Churches and the disciples that make up the Church are called to bear fruit for the Kingdom of God.  Jesus says it this way: “You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you so that you might go and bear fruit–fruit that will last–” – John 15.16a.

     We often equate the result of that Call to be quantity, but I believe it actually implies quality.  Churches often try to be all things to all people or take pride in being able to declare that “we have something for everyone.”  Although that perspective may produce numbers for a time that we can brag about on statistical reports, in reality it often leads to a mediocrity of program that produces shallow disciples.

     Shallow disciples rarely go deep into the  Word where real growth is induced.

     Shallow disciples stay in their comfort zone instead of launching out in the often dangerous mission field that begins outside the front door.

     Shallow disciples tend to focus on sin management instead of genuine discipleship.

     Shallow disciples generally do not make more disciples because they are too busy being shaped and therefore do not invest in shaping the lives of others.

     Shallow disciples are produced by churches that develop ministry by the market demand instead of their identity in Christ.

      Shallow disciples are produced by churches whose leadership resources are stretched so thin doing so many things that they do not have time to build significant redemptive relationships–relationships which always require time and transparency to bear fruit.

     Does your church really want to bear fruit?  Take a look at your programs:

  1. Do your programs have disciplemaking as their purpose?
  2. Do your programs target the people you actually have relationships with?
  3. Are your disciple-making programs led by the best of your leadership core?
  4. Do your leaders have the tools and understanding to do the job to which they are called?
  5. Do your leaders have time to grow in Christ and grow others in Christ?

If the answers to those questions are “NO” it’s time to simplify-simplify and then do what remains with excellence.

© 2016 by Stephen L. Dunn.  You have permission to reprint this provided it is unchanged, proper authorship is cited, it is in a publication not for sale, and a link is provided to this site or to For all other uses, contact Steve at 




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