Ask, “What is discipleship?” in a group of church leaders, and if honest answers were forthcoming, the most frequently associated word would be “class” or “group. ” While classes and groups may supplement the discipleship process, attendance alone is insufficient.
The topic of discipleship is one of increasing importance among many believers, and rightfully so. This topic deserves our attention even more today as church leaders realize there is a “discipleship deficit.
Discipleship matters. The goal is not a crowd, but rather a core of committed Christ followers who are fleshing out the life of Christ at work, in their marriage, their parenting, their finances, their thinking, their politics, their… … everything.
How do I develop a discipleship process while acknowledging the organic nature of making disciples? Dietrich Bonhoeffer, writing in The Cost of Discipleship, states, “On two separate occasions Peter received the call ‘Follow me. ’ It was the first and last word Jesus spoke to His disciple.
It happened again. You just made the same small group announcement.
One of the more common roles in a church is discipleship leader. Recently, as I was updating Planting Missional Churches for its next edition, Daniel Im and I listed discipleship coordinator as one of the seven key roles in a new church.
When asked, there are many reasons church leaders give for lack of effectiveness in making disciples. Here are a few common responses: “We have uncommitted volunteers” “We reach many distracted families” “We suffer from ineffective curriculum” “We find ourselves with unavailable leadership” “We are experiencing diminishing giving” “We need to get beyond our under-performing staff” “We are stuck through over-complex processes” While the above may be resonant, they are likely not the actual reason your church continues to struggle to make disciples.
While one person can make a significant impact on each of us, we tend to be much more influenced by groups of people. Here is a fascinating example: The Petrified Forest National Park in Arizona has often faced a crisis as people can steal petrified wood at an alarming rate.
Very large churches are sometimes accused of being shallow. A mile wide and an inch deep.
Church leaders have been complaining lately that their church is declining, or that Church in general is shrinking. However, at Church Community Builder we work with some churches who are thriving and asking for our help in growing well.
There is a growing movement of churches and organizations (including here at Wheaton College, where I now work) that are seeking to help Christians see their jobs—whatever they may be—as a calling and something that can be used for the growth of the Kingdom of God. And rightly so! The unfortunate divide between “secular work” and “sacred work” has lasted too long.
Below is a weekly series posting content from one of the most innovative content sources in the church world: SUMS Remix Book Summaries for church leaders. SUMS Remix takes a practical problem in the church and looks at it with three solutions; and each solution is taken from a different book.
Recently, Auxano was engaged by Mainstreet Church in the greater Toledo, Ohio area to help rethink how they would continue to fund their vision. Under the leadership of Lead Pastor, Marty Pennington, the church had taken a leap of faith, constructed a new campus, and relocated to the new facilities enabling them to build relationships that move more people to full devotion to Christ.
One of the ways you know you’re making progress is that you stop having the same discussion over and over again. If you’re discussing the same issues on your team or at home year after year, you’re probably stuck.
This fall marked the beginning of another school year in the Kelley household. This one’s a bit different than in years past because this year, we’ve got a middle schooler.
I grew up attending church a lot. I was in a church classroom a lot.
Below is a new weekly series posting content from one of the most innovative content sources in the church world: SUMS Remix Book Summaries for church leaders. SUMS Remix takes a practical problem in the church and looks at it with three solutions; and each solution is taken from a different book.
When John Piper was pastor, Bethlehem hosted a church-planting conference with Global Church Advancement. I was on deck to speak next as Piper talked about church planting on video.
“Your church is designed to lead, designed to disciple leaders who are, by God’s grace, commanded to disciple people in all spheres of life. ” That sentence is near the beginning of Eric Geiger and Kevin Peck’s excellent new book on leadership development in the local church.
And the things you have heard me say in the presence of many witnesses entrust to reliable people who will also be qualified to teach others. 2 Timothy 2:2 What qualifies someone to teach others? Advanced biblical training? Theological degrees? Titles? Anyone can teach.
Every church should embrace the mission of making disciples and implement a strategy to accomplish that mission. Because the mission of a local church is to make disciples, a strategy is how the church is designed to make disciples.
Which is more important discipleship or evangelism? It’s not a trick question, but it is a difficult one in practice. Every church leader has a unique wiring that creates a personal bias toward either discipleship or evangelism.
If you are a disciple-maker, you should want people to think like you. I realize that statement may come across as counter-cultural in our day.
One of the biggest takeaways from the research behind our book Transformational Groups is the need for churches to be more clear and focused in their group strategy. Church leaders must know how their groups (classes, Bible fellowships, etc.
“Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication. ” -Leonardo da Vinci Discipleship is at the heart of the church’s existence.
As a football season is about to begin, imagine a head coach stands in front of the team he leads and, with great passion, declares, “Here is our strategy. We are going to win! We are about winning! Let’s go win!” The team breaks from the huddle with no idea how they will win.
A couple days ago a church leader asked me if I thought small groups were kind of “old school and over with?” He continued to suggest that small groups were now passé and wanted to know the new cutting edge innovative thing. I pressed in further in order to better understand his question and discovered that small groups were not working at his church.
I get asked all the time how we do discipleship at Elevation. Related to this question, I also get asked how we follow up with new believers.
In a world that is pushing against community, the church must pursue authentic community. Community matters.
Over the years, I have worked in a variety of fields, gaining exposure to many different industries. Each industry has unique jargon.
Disciples Need Leaders I wonder how many church leaders don’t even realize the success of ongoing discipleship depends partly on how well they develop leaders. God didn’t design the church to have one person lead everyone else in spiritual formation—far too often the model of evangelical churches.
Several years ago, I was leading a group from our church in the formation of a launch team for our first daughter church plant. In my series on “cultivating community contacts,” I shared about the “missional moleskine” (not to be confused with the memory moleskine).