Membership vs Discipleship

(From here, via Graham)

So what’s the difference between discipleship-based and membership-based Christianity? Well, in a nutshell, discipleship based Christianity is about a way of life, whereas membership based Christianity is more of an event-based religion (i.e. going to church)…This list was compiled by an Episcopal priest who has spent thirty years studying the differences between discipleship and membership based Christianity.

1. Church goers are more influenced by culture; Disciples are more influenced by the Kingdom of God.

2. Churchgoers are more connected to God by ritual and the institution; Disciples are more connected to God by a relationship.

3. Churchgoers tend to be autonomous in their faith journey; Disciples tend to be held accountable in their faith journey.

4. Church goers view their faith as a matter of individual convenience; Disciples view their faith with a high level of commitment.

5. Churchgoers remain individualistic, independent, and self-centered; Disciples pursue community, interdependence, and are Christ Centered.

6. Churchgoers focus on church work as the major emphasis; Disciples focus on the ministry of the church in the world.

7. Churchgoers are governed more by the natural realm; Disciples are more governed by the supernatural realm.

8. Churchgoers are content with maintance; Disciples are driven by mission and the great commission.

9. Churchgoers are dependent on clergy for ministry; Disciples are dependent on the body of Christ for ministry.

10. Churchgoers look to develop programs; Disciples look to develop ministries.

11. Churchgoers consider themselves owners of material possessions; Disciples consider themselves stewards of material possessions.

12. Churchgoers are content to give according to their own standard; disciples are committed to the tithe and get there.

13. Churchgoers stop with Jesus as Savior; Disciples follow Jesus as Lord.

14. Churchgoers are Sunday only Christians; Disciples are lifestyle Christians.

Hopefully, those contrasts between disciple and church goer are helping you to get a better understanding of the difference between membership-based Christianity (which is typically only about going to church) and discipleship-based Christianity (which is about your whole life).