Taylor Lorenz, writing in the April 29, 2021 “Style” column of the New York Times unfurls a modern term. But if you use it, means you are guilty of it!

Here it is: “Chuegy” (Chew-gee). It means to be out of touch, or just trying too hard.

What does chuegy have to do with discipleship? It’s this: Western Christianity often tries to upgrade discipleship, to improve the marketability and likeability of discipleship. The result? Chuegy-ness. (We made the “ness” part up btw) When Christian communities try to morph easy, popular and hollow substitutes for discipleship, the system goes offline, out of touch.

We don’t need an upgrade on discipling. God hovers over us, Christ is in us, the Holy Spirit empowers us. Those are sovereign Trinitarian guarantees. On our side, we as individuals owe our Master the discipline and teamwork to utilize Christ’s design for discipleship. The problem is, chuegy cultures try to cut the cost – in a sense hollow out the very things disciples need to learn and live by to serve Christ.

“Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross daily and follow me.    For whoever wants to save their life will lose it, but whoever loses their life for me will save it.” Luke 9:23 (ESV) There’s not any room for chuegy there.

Here’s Francis Chan on the failure of “upgraded” discipling: “One of our elders calls it like pastoral malpractice, like you’re actually ruining people by making them consumers because you’re supposed to be turning them into servants. We don’t come to be served, we serve and give our lives as a ransom for many. It’s at the core of what we understand it means to follow Jesus Christ and we’ve twisted it…”

If this problem is real, what’s the solution? It starts with leaders in Christian community rebooting biblical discipleship in their Christian community culture. (Culture is the way a group of people behave and replicate behavior even when their leaders are not around.)

Leaders – Pastors, Small Group Leaders, Teachers, Seminary Professors, Parachurch and Mission Team Leads, Elders, Deacons, Trustees and Board/Committee members – leaders have to reboot discipleship in the West. Only leaders can address chuegy discipleship in Western Christianity. Chuegy discipleship cannot be fixed by a sermon or a seminar or gathering people once a week at church. Think of it this way: doctors don’t become doctors by watching the videos and attending class. Those are important, but the real physician is teamed closely, by their leaders, with mentors and peers. They experience life in the real world, serving real people and learning from one or two to learn to be a real physician. It may be Western Christianity is trying to graduate disciples who caught the sermons, met at the women’s retreat or the men’s breakfast, but who never experienced developmental discipling life in vocation, community and civics alongside one or two other disciples. And we expect them to function just fine anyway. Do you see the problem?

Leaders have to rethink and reform the traditions and culture that are programming disciples. It’s on you as a leader to get this conversation going, and the time is now. So what are we asking you, specifically, to do? Welcome to The Disciple Dilemma – come visit us at, or reach out to us at, we’d love to talk to your leadership team about “next”.

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