Re-thinking the approach to discipleship

Being resistant to change is a mentality we must avoid at all costs as church leaders. Remember when we started accepting that guitars were going to be in church? That ties were no longer uniform? That Sunday School may indeed be more effective on a Tuesday evening in a home rather than Sunday morning in a classroom?

A few weeks ago, Ryan Stigile wrote an excellent post over on Tony Morgan Live about the future of discipleship in the church. Just as the means by which people are reached has changed in the past, it will no doubt continue to. Ryan pointed out that small groups may morph into volunteer groups. Bible study is always important but could small groups one day be irrelevant? The bottom line is this: we must care more about what’s effective than about what we’re comfortable doing.

Are you doing what’s effective or what’s comfortable?

We should start by asking ourselves if our current discipleship processes are effective. How do we do that?

  1. Know what outcomes to measure. What gets measured gets managed. What are your goals?
  2. Constantly ask tough questions to evaluate your discipleship strategy. Are your programs in place because they’re effective or because they’re familiar and comfortable?
  3. Create an environment where it’s ok for an idea to fail. This is critical for senior leadership teams. Here’s a good example of the model Saddleback embraces when it comes to eliminating the fear of a failed idea.
  4. Leverage data and technology to help church members grow individually. Technology provides an incredible opportunity to keep track of each member individually.

Rather than choose programming based on personal preference or even based on what is popular within Christian culture, consider what has the most impact on your discipleship. It’s easy to get distracted by the package, but it’s important to zoom out and remember that we are simply called to make disciples.

Have you re-thought your approach to discipleship? What do you think might need to shift?

Topics: This entry was posted in Leadership Roles, This entry was posted in Discipleship Ministry, This entry was posted in Blog, This entry was posted in Executive Pastor

Posted by Steve Caton on July 15, 2015