What’s holding back the acceleration of disciplemaking movements around the world? Someone asked me this question recently and I thought hard about the answer. Here are some notes I took on some of the obstacles I see holding back the acceleration of disciplemaking movements around the world.
Lack of a reproducible process:
We need structures that can support a movement—simple, easy, reproducible ways to keep making disciples at a grassroots level. Without structures, even the most powerful movements of the Spirit fade over time and lose their apostolic edge. A good structure can come alongside people to keep the movement going forward.
Becoming inwardly focused:
All disciplemaking movements begin with an outward focus—loving people and sharing their stories of faith. When those movements fade is often when they shift from an outward to an inward focus. We can help maintain an outward focus through coaching relationships where we ask each other questions about serving, using our gifts, and sharing our faith.
Lack of structures for compassion movements:
On the flipside, some movements can become so overly focused on external compassion ministries that they lose the heart of discipleship—the why for why we’re serving. When this happens, we have care ministries but with no disciplemaking going on. Discipleship leads to compassion and serving, but it doesn’t end there. By creating structures for both discipleship and compassion ministries, you can ensure they run alongside one another, both moving forward.
A relational approach to discipling younger leaders:
Although there currently seems to be a greater sense of interest in the discipleship of younger leaders, the approach taken with that needs to be more relational and personal. Younger leaders don’t want to be pressed into anyone else’s mold. They want to be developed to focus on what God has called them to do particularly. The only way to develop leaders in this way isn’t through classrooms, but through intentional relationships and real-life ministry experience.
What other obstacles do you see holding back disciplemaking?
Did you find this post helpful? Check out these resources:
The Discipleship Difference- This book lays out an intentional, holistic, and relational approach to discipleship that is individualized to meet each person wherever they are.
The Leadership Difference- This book focuses specifically on key leadership skills you need to be effective as a leader
Finding the Flow- This book helps small group leaders experience the power small groups have to allow members to wrestle with questions, create a space where people know and are known by others, and to open people up to encounter God more deeply.