The #1 Discipleship Mistake We Make

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Shawn Lovejoy provides vital insight into the disciple-making process.

I’ve discussed previously the #1 evangelistic mistake most of us make: We try to close the deal too early.

We’re not patient enough to walk with people long enough to let the Holy Spirit fully do His work in drawing people to Himself.

However, the most common discipleship mistake I see us often make is closely related. The #1 discipleship mistake we make is this:

We give up on people too quickly.

When someone around us drops the ball several times, we assume they don’t “get it” and they probably never will; we decide they’ll never change.

We move on.

We bail on the relationship.

We give up on people too quickly!

I think we often forget discipleship is a lifelong process.

I think we often forget the first disciples didn’t “get it,” even after being with Jesus 24-7 for more than three years.

I think we often forget, years after following Jesus, the apostle Peter still struggled with racism (Acts 10) and the apostle Paul still struggled with pride (2 Cor. 12).

If these guys struggled to become like Jesus, do you think people in our family will? People in our church? You bet. Can God still change them and help them become more like Jesus? You bet.

So the next time someone lets you down or drops the ball or doesn’t meet your expectations, don’t let the enemy fool you into giving up on them too quickly.

Why? Because Jesus hasn’t given up on you.


Shawn Lovejoy Shawn Lovejoy is the founding and lead pastor of Mountain Lake Church, the Directional Leader of, and the author of 'The Measure of Our Success: An Impassioned Plea to Pastors," which released in April 2012. He lives near Atlanta, Georgia with his wife Tricia and three children.

More from Shawn Lovejoy or visit Shawn at

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  • Bud Brown

    This is a tough call in today’s “no commitment” world No commitment to marriage; no commitment to church membership; no commitment to our employees; no commitment to fiscal responsibility; no commitment to evangelism; no commitment to sacrificial giving.

  • Tim wright

    Good word. Challenges me!

  • sam

    shawn, you re right. but we all need patience to handle and disciple people despite their weakness, but not at the detriment of the lives of other disciples too. thanks

  • james

    there are so many things missing or that could be read into the statements made. speaking of the enemy.. the enemy becomes you the mentor or teacher if you have not worked the fruits of love compassion long-suffering and patience. using Christ as our emulation to follow which is correct….. then we as true Christ like disciples must realize as he showed us that it is the choice of the follower NOT ours (John 6). this being said … we should always make ourselves available to those that seek the word. realizing that the Lord will bring them to us as His FATHER brought them to Him.

  • Arlene Hoffman

    Im Wow’ed by The amazing timeliness of God in reminding us ‘Not to give up on ourselves or others”!