Dr. Thom Rainer, president of LifeWay Christian Resources, wrote an article in the most recent edition of Facts & Trends. The article was entitled 7 Indicators of True Church Discipleship. In the article, Dr. Rainer shared 7 evidences, measures, or indicators of disciple-making taking place in and through the church.
I encourage you to read the original article. In Part 1 of this post, I will share the first 3 of his 7 “indicators” followed by my comments about each.
- Members read and study the Bible daily. Opening God’s Word daily leads to hearing His voice. Daily Bible study in its most basic sense is opening our minds and hearts to listen to God and understand His plan and purpose for us. How can we follow Jesus as His disciples if we are not spending time in the Word? Disciple-making churches value and support this vital spiritual practice.
- Members are engaged in some type of Bible study group. Gathering with a group of people to study God’s Word together is essential. Those in groups are more likely to stay connected to the church and to living lives as disciples. At the same time, groups serve as important sources of encouragement, challenge, and correction for disciples. Disciple-making churches expect active participation in a Bible study group by all members.
- Members are sharing their faith on a regular basis. When we (1) have a living relationship with Jesus Christ and (2) open God’s Word to hear His voice, we have experiences worthy of a testimony. Disciples look for life moments where that testimony can be shared. Disciples seek opportunities to care for and share with all nations (Matthew 28:19-20). Disciple-making churches value, encourage, and utilize testimonies in worship, groups, and life.
In Part 2, we will look at the last 4 of Dr. Rainer’s 7 “indicators.” But pause now to evaluate your church or group’s disciple-making. How are you doing with these 3 measures of disciple-making? Which of these 3 measures is your strength? Which of them needs the most work? What can you do this week to lead your church or group to strengthen disciple-making? Measuring can be painful but is necessary in order to be more effective for Him. Make disciples!
For more about disciple-making, check out these blog posts: