Today in many churches there is a heightened interest in discipleship and being discipled. Churches are recognizing that more is needed than simply offering events and courses. Discipling relationships are needed. How can we address that interest? Consider a Discipling Relationships Sunday.
What is a Discipling Relationships Sunday? Simply stated, it is a Sunday set aside to emphasize discipling relationships before, during, and following worship. What is involved? Consider the following:
- have disciplers ready (perhaps preparing them through a six-month pilot project)
- have a clear simple strategy ready for your disciplers
- have simple materials available whose use can be reproduced by those who will be discipled
- promote it well every week for four weeks in printed, electronic, and verbal announcements
- share 3 different 2-3 minute testimonies (pilot project disciplers) in worship 2 weeks prior and on Discipling Relationships Sunday
- ask disciplers to come to the front of worship on the Sunday before Discipling Relationships Sunday for the church to pray for these leaders
- preach about discipleship and extend an invitation that calls them to be disciples AND to sign up for a discipling relationship using a simple registration form provided as they entered worship
- have staffed registration table(s) available as they exit (as well as electronically where possible)
- encourage signing up for the next two weeks
- follow up quickly with every person who registers.
Be prepared to be overwhelmed! Keep in mind that putting some who registered on a waiting list, may discourage or extinguish the interest of those who registered. So what can you do when registration numbers are high?
If numbers are double your available disciplers, ask disciplers to disciple two together or separately). When numbers are beyond double expectation, ask some disciplers to disciple through D-groups (3-5). If numbers are even larger, consider discipling some in small groups (6-10). In every group whether pairs, triads, or larger, work to prepare disciples to be disciplers so that this interest can be better handled the next time you have a Discipling Relationships Sunday.
When will you schedule your Discipling Relationships Sunday? Plan it now. Make disciples!