Over the last ten years, I have listened to a growing number of conversations expressing interest in disciple-making. At the same time, I have sensed confusion and conflict. The result has been far too few churches with any kind of intentional strategy for disciple-making, Allow me to help you become a disciple-making church.
Confusion and Conflict
The confusion often centers around questions about materials to use and how to start. Sometimes it comes from busyness (of the pastor and/or the church). At other times it comes because of the lack of people willing to make a commitment. Doubt often creeps in due to the fact that most (even pastors) have never been trained as disciples themselves.
Conflict often enters into the confusion due to the lack of focus and priorities. The church schedule and budget are already committed. Habits have been formed. How in the world can pastors and churches find the time necessary to practice disciple-making?
Now, in this post-COVID time may be the ideal time to start a disciple-making effort. Many churches have stopped their Sunday evening services. Others are working to rebuild their programming. Why not dedicate a block of time on a specific day each week for disciple-making?
Becoming a Disciple-Making Church
One of the keys to becoming a disciple-making church is to say yes to the Lord. He has already commanded us to make disciples of all nations (Matthew 28:19-20). Agree with Him and ask for His help. A second key is to set a date. The date focuses the planning. A third key is to choose a simple reproducible strategy, method, and material (stay close to the Bible). The final key is start small and do it right.
In order to get started, I recommend prayer, gathering a planning team, and involving a consultant (someone outside your church) to help you think through your plans. For Kentucky churches, that consultant could be me, a pastor or friend whose church is further along in a disciple-making strategy, a regional consultant, or an associational missions strategist.
Disciple-Making “Model” Churches
If your church has an effective disciple-making strategy, I want to know about it. I regularly talk with leaders about churches who discipling their people. I want to connect churches who are beginning this important work with others who are further along in the process.
At the same time, I am also seeking churches who want to become disciple-making churches. Right now I am seeking disciple-making churches in all six regions of Kentucky willing to disciple their people and then become “model” churches who share their experiences and train other churches to take those steps themselves. Are you interested? Be disciples. Make disciples. Invest yourselves in other churches. Contact me at [email protected].
Photo by Cosmic Timetraveler on Unsplash
Jerry, I would be happy to assist in any way you need me. I will pray for this effort, and I would be happy to join you if that will help.
Brother Daryl, our Network is in the process of having a round table on discipleship in late January. A team of pastors are meeting with Jon and me to discuss and plan such an evening. I have gotten two men from my Bible Fellowship meeting with me for 6 weeks using The Purpose Driven Life. These men are hungry for male friends and a deeper life in Christ. I want to make disciples and I believe many pastors, Bible teachers, and leaders are wanting to make disciples but need help in starting. Many will have good questions that if answered would begin. Thanks for your help.