High View of Scripture: Disciple-making has helped Concord hold to a high view of scripture. I’ve been challenging them over the past four years to filter everything through scripture. They’ve come to expect a question like “What does the Bible say about that?” Learning together that discipleship is not just another preaching point on a Sunday afternoon, but a lifestyle dedicated to the cause of Christ and pouring into others, has caused us to appreciate more of what scripture says and less of doing things simply because we’ve done them in the past.
Encouraging Local Churches: Our culture of disciple-making has greatly impacted several local churches. I have led several groups in our association (as well as several pastors individually) in learning how to disciple another believer using the one-on-one method. Concord loves being a part of the local association and gladly allows me to take some time out of my week to model one-on-one disciple-making with area pastors.
Four of our sister churches have benefited greatly from this ministry. Bro. Lee Davis led the way while he was associate pastor at Olive Branch and now as pastor of Nortonville Baptist. Olive Branch is continuing this ministry and Nortonville is fired up and seeing the fruit of their labor as well. Jackie Perkins at Dawson First Baptist is seeing a great response as well as Bro. Jonathan Lail at Madisonville Second Baptist.
Higher Expectations of Church Members: Discipleship has also led to our church members learning that there is a higher expectation of them as church members. Gone are the days when people simply came to church because it was the culturally acceptable thing to do. There are probably a few hold-outs of the old traditional mindset of cultural Christianity, but most of the newer believers and many of the older mature brothers and sisters are a part of the church body because they want to be.
When new members join through baptism or transfer, we do our best to spend about eight weeks going through a class on what is Biblically expected of them as well as what they can expect from the church. We tell our young disciples that they are expected to be in fellowship, Bible study, private study and prayer, tithing and giving regularly, evangelizing, and more. We’ve even been talking more and more about church discipline and have had the opportunity to look at what the Bible teaches about the correct way to discipline a member and the purpose behind such discipline.
Heightened Community Focus: Since enacting a disciple-making ministry, our community involvement has gone through the roof! Those who are involved in disciple-making now see the value of ministering in the community using various events, gatherings, holidays, and community ministries. In 2016 Kentucky Today magazine listed Concord as #21 out of 100 Mission Project Participation Churches (p.66). We do this by involving as many of the 70-90 regular morning worshippers as possible in many community ministries throughout the year.
One of our favorite stories is of Amy Moore and the Hope2All food bank ministry. I am on the board of Hope2All, a community ministry focusing on recovery and emergency food relief. The food bank is open every Tuesday from 10-2. Amy is a special needs adult and is brought to the food bank and works along-side Beverly, another church member. Amy has not only found a place to serve the Lord and her community on a weekly basis, but she’s been sharing the Good News each week by giving out Good News For You! booklets to friends at the food bank. Amy, Beverly, and others have been a blessing to Concord with their commitment to their community each week.