If we’re being honest, every church leader would agree that there is a difference between having an effective discipleship strategy and simply offering Bible studies. Yet, when it comes to our approach for cultivating disciples, the default approach is often focused more on offering programs than on opportunities for people to learn what it means to be a Christ-follower and live it out.
It can be difficult to take a step back and objectively evaluate whether or not the activity we’re creating is actually making disciples. However, when we want to be intentional about creating environments where people experience life change, we need to ask ourselves the tough questions.
It can be difficult to take a step back and objectively evaluate whether or not the activity we're creating is actually making disciple.
As you look to evaluate, adjust, and improve your church’s strategy for making disciples, here are three questions that will give you an honest assessment of your current plan:
1. What are you currently doing to equip and empower people in your church?
Many leaders have bought into the idea that their job is to attract people to the large gathering. They then hire staff to manage the educational ministry of the church. This is the program-driven model, not the example we see from Jesus in scripture.
The role of church leaders is to equip God’s people and empower them to be the ministry of the church. That is a biblical mandate, not just a cool idea.
2. What are the stories of spontaneous ministry happening in your church?
How do we know that the equipping strategy of the church is working? The Bible says it will result in people being engaged in ministry. The Bible describes it as spontaneous ministry. Unfortunately, many of the things we call ‘ministry’ today are more like exclusive country club parties. If you aren't seeing evidence of viral ministry engagement, this might be the case.
3. What evidence of life change do you see in your church?
The culture of your church is contagious. If your discipleship strategy is working, it will create a multiplying effect that you can’t help but notice. If you have a dynamic environment characterized by life change, spiritual vitality, and community impact, you’ll attract people who want that ... and there are a lot of them!
How to Develop a Strategy Based on Equipping and Empowering
As you think through your response to these questions, consider everything that might happen when people in your church get excited about what God is doing in their lives and the lives of those around them.
If you were frustrated by the questions or the initial response you felt, don’t miss our latest eBook, The Ephesians 4 Church. It will provide you with a framework that explains the process of equipping, the benefits of empowering people for ministry, and the basic elements of an Ephesians 4 Church.
How does your church equip people as a part of your discipleship strategy? What evidence have you seen that tells you it’s working?
There's always a next step:
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