How do you know what direction to go if you don’t know where you are? In order to get to a future state, understanding current reality is a must. For the next few moments lets consider three important factors to becoming a disciple-making church.
Assessing the Present Reality (Evaluation)
Many churches believe they are making disciples who make disciples when, in actuality, they are merely adding people to their membership and placing them in groups, groups that are about gathering more than disciple-making.
In order for a church to conclude whether or not the church is making disciples who make disciples they simply need to ask themselves the following questions.
1. Do we have a reproducible disciple-making process in place?
2. Are those who consider themselves disciple-makers doing life alongside those they are discipling or are they simply leading a Bible study or hosting a small group?
3. Are those who have been discipled exhibiting the fruit of the Spirit (love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, gentleness, faithfulness, and self-control), engaged daily in the spiritual disciplines, as well as being witnesses for Christ?
4. Are those who have been discipled leaving the discipleship experience spiritually mature enough to disciple someone themselves?
5. Are those who have been discipled choosing to disciple someone else or are they still focused on themselves?
Envisioning the Future Reality (Vision)
Until a leader sees in his/her minds eye what the future reality will be, that leader will continue to hold on to the present reality. The vision a disciple-making church leader imagines is a church made up of groups gathering to become more like Christ. These groups are led by spiritual parents who nurture and challenge those in their group toward greater levels of spiritual maturity.
Utilizing a Strategy to Make the Future Reality a Present Reality
A vision without a strategy is only a dream. In order for a vision to become a reality, there must be a strategy in place and that strategy must be carried out aggressively and persistently.
The first step is to determine if the church is going to be a church OF Disciple-making or WITH Disciple-making. We will talk next week about a strategy that might serve you well.
See you downstream . . . . .