I love this quote!

This is brilliant on so many levels:


“I continue to see movements gaining traction among Christians that do not seem to have many converts. But, a change movement that does not produce converts is as useless as a systematic theology text at Joel Osteen’s church.”


7 thoughts on “I love this quote!

  1. Aren’t you gonna tell us who it’s from and where it’s from. Besides, I think I disagree. Converts isn’t the name of the game, it’s disciples. When a change movement occurs it can invigorate sleepy or plateauing Christians and equip them to be both more enthusiastic about sharing the gospel and more able to share the gospel, even if at the time no ‘converts’ are produced. Or have I misunderstood the quote?

  2. No, you have understood well, but I disagree with you.
    Ultimately we are to make disciples (from the Great Commission), but surely that must include people being converted.
    If you have a faulty definition of ‘converts’, as most evangelicals do, then of course think you are right. But that is because you may have fallen to the heresy of ‘easy believism’ which teaches that people claim to be converted, but don’t become disciples. This is an anathema. If someone is truly converted they will truly be disciples. If there is no external change, then there is very little, if no, evidence of an internal, eternal change achieved on the cross.
    I don’t think you can separate conversion from discipleship.
    So, I don’t want to take my eye of the goal of seeing people converted – but I understand that true conversion includes radical discipleship.
    Make sense?

  3. Yeah, but that wasn’t my point. My point was that when we have a change in direction as a church and latch onto a new movement, even if we don’t see anyone else becoming a new disciple, it may have served to envision or equip further the existing disciples.

    I also think this quote puts a false view of ‘success’ in sight, as I was trying to convey in this blog post:


    I do agree with you on the false distinction between converts and disciples, by the way. And I do agree with the quote that systematic theology quotes are most probably useless in Joel Osteen’s church!

  4. Oh and I searched for the quote so for the benefit of anyone else:

    Ed Stetzer, “Converts to What? Online: “http://www.catalystspace.com/content/read/ed_stetzer/

  5. Ok, I get you now.
    Actually, have you watched the Don Carson interview at Resurgence? He talks very openly about his father who had a very faithful but difficult ministry in French Canada. I guess that is a great example of success without many converts.
    Thanks for pointing that out Jonny… it really is easy to fall into the numbers game.

  6. No worries, useful to have the conversation anyway, helps clarify things. I haven’t seen the interview but I’ll have to check it out.

    And just to round things off, having read the article, it is very good and makes the point it sets out to do.

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