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 Family, Deepening Your Roots in God’s Family, Bearing Fruit in God’s Family, as their foundational and first studies.
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