Confusing Evangelism and Discipleship

The caricature is so tired it’s wearisome to even bring it up, but it’s so prevalent, we must: 

“If you emphasize evangelism, you must not be doing discipleship.”
 
This is such a patently ridiculous idea it’s almost not worth spending energy to dismiss. If it were true, then Jesus lied, for He is the one who said that not only were we to do both, but that both must co-exist in the church. The Great Commission makes it clear that we are to do both evangelism and discipleship. Doing one does not automatically negate the other.
 
Even more, if you aren’t doing evangelism, you won’t have anyone to disciple! And the goal of discipleship, if I understand the New Testament, is to be able to turn around and invest in the evangelistic mission! So without discipleship, there won’t be any evangelism. 
 
All to say, it’s not an “either-or,” but a “both-and.” And a very important “both-and.”
 
So why the tension? 

Why the snide dismissals of evangelistically-oriented churches as if it’s inherent that if they are reaching high percentages of unchurched people they must be either a) abandoning orthodoxy, or b) sacrificing discipleship?

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The Rise of the Nones: Understanding and Reaching the Religiously Unaffiliated

The ChurchandCulture.org Team is excited to announce the official release of James Emery White's book The Rise of the Nones: Understanding and Reaching the Religiously Unaffiliated.
 
This book could not be coming at a better time, as the "nones" - the fastest-growing religious group of our day - are certainly on the rise. Currently one in five Americans identify themselves as having no religious affiliation. Dr. White's book explores exactly who the "nones" are, what caused this dramatic shift in today's culture, and most importantly how churches can reach these people.
 
Ed Setzer, president of LifeWay Research had this to say about the book:
 
In an era of increasing complexity and religious apathy, James Emery White has written a book that is helpful, informative, challenging, and timely. Those who care about communicating the gospel in this complex culture and think the church must regroup and re-engage should read "The Rise of the Nones."
 
Happy reading!
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