In denominations where I have served over the years, churches are required to submit an annual report to denominational headquarters. These reports are then compiled and published so that all can compare the state of the denomination from one year to the next. What are the relevant statistics typically required in such reports? Number of members, number of new people baptized, number of new members joining the church, and annual budget. Apparently, these denominations have determined that “making disciples” means securing and keeping attenders. But what we see in denominational reports is simply a reflection of what happens in churches all over the country . . .
. . . The mandate to make disciples is clear, and almost no one will deny it is central to our work. But when it comes to Sunday school classes, Bible study groups, the ministry of the Word, and all the many other ways we gather people in order to instruct and exhort them, how much real discipleship are we achieving?
We seem to be more satisfied just with getting people to attend and making our classes such that they will come back again, than with really expecting people to grow as disciples of the Lord. But the work of the Church is not securing attenders; the work of the Church is making disciples.
~ T. M. Moore in The Corban Chronicles: Compromise in the Contemporary Church [download this booklet for free at the Worldview Church website]