Making Disciples VS Attendees


In Kyle Idleman’s book, “Not a Fan,” there’s a part where Kyle speaks to a father whose daughter had left the faith. The father says to him, “My wife and I were diligent in raising her in church. But we were not in raising her in Jesus.” 

It forced me to ask myself, “Have I raised my son in church, or have I raised him in Christ?” Not everybody that attends church wants to follow Jesus. The whole agenda of God in saving us is to make us like Jesus. The way we do that is through discipling each other. Unfortunately in America, many churches are just about getting people to attend. But praise God, there are also many churches that encourage people to be in Christ. This is the reason I’m a pastor and involved in Venture Church Network. We’re serious about disciple making. 

Jesus did not spend three years on earth performing incredible miracles, go to the cross, die, go to the grave, ascend to the Father, promise to return, give us His Spirit, all for the purpose of having Sunday services. He did all of those things so we could grow up in Him, and we need each other to do that. That’s the beauty of being involved in disciple making churches.

VCN has thousands of churches spread across the country. What would happen if each member of these churches prayed for one person to cross their path? Maybe that person’s not a believer yet, so we pray they can see Jesus in action in our life before we challenge them to believe in Him. Maybe they’re a new believer or returning believer, so we ask the Father to cross our paths so we can disciple them to become a disciple-maker. The desire is not just to raise up disciples, but to raise up disciple-makers. In my church we say, “spiritual grandparents” — discipling someone so they can disciple someone else in Christ-likeness. 

That’s my prayer for the church I pastor, for my region in Northern California and Nevada, and the nation of VCN churches. 


Craig Hardinger

Director of Venture Church Network of Northern California and Nevada

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