More about Discipleship

  • 2 Steps to Balance Your Church’s Discipleship Deficit

    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 Can Be Served, But Never Delivered

    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.

  • Intentionally Train Disciples to Do What Jesus Did

    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.

  • 6 Moments to Engage Families in Small Groups

    It happened again. You just made the same small group announcement.

  • 4 Actions for a Church-wide Focus on Making Disciples

    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.

  • Three Practices to Help Reframe the Heart of a Disciplemaker

    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.

  • 3 Reasons Groups MUST Be a Big Deal

    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.

  • Five Spiritual Formation Lessons from the Megachurch

    Very large churches are sometimes accused of being shallow. A mile wide and an inch deep.

  • Creating Opportunities for Discipleship

    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.

  • The Sacred Calling of the Secular Workplace

    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.

  • Beginning Your Discipleship Journey in a Weekend-Only Culture

    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.

  • It’s Time to Stop Campaigning and Start Discipling

    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.

  • 7 Truths About Authentic Discipleship

    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.

  • Back to School Lessons for Personal Spiritual Growth

    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.

  • Six Keys for Whole-Church Discipleship

    I grew up attending church a lot. I was in a church classroom a lot.

  • When You Need a Discipleship Strategy But Don’t Know Where to Begin

    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.

  • Jesus Builds His Church Through His Disciples

    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.

  • The Critical Importance of Leadership Development in Discipleship

    “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.

  • Every Leader’s 3-Step Formula for Multiplication

    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.

  • 3 Ways We Miss Seeing Discipleship as Church Strategy

    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.

  • 2 Necessities for Health in Discipleship AND Evangelism

    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.

  • How Thinking Can Change the Way You Think About Discipleship

    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.

  • How Do Groups Fit into the Overall Strategy of Your Church?

    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.

  • 9 Ways to Uncomplicate the Discipleship Process

    “Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication. ” -Leonardo da Vinci Discipleship is at the heart of the church’s existence.

  • 4 Foundations to a Simple Discipleship Strategy

    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.

  • Two of the Best Questions to Ask to Determine if Your Small Groups are Working

    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.

  • How to Point the Way and Clear the Path to Effective Discipleship

    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.

  • Doing Life Together with Others Follows Christ’s Example

    In a world that is pushing against community, the church must pursue authentic community. Community matters.

  • 4 Habits of a Discipling Leader

    Over the years, I have worked in a variety of fields, gaining exposure to many different industries. Each industry has unique jargon.

  • You Mass Produce Cars, Not Disciples

    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.

  • Developing a “Missional Moleskine” to Understand the Community Around Your Church

    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).

Recent Comments
I'm lost, to say the least! As a new pastor, taking over a newly started church I have read just about everything there is to learn what I can do to grow the church. I truly beleive that those attending our church are friendly and sincere. So that can't be the issue. I have read all the comments to this article and I feel that most churches will never have a fair chance! We are a VERY small church, so we don't have a children's church (yet). So if a family comes and gets upset that we don't have a children's church for them to put their children into, we lose! We do provide things for their kids to do during the service and even have an option for their kids to be in a different room, if they don't want their kids to sit with them. We are also such a small church that we don't have a worship team/band/etc. Our worship music comes from music videos. The congregation we do have likes it this way, but of course we would love to have a worhsip team. So, if someone comes to our church and is upset that we don't have live music, we lose! The point I am trying to make is that when people come in with preconceived ideas of what a church should be like, they will never find a church home, unless they find a church who's goal is to entertain! Every Sunday our message comes from the Bible, so that can't be a complaint for someone, so instead, people leave the church and never come back because they want more from a church: they don't want friendly people who are following the Word of God; they want a church that give them something (a babysitter for their kid, entertainment, free gifts, etc.) I'm sorry if sound cynical, I truly want everyone to hear the Good News and learn about Christ's love, but if they come in looking for something else, then the church will always lose!
 
— JAG
 
Reminds me Tony Morgan's classic post entitle “What If Target Operated Like A Church?” I wrote about this in a blog post "Is Your Church Like Target…or More Like A Mall?" https://goo.gl/2qQIy3
 
— bruceherwig
 
Challenging and very good
 
— John Gilbank
 

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