As you’re making disciples, you’re helping people move from where they are to the next appropriate steps in their journey of faith. The focus isn’t on where the person currently is, but on what’s next. Don’t let them wander around the edge of the vision– send them into it. When they reach one place, they need options to go forward in their next steps of development. You need to ask two questions: “What relationships are needed?” and “What communications are needed?”
For example, let’s say your church has a big social event– an outreach. Sometimes the church is satisfied with a large number of people attending the event, but has not given any thought to what next steps exist for getting involved. We need to focus on the options we’re offering those who want to take the next step. Success isn’t how many attend; it’s what percentage take the next step to involvement.
Usually there are two components to that next step: relationships and communication. What relationships do people need to move forward? Who can you introduce them to? Who can sit down with them over a cup of coffee and talk about next steps for involvement? Also consider communications. What sort of follow-up communication will there be? Is there a card? An email invitation? A direct twitter message?
We need a personal touch and some follow-up communication to help people bridge those transitions toward greater involvement in discipleship. Next time you plan an event, consider your people flow. What options do people have for taking their next step? How will they do that?