Yesterday’s entry was about Pastor Tad Blackburn’s experience using a retreat setting to process the results of the discipleship assessment.
One observation I made was how crucial the follow through is. People could have had any number of breakthrough insights at the retreat. But if they didn’t have a follow up system of some kind to help them implement changes in their lives, very little would likely have come of the experience.
On the other hand, as we saw, if people had coaching and accountability groups to help them follow through after the retreat, they saw life changes. The follow through is what makes the difference.
With any of your initiatives, consider… what ongoing support are you providing for follow through? Coaching relationships can help people identify one key area of work on and then develop an implementation plan in accordance with that person’s learning style to help them stay on track. My latest book Becoming Barnabas deals with how people can use coaching relationships in the local church to aid with discipleship.
In the case of a discipleship assessment retreat, consider doing it once or twice every year so you can measure your progress by tracking assessment scores. The value of a retreat is to slow down and focus on where we are, taking enough time to prayerfully reflect on our own discipleship and where we need to grow. Doing this in the context of community– and allowing that community to follow through with us– is what will help us make the changes in the long-term.