If you really think the local church is that bad, that hurtful, and that harmful to the cause of Christ (and some churches truly are), then love the Lord Jesus Christ enough to be part of the solution instead of part of the problem.
studying the Bible with others is one of the greatest gifts we have as believers. It is a privilege that we get to open God’s Word together, speak and cry out to the Father together, grow in love together, and look for ways to seek out the lost together. But we can only do this rightly if our groups are biblically healthy and mature.
Early on in my discipling, I found it very sobering that counseling scenarios were landing on my desk instead of the pastor’s! As comforting as it would have been for me to have them go the pastor at that time, I realized that, as the teacher in the discipleship relationship, I had to trust God for wisdom in the moment to properly minister to the disciple.
We are in need of a Mission Focus, not because we have forgotten the Great Commission or because we don’t know what discipleship is. We need a Mission Focus Conference because we need our faith to be bolstered. The Living Faith Fellowship needs their sabers rattled by being brought into remembrance of how God does great things with “small people”.
Nowhere in the New Testament will we find a command to “Go ye therefore and translate the scripture” but if we go and preach to every nation, the translation process will naturally follow. It is impossible to teach “all things” Jesus has said unto our dear brothers abroad and expect them to perfect the saints, order the church and reproduce disciples and churches without the benefit of God’s word.
While the Cost of Discipleship process at MBT has improved our overall discipleship quality, it’s not fail proof by any means. With enough ministry experience, we all learn that some people hear what they want to hear, not what is actually being taught. In COD, we try to paint a very clear biblical picture of discipleship and what people should expect. Despite doing that as clearly as we know how, some will move forward into a formal discipleship relationship to only struggle with the biblical expectations of discipleship.