Other "Thinking Drafts" and writing by Keith Drury -- http://www.indwes.edu/tuesday .

The W. W. J. D. Fade-out

Where have all the W. W. J. D. bracelets gone? How'd they get into the dresser drawer with the socks, or tangled up in the bottom of a jewelry box? Why forget so fast that commitment to stop and think W. W. J. D. and then do it? To actually walk... In His Steps. Why give up so quickly on this noble notion? What happened?

O.K. for some it was merely a fad, the 1990's counterpart of 1970's P.O.W. bracelets. But others were true believers. They actually meant to do what Jesus would do in every situation of life. But even these die hards slip off their W. W. J. D. bracelets in a year or so. Why?

I think it may be due to a mistake in the movement. A theological mistake. And a pedagogical one. Most W. W. J. D. movements through history have made the same mistake. And it is a mistake commonly made every week in Sunday schools and small groups. And preaching. This is the mistaken belief: To know is to do. That is, if I can just remember what Jesus would do in a situation, I'll be able to do it.

Wrong. To know is not to do. The apostle Paul took eleven chapters of Romans to point that out. Remembering W. W. J. D. is only half the challenge.

The other half is doing it. Obedience. And this may be the reason even the die-hards are slipping of their W. W. J. D. Bracelets. They've given up. They've failed. They crashed into the shoals which sunk most other holiness movements through history: Holy knowing does not automatically produce holy living.

The W. W. J. D. Movement was right in this: God wants us to become like Christ. What was missing is the other half of discipleship: enabling people to actually do what they know is right. It's more than cramming content into people's minds as if knowledge is the answer. It is about life change. It is about becoming. Discipleship is enabling people to experience transformation -- a renewing of their mind. Then they will be able to know and do the perfect will of God.

Knowing what Jesus would do is the easy part. Doing it is where we need to change how we do discipleship. Discipling is about doing what we know, not just knowing what to do. And without this kind of discipleship our teaching and preaching will disappear as fast as a fading W. W. J. D. Bracelet.

The question then is, what has to change to actually disciple people in obedience, not just knowledge?

So what do you think?

To contribute to the thinking on this issue e-mail your response to Tuesday@indwes.edu

By Keith Drury, 1997. You are free to transmit, duplicate or distribute this article for non-profit use without permission.