3 Keys to Making Disciples

What does a church look like when it succeeds? A church is successful when everyone in the church is in the game, maturing into disciples who can reproduce other disciples.

Matthew 4:19 gives us a clear, uncomplicated image of what a disciple looks like, and helps a church know if it is obeying the command to make disciples. “Come, follow me,” Jesus said, “and I will make you fishers of men.”

Follow me – a disciple knows and follows Christ. (Head)
I will make you – a disciple is being changed by Christ. (Heart)
Fishers of men – a disciple is committed to the mission of Christ. (Hands)

Back before we all had a GPS, finding our way on road trips turned out to be adventures. A successful road trip required planning and preparation. A successful journey needed a driver, a vehicle and a map. A successful journey needs three elements as well; an intentional leader, a relational environment and a reproducible process.

A Driver: The Intentional Leader
A road trip cannot begin if someone doesn’t turn the key, start the car, and drive. A driver with a destination in mind is essential. In the discipleship process, the driver is the intentional leader driving the discipleship process toward the goal of making disciples.

A Vehicle: The Relational Environment

A driver must have something to drive. In discipleship, the vehicle the intentional leader drives is the relational environment. Relationships are what God uses to communicate His truth and help people grow. Without relationships, the journey of discipleship is boring and ineffective. Relationships create the environment where discipleship happens best.

A Map: The Reproducible Process
The third component for a successful journey is a map. The road map is a reproducible process. This road map allows us to measure a disciple’s progress and teach that disciple the route so that he or she can intentionally lead others on the same journey.

An intentional leader plus a relational environment plus a reproducible process equals disciples. I am certainly not a math scholar but it seems to be a good equation. See you downstream…

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Barry Sneed

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comment_post_ID); ?> Thank you Ed for sharing your insights into the Church Growth Movement. I have my reservations with Church Growth models because it has done more damage than good in the Body of Christ. Over the years, western churches are more focused on results, formulas and processes with little or no emphasis on membership and church discipline. Pastors and vocational leaders are burnt out because they're overworked. I do believe that the Church Growth model is a catalyst to two destructive groups: The New Apostolic Reformation and the Emerging Church. Both groups overlap and have a very loose definition. They're both focus on contemporary worship, expansion of church brand (franchising), and mobilizing volunteering members as 'leaders' to grow their ministry. Little focus on biblical study, apologetics and genuine missional work with no agenda besides preaching of the gospel.
— Dave
comment_post_ID); ?> Thank you for sharing such a good article. It is a great lesson I learned from this article. I am one of the leaders in Emmanuel united church of Ethiopia (A denomination with more-than 780 local churches through out the country). I am preparing a presentation on succession planning for local church leaders. It will help me for preparation If you send me more resources and recommend me books to read on the topic. I hope we may collaborate in advancing leadership capacity of our church. God Bless You and Your Ministry.
— Argaw Alemu
comment_post_ID); ?> Amen!!
— Scott Michael Whitley

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