Do you know people who would like to be discipled? Do you have disciple-makers who are struggling to find people to disciple? Host a disciple-making connection event to provide answers for both questions.
The most natural method for a disciple-maker and a disciple to meet is life. In the Great Commission, Jesus told us as “as we are going” to make disciples. We have opportunities in our interactions at home, at work, at school, at church, while traveling, and in the marketplace.
At the same time, there are many reasons why disciples may not have connected with a disciple-maker. They may not know one another. They may not cross paths. One or both may be introverts. They may not have made the connection a priority yet.
A disciple-making connection event is not a substitute for organic disciple-making encounters. But when done well, the event may result in current connections and increased vision for future connections. What might be some elements of a connection event?
- identify, gather, and talk with disciple-makers in advance
- promote the event, clearly communicating the benefits
- create a simple conversational agenda for table/circle leaders
- gather at round tables or circles of chairs to encourage conversation with one or more leader per table/circle (at safe distance during the pandemic).
There are many ways to encourage conversation and connections with a table/circle in these events. Will connections be random or will you use one of these methods?
- neighborhood or zipcode
- age group
- type of profession (including homemaker)
- years in the church
- years as a Christian (including zero)
- best day/time to meet
- additional topic(s) to be addressed (spiritual disciplines, parenting, money management, etc.)
- favorite dessert.
A connection event gives potential disciples the opportunity to step forward. It gives busy disciple-makers the opportunity to re-establish the priority of disciple-making. These two reasons are enough to desire to schedule and plan a connection event.
As I stated, I believe the most natural method for a disciple-maker and a disciple to meet is life. I would discourage a church from offering these events so regularly that disciple-makers no longer keep eyes and ears open to life’s paths. Connection events might take place every 2-3 years. It is even possible that one event may be enough.
Do your disciple-makers and potential disciples need the kick-start that can be provided by a connection event? Gather a planning team to pray and prepare for an event. Gather disciple-makers to enlist their help. Communicate well. Determine methods for table/circle connections. Have fun. Make disciples!