest in either.
  4. They give few dollars to God’s work. It’s not often because they have few dollars to give; rather, it’s because they’ve not been taught the responsibility of Christian stewardship.
  5. They seldom read the Bible, and they pray even less often. Spiritual disciplines are not a part of their lives.
  6. They rationalize their sin. It’s never their fault.
  7. They tear down other believers who are growing in their faith. Others who are genuinely becoming more Christlike become a threat to undiscipled believers.
  8. They make unwise and often ungodly decisions. That is, they have no godly grounding to guide them as they make choices.
  9. They don’t hold a biblical theology—but they think they do. They’ve not been equipped enough to recognize their own faulty theological positions.
  10. They assume their long-term faithfulness to church attendance proves their Christianity. In fact, they assume their faithfulness guarantees them power and position in a church—even if their life gives little evidence of Christian growth.

For another look at this same issue, see my post,10 Differences between Baby Believers and Believers who are Babies.”

1 Comment

  • Robin G Jordan says:

    A timely article. It is very tempting to assume that because one regularly attends a church, one is a disciple of Jesus Christ. However, churchgoing and discipleship–framing our lives around the teaching and example of Jesus Christ–are not the same. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic I am spending a lot of time on the internet and I repeatedly encounter on Facebook and article comment threads attitudes and behaviors that I was taught from early childhood are un-Christian. The individuals exhibiting these attitudes and behaviors are self-identified Christians and i n a number of cases pastors. I recognize that we live in stressful times and the internet can have negative effects upon people–what one article described as the Jekyll and Hyde syndrome: online individuals undergo a personality change and become less guarded in what they say to others and how they treat others. At the same time I believe that you have put your finger on another major contributing factor: they have not been discipled. I have been reading Paul’s Letter to the Galatians and reflecting on what he writes to the church at Galatia. One question that Christians need to regularly ask themselves is “Am I speaking to others and treating others as someone who belongs to the Lord Jesus Christ.” A second question which we may be reluctant to ask ourselves is “Am I speaking to others and treating others as someone who is the devil’s?” These are fair questions to ask ourselves. We can make a public declaration of our faith in the Lord Jesus Christ and undergo baptism but can live our lives no differently from those around us who have never made such a profession. To my mind this throws our profession into doubt. After all, Jesus himself says that those who love him keep his word and obey his commandments. Their faith is expressed in a life of obedience to God.

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