Disciple-making simplicity is needed as never before. Even before the advent of the iPod, simplicity was becoming a goal in business and life. Complexity tends to lead to confusion and poor implementation.
When disciple-making is complex, it becomes challenging to understand and communicate all the steps. Each generation of disciples tends to round off the corners–to simplify the process–sometimes to the detriment of disciple-making. Instead, it is essential to keep disciple-making as simple as possible so it is understandable and reproducible.
When we add too many steps, some may never reach the final one.
Disciple-making simplicity maintains focus, raises confidence, and makes accountability easier. When disciples feel they can do it, they are more likely to run the course, and they are more likely to disciple others themselves.
Ideas for Disciple-making Simplicity
What are some areas where simplicity can help in your strategy? What are some ways you can simplify what you are doing? Consider these ideas:
- focus on the Bible and your disciple
- keep your meetings simple, ideally no more than 4 segments
- avoid using too many materials–no matter how good they are
- teach and check on simple spiritual disciplines early and often
- employ a simple strategy (with slight variations depending on the disciple or potential disciple) with the fewest steps possible (aim toward 4 or fewer)
- ask your disciple to pray about, identify, and begin investing in another disciple while you are still discipling your disciple (to provide coaching)
- the best way to start disciple-making in your church is to start small, one-on-one or one small group done well; adjust/improve; and do it well and multiply.
Where else have you seen disciple-making become complex? What has derailed your disciple-making strategy? Keeping your strategy simple makes necessary change easier and communication clearer. But one of the best measurements of the simplicity of your strategy is how many third and fourth generation disciples are being made and using the strategy.
Simplify Your Strategy
Gather some of your disciple-makers. Pray together. Evaluate your strategy. Ask the group to be open and honest. Seek input without defensiveness. Lean toward greater effectiveness as you seek simplicity.
Then tweak your strategy and process. Watch and evaluate to see if you achieve greater effectiveness and simplicity. Keep watching the third and fourth generations of disciples. What they do will tell you much.
It will likely take multiple attempts before you accomplish both effectiveness and simplicity at the desired levels. Be patient but persistent in your quest for disciple-making simplicity. The time invested will be worth it. When will you schedule the time needed? Make disciples!