We all know we’re supposed to make disciples. And yet if we’re honest, how well is that really happening? Too often the focus seems on having people become active church participants: attending activities, volunteering, giving, etc.
One of the challenges in making disciples is there is no clear course of action to follow. We have the model of Jesus of course, but what do we actually do? Here and now? I’d say we need three things.
- We need something concrete and visual that clarifies what we’re aiming for as we make disciples—a target of sorts. For example, what do we want them to do? What qualities do we expect that they will demonstrate if they are increasingly following Jesus?
- We also need a clear, intentional process to help keep people moving forward—a structure and means of measurement. As people grow, need some way to assess their progress. Are they moving any closer toward the qualities of a disciple? Without some form of external measurement at regular intervals, growth is hard for most people to see.
- People need an individualized plan for growth that is appropriate for their learning style. One size does not fit all; what’s helpful for one person is like hitting their head against a wall for another person. We need to help people find a way of growth that works for them, and that can’t be done apart from relationship.
Consider your ministry. What do you have in place for each of these three areas? How are you going about making disciples?