In this three-part series, I want to introduce and explain the value of a discipleship planning team. Too often churches enlist a key leader, such as a discipleship director, to do all the discipleship work. The work is often too large for one person.
In a church of 20 people, enlisting a planning team made up of 1-3 people with a broad scope of responsibility related to discipleship is sufficient. But as the church grows, so should the planning team. Allow me to suggest a team for a church averaging 100 people. Then scale the planning team down or up to your church size.
Key Planning Team Focuses
- Community Relations. In Jesus’ definition of disciple-making in the Great Commission (Matthew 28:19-20), “go” in the original language means “as you are going.” The assumption is that making disciples begins when we relate to the world.
- First Impressions. When people drive by our church, check out our website, and walk onto our property, we have the chance to make a good (or bad) impression.
- New Members. It is essential that we help new members have a good start and stay connected and growing as disciples.
- Group Connections. Developing ongoing, encouraging relationships is essential if new and long-term members are to stay connected and growing. Sunday School and small groups help here.
- Serving Together. Serving and using our gifts is the natural outgrowth of a relationship with our Lord. Satisfaction and fulfillment are strong results.
- Multiplication. Being discipled and discipling others is an intentional and customized strategy. Investing in others is the goal and natural result.
Evaluate These Focuses
In a church of 50, each of these six areas might be represented by one member of the planning team. The entire team might work together on the plan related to each area, but the team representative would be the champion for that area and key leader within the church.
In a church beyond a 100, each of the six areas might have a leadership team of 3+ people. The Discipleship Planning Team would be composed of the key leader of each of the six teams. This prevents planning team meetings from being bogged down by having too many people present for effective meetings.
In Parts 2 and 3, I will spend more time explaining the work of the six focus areas. Do you see a focus area missing? Leave a reply to share your ideas. Our Lord was serious about disciple-making. He deserves our best effort. Make disciples!