Once we look inward and recognize our integral role in discipleship, the next step calls for us to look outward – to our church and our community. We should want ours to be a church of disciples that creates more disciples; we should want our church to be a disciple-multiplying church.
Alex Absalom and Greg Nettle’s eBook, Disciples Who Make Disciples: Turning Your Church Into a Multiplying Movement, explains that for our churches to truly experience the kind of transformation God desires, we need to adopt a new model of discipleship.
Their “new model” outlines the following five steps for becoming a disciple-multiplying church:
Step 1: From Decisions to Disciples
“The Biblical concept of discipleship is one that is built around imitation, of person-to-person contagion, which in turn creates multiple opportunities for people to be brought into a greater knowledge of the truth,” with a focus on moving church members from a spirit of “information” to one of “imitation.”
Once we look inward and recognize our integral role in discipleship, the next step calls for us to look outward...
Step 2: From Educating to Modeling
“As important as information is, relationships and experiences are far more effective in bringing about life transformation. One of the most effective ways to be a disciple who makes disciples is simply to model what it means to be a follower of Jesus.”
Step 3: From Programs to PathAs important as information is, relationships and experiences are far more effective in bringing about life transformation.
Instead of focusing on programs, churches should invest in developing personalized, proven discipleship path. “These practices are tangible ways of unpacking the day-to-day realities of the life of discipleship, in particular in the context of a missional community.”
Step 4: From Activity-Based to Relationship-Based
“Above all, keep your eye on the purpose: People who are stepping out to lead in mission need a place of encouragement and accountability.” By building a culture of accountability, your members can experience deeper relationships and become more invested in the mission.
Step 5: From Accumulating to Deploying Disciples
The goal should be “to make disciples who are equipped to make disciples, as they are deployed into their networks of friends and in their neighborhoods, bringing about life and community transformation in Jesus’ name. That is what counts!’ Because ultimately, outreach and evangelism will become a natural byproduct of disciple-making.
By building a culture of accountability, your members can experience deeper relationships and become more invested in the mission.
When a church can evolve from disciples of audience to disciples of action, it creates a culture of inspiration – a church culture where disciples inspire and create more disciples. And there is no greater way to give God glory than by equipping more saints for His purpose.