The Right Foundation

Anyone who listens to my teaching and follows it is wise, like a person who builds a house on solid rock (Matthew 7:24, NLT).

Next Sunday at your church the pastor preaches the third most powerful sermon in the history of Christendom.

The first would be Jesus and His Sermon on the Mount and the second would be the Apostle Peter with the church’s first sermon on the Day of Pentecost.

But number three is next Sunday at your church.

After this sermon, an invitation is given, and 100 people come to know Jesus as their Lord and Savior. Everyone will be excited, considering the powerful message and the resulting change in lives. There is nothing more thrilling than seeing God’s power changing lives.

But what will happen to the 100 who will accept Jesus?

Within three months, 80 will walk away from faithfulness. And of the 20 left, only five will be growing in Christ three years later.

That’s right, only five percent will stay faithful.

What happened? Perhaps the new believers didn’t have the right foundation. As Jesus says…

But anyone who hears my teaching and doesn’t obey it is foolish, like a person who builds a house on sand. When the rains and floods come and the winds beat against that house, it will collapse with a mighty crash (Matthew 7:26-27, NLT).

The solution is laying a correct foundation through disciplemaking. As Dallas Willard, a recent expert on spiritual formation, writes…

Discipleship is the status or position within which spiritual (trans)formation occurs.

Post-WW II evangelicalism does not naturally conduct its converts and adherents into a life of discipleship, nor into pervasive Christlikeness of character—with the routine, easy obedience that it entails.

What this most recent version of evangelicalism lacks is a theology of discipleship.

Jesus talked about the right foundation, and Dallas Willard discussed our need for a theology of discipleship.

Let’s consider Foundational Discipleship as this theology—enabling a new believer to build a house of faith that will stand during the storms of following Jesus.

I’ve been discipling new believers for over 50 years and have noticed (considering that new believers walk away from faithfulness in the three months) that our foundational disciplemaking should focus on their first three months.

I’ve also noticed that if a new believer stays faithful after three months the percentage of those who are growing after three years goes up exponentially.

This is what we do at We train disciples to disciple disciples in foundational disciplemaking.

As Jesus teaches…

Though the rain comes in torrents and the floodwaters rise and the winds beat against that house, it won’t collapse because it is built on bedrock (Matthew 7:25, NLT).

Back to blog