Seven Disciplemaking Imperatives in Your Church

Churches across the globe have begun to realize the importance of the biblical mandate (Matt. 28:19–20) for disciple-making, and are imagining the transformation of lives and the culture where their church exists. Church leaders like you are dreaming of a congregation and community saturated with mature followers of Christ willing to do whatever it takes to further God’s Kingdom.

As you contemplate that dream, consider these 7 imperatives to disciple-making.

1. Whether your church is a church WITH small groups or OF small groups, if your church is making disciples who make disciples you are accomplishing the Great Commission.

2. Curriculum is not the key to making disciples, however choosing the right curriculum at the right time is important. Disciples are made as the Holy Spirit works in tandem with a human disciple-maker to move a disciple to be more like Christ. Curriculum is simply an important tool in the disciple-making process.

3. It is vital that the pastor and all staff members of any disciple-making church be the leader of a disciple-making group of or is involved in a disciple-making group. If any of these key leaders choose not to be part of the disciple-making ministry, others will find no need to be involved themselves.

4. The most important promoter of the disciple-making ministry must be the senior pastor.

5. Pray that God would lead you to the right people to be your first disciple-makers. Jesus prayed prior to choosing His, it is vital that we do the same.

6. It is vital that the group’s first studies teach the disciple basic spiritual disciplines, doctrines, and practices of a disciple in relation to the church they are members of. While felt-need studies and sermon based discussions have a place in the church, a disciple without a firm foundation to stand on will easily become self-focused and begin to serve themselves rather than focusing on the cross and Jesus’ Kingdom agenda.

7. Utilizing a “reproducible process” is the key to long-term success. It has been proven that disciples who make disciples are much more likely to do so if they utilize the same principles and practices as well as the same curriculum as those who discipled them. It is for this reason that I recommend training every group leader using the Real Life Discipleship Training Manual and that each group do the three studies, Growing Strong in God’s FamilyDeepening Your Roots in God’s FamilyBearing Fruit in God’s Family, as their foundational and first studies.

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Barry Sneed

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Recent Comments
"The guests perceived some of the church members were faking it." Some of that is due to personality types. I'd imagine most existing members who are introverts would come across as "faking" it when greeting guests, because they probably are faking it to a degree. Doesn't mean they're not sincere, they're just uncomfortable as well. "Boring or bad service." IOW, not entertaining enough. Not sure if that's necessarily a bad thing.
 
— Rico
 
I'm really trying to understand the widespread opposition to greeting each other. I am a Catholic and we have a time in the mass where we wish each other peace - no personal information, just peace. Regardless, can people honestly say they come to the house of the Lord and are surrounded by their brothers and sisters and take offense or find it wrong to greet each other in His house? Awkward or shy or whatever it is called, it seems like that would be a time to be able to get past that and at least say hello.
 
— Jillian
 
A lot of comments were criticizing types of worship that they didn't like. Remember that different churches meet the needs of different people. You might like hymns, but someone else likes loud praise team songs. You might like in-depth sermons and others might like something lighter. Those differences were not what this article was about. People of various denominations looking for various worship experiences had ten similar things to say about looking for a church. Wandering into a tongues-filled church is far different than wandering into a KJV 1611 church then being disappointed. ALL churches should work on having clean and safe areas for children. My husband and I actually changed churches before we had children because our home church nursery was far from being clean and safe. ALL churches should work to have clear information about service times and directions on their websites/signs. ALL churches should encourage their members to be genuinely friendly. These are things that should be found regardless of one's personal taste in what they want from a church. It would be nice if websites had a sort of "what to expect" page for visitors as far as when services start, what they usually consist of, how children are handled, what to expect for communion or other rituals. This would make people feel welcomed. It's just like when you have someone in your home. You tell them where the bathroom is. You show them where to put their purse so your pet doesn't get into it. You point out drinkware and beverages. I think that many churches EXPECT that people will know what to do, but it can be very confusing going to a new church, even of the same denomination. Not knowing what to do can make people very uncomfortable. There's no reason not to make every effort to make everyone feel comfortable in church. And if a church does ALL it can and a person doesn't come back, it's not that the person is somehow unloving towards God. It could just be that the church wasn't what the person was looking for. This article was pointing out ways that churches could do better. I would like to comment about the whole "this is my pew" problem. A lot of schools have gone to randomly assigning seating from day to day in the lunchroom. This breaks up cliques and helps everyone feel included. Kids get to meet different kids than they might if they just sat at the same table all the time. Just think how it would be at church if everyone was encouraged to rotate where they sat and to never sit in the same pew in the same month. Talk about shaking things up!!
 
— Emalyn
 

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