Instead of thinking about what meetings people are going to, think about how a disciple lives. There are processes and there are behaviors. By focusing on the behaviors (the function) instead of the processes (the form), we get the results we are looking for.

Let’s say you want to help your people engage in evangelism. Instead of sending them to a class on evangelism, what if you encouraged them to build relationships with unbelievers? It might be more helpful and practical to volunteer alongside several unbelievers all morning at the dog shelter rescue event than it would be to attend a class with other believers about how to develop relationships with unbelievers.

That’s form vs. function. When you think about discipleship this way, it’s easier for each individual person to figure out where they need to focus their energy. They can evaluate where they are strong and what areas need further development to live to the fullest as a disciple of Jesus.

What can you to help emphasize function? Here are a few ideas:

  • Provide individualized coaching for your leaders. If you don’t have enough time to do that yourself, train additional coaches so they can walk alongside others.
  • Create a space every four months for people to think through where they are spiritually, where they’re strong, and where they need to grow.
  • Use the map at to help your people identify specific areas for growth.