The goal in a church is not simply to make disciples. It’s to make disciples who go on to make other disciples. Passing it on is the difference between one generation and multiple generations. So whatever type of system or method or approach you take to making disciples, ensure that it’s something easy to pass on. You need a simple, reproducible disciplemaking process.
The goal in a church is not simply to make disciples. It’s to make disciples who go on to make other disciples. Click To Tweet
3 simple, reproducible disciplemaking processes
Guide for Discipling is set of coaching guides that are based on the eight discipleship qualities described in The Discipleship Difference. Designed to be used in a peer coaching setting, people can read scripture together, pray together, and ask one another questions about their growth. You can download a free sample guide to try out HERE.
Life Transformation Groups
Another option designed for 2-4 people is the LTG. This model meets weekly to challenge each other in the reading of scripture and for accountability in life choices. The agenda is always that same, and you can download a free guide to walk your people through what LTG gatherings look like HERE.
This simple process uses breathing as a metaphor for the basics of spiritual growth. It supports the practices of confession, bible study, and sharing the gospel with others. Here’s a blog post I did on Spiritual Breathing that unpacks the process a bit further.
There are many disciplemaking options…
Basically, if you are committed to passing it on, then you need some kind of “disciplemaking engine” that is your primary method of making disciples. Precisely which disciplemaking method you use doesn’t matter. Just make sure that your program is simple enough to be reproducible, but flexible enough that people don’t feel forced into a mold.Make sure that your disciplemaking program is simple enough to be reproducible, but flexible enough that people don’t feel forced into a mold. Click To Tweet
Pitfalls to avoid
Avoid the temptation to scatter your efforts. To be effective, just start with one—or maybe two—approaches that work. When you have too many options and too many activities, it’s easy to overwhelm a newcomer or a new believer. They may try to attend everything rather than focusing in on one thing that will facilitate growth and outreach.
Curriculum can be helpful initially, but there are also risks to becoming curriculum-dependent. It can feel intimidating to laypeople if it’s too complex to pass on. It can also be viewed as a course or class that, once completed, is never revisited. You’ll need something transferable, ongoing, and relational. You also need something flexible enough to allow people to listen to the Holy Spirit—sometimes people need to address issues in a different sequence than traditional curriculum allows.
A good disciplemaking engine focuses more on facilitating the reproduction of the message than about teaching specific information. The responsibility goes beyond one generation:
You then, my child, be strong in the grace that is in Christ Jesus; 2 and what you have heard from me through many witnesses entrust to faithful people who will be able to teach others as well. (2 Timothy 2:2)
Consider what type of simple and reproducible method you might use to create a disciplemaking pathway that moves people from not knowing Jesus to following and helping others follow Jesus. Remember that intentional discipleship always includes passing it on.A good disciplemaking engine focuses more on facilitating the reproduction of the message than about teaching specific information. Click To Tweet
The Discipleship Difference– Are you frustrated with your discipleship efforts? Are you noticing an imbalance between personal growth as a disciple and passing it on? The Discipleship Difference lays out an intentional, holistic, and relational approach to discipleship. It is simple in structure and flexible enough to meet each person wherever they are and help them take their next best step in their relationship with God.
The Church Planting Journey– Whether you are planning to plant a church, already in process, or supporting church planters, this book is for you! Building on the original Church Planter’s Toolkit, The Church Planting Journey is the culmination of over 40 years of experience as a church planter and coach of church planters. It is the comprehensive and practical guide that every church planter needs.