Begin your Disciplemaking Pathway in the Harvest

Begin your Disciplemaking Pathway in the Harvest

Micah Dodson and I talk about the primary shift a leader must wrestle through in order to establish a culture of disciplemaking in your church.  This is perhaps the key philosophical decision a leader must make to create an intentional community of disciples, making disciples.  After we discuss the shift then I ask Micah to present a challenge to take the next step to strengthen your disciplemaking culture.

You will need 6 minutes to view this video; I promise it will be worth your time – CLICK HERE!

To get the conversation started – share your take away from the video below.

Making Disciples Coaching Guide

Making Disciples Coaching Guide

7 Question to Innovate Creative Solutions in Ministry during Uncertain Times

7 Question to Innovate Creative Solutions in Ministry during Uncertain Times

History will tell the story how the Church decided to act in faith and be the Church in crisis.

Last Tuesday Gina (my wife) and I made an executive decision for our small group.  We have a wonderful host couple that open their home so that our group of 5-17 members (depending on the week) can meet on Tuesday evenings for about 28 weeks throughout the year.  A number of our participants have compromised immune systems or loved ones who are at greater risk than the general population.  Last weekend our church, like about many other congregations across the country, launched their first-ever online worship service.

Back to our small group.  I discussed the situation with Gina and we came up with a solution.  Due to the the various reasons above – we moved our small group gathering to a virtual format, using Zoom.  This is not an original idea with us.  In fact, this might seem old school for many.  But, it was an innovative solution to a real and pressing issue.

This allowed our group to meet without concerns for the health of our people who deal with compromised immune systems.  More importantly, this removed the excuse not to meet.  Check-out the list of questions below to consider creative solutions to complex problems.

7 Questions to Innovate Creative Solutions in Ministry during Uncertain Times
  1. What is influencing our decisions as we navigate this crisis?
  2. How can we leverage the circumstances the crisis is presenting, to move the mission of Jesus forward?
  3. Brainstorm a list of ideas that come to mind.
  4. Narrow the list to the best 3-5 ideas.
  5. What are the pros and cons of each idea?
  6. Choose the best idea that you can execute within a certain timeframe.
  7. What are the necessary steps to implement this idea.

Going to an online platform to keep your church connected might be the direction you need to move right now.  This forced migration might be the best thing for your congregation.  Perhaps, online isn’t something you need to do and there are other considerations that will allow you to capitalize on the opportunity?

Three COMPLIMENTARY Coaching Sessions to Innovate Creative Solutions During Uncertain Times

With the warnings, limitations and restrictions imposed on your ministry; would you like help navigating this season?  With that in mind, InFocus is offering three complimentary coaching appointments, 30 minutes each.  Going online with worship services, small groups or your entire ministry is innovative.

With the current restrictions the government has enforced due to the Coronavirus there was an uptick in webinars just last week to assist leaders that need to introduce online solutions for their church, facilitated by experts in the field. If you would like assistance on sorting through all the options I would be happy to coach you around the best way to address your need.  Simply click on the button below to schedule a time that works for you.  You determine the agenda:

  • Taking your worship services online
  • Taking your disciplemaking online
  • Taking your church online

…..or some other topic of your choosing!

CLICK HERE  to schedule your first appointment







7 Questions to Sharpen your Disciple Making Process

7 Questions to Sharpen your Disciple Making Process

Four findings recently surfaced from a national study of Disciple Making in USA churches:

  1. Fewer than 5% of churches in the US have a reproducing disciple making culture
  2. An absence of churches reflecting viral-like disciple making movements
  3. Lack of commonly understood definitions
  4. Overestimating Impact

*National Study on Disciple Making in USA Churches: High Aspirations Amidst Disappointing Results

The report cited above elaborates on each of the key points.  If you lead one of the churches within that 5%, then your ministry is exceptional – well done!  You can read the report in it’s entirety – CLICK HERE.

7 Questions to Sharpen your Disciple Making Process

Reflection Questions:

  • What was your discipleship journey like?
  • What “steps” of your journey have been repeated by others, through your ministry?
  • When you consider the essential steps a disciple takes, what steps are missing from the list you created above?
  • What steps does your church do well?

Planning Questions:

  • Which steps could your church improve on?
  • Select one step you need to focus on now?
  • Identify one action you can take to enhance that step.

Of course, these questions are just a first step.  But when taken seriously, consistently monitoring progress, you can create a “reproducing disciple making culture”.  It is within reach.  You can move the needle in the right direction.  Review the Making Disciples Storyboard and assess where your ministry is strong and where there are gaps.  Then take action.

It is mind-boggling to think that the primary mission of the church is to make disciples; yet, less than 5% of our churches “have a reproducing disciple making culture”.  Through the hard work of capable disciplemakers under the guidance of the Holy Spirit – we can do better than that!  Wouldn’t you agree?


Two areas people grow in excellent small groups

Two areas people grow in excellent small groups

People learn to discover and follow Jesus in community.  Few environments do that better than a small group.  This begs the question, what did Jesus focus on when he trained His disciples.

Jesus was a disciplemaker and leader developer.

Excellent small groups do these two things consistently:

  1. Make Disciples
  2. Train Leaders

I have learned that people benefit when they understand what a “win” is for one process (disciplemaking) and a “win” for the other (leadership development).  I have also learned that these two areas bleed into each other.  I love the phrase Neil Cole coined: “Raise the bar of discipleship and lower the bar for leadership”.  I have one other nuance to add:

Clarify the developmental path so people know where they are and where they are going!

What does excellent “people development” look like?

In the small group I lead with my wife, Gina, we have established a nourishing environment for people to navigate their disciplemaking journey.  Just as critical, we have communicated that we are looking for a few good leaders to reproduce our group.  I find the clearer we define the “win”, the more secure people feel and confident they are knowing where they are in their development.  BTW – these two processes continue throughout our lifetimes – right?

Here are two developmental processes that simplify the people development process for:

Three questions to strengthen people development process in your small group:

  1. What behaviors does a fruitful disciple demonstrate as a disciple of Jesus?
  2. What behaviors does an effective leader demonstrate as a leader?
  3. What does that developmental process look like for a:
    • disciple?
    • leader?

Please respond below if you have a process you follow for either:

  • Disciplemaking
  • Leadership Development
Great Small Groups do these 2 things with excellence

Great Small Groups do these 2 things with excellence

Of all the areas that will contribute to a healthy church, small groups are one of the most impactful. In fact, in the book Natural Church Development, under the section of Holistic Small Groups, you will discover an interesting factoid based on the data measuring over 170 variables. The most important element contributing to the growth of the church, based on over 4.2 million survey answers, is the multiplication of small groups. It is the environment where all of the elements of a healthy church interplay. Below are two things great small groups do to make more and better disciples.

Provide Excellent Pastoral Care

We can tell story after story from our church community of how people have been cared for during difficult times in their life. Helping a cancer patient die with dignity, supporting a newly widowed mom through the sudden loss of her husband – while still caring for her young ones, loving divorced spouses to move on, helping a parent hope again after losing a child; and the list goes on and on. The beauty is the first person, people in our church call when they are in need is their small group leader OR better yet, members of their small group.

Robust Leadership Development Process

Highly relational coaches provide the support, encouragement and training to develop small group leaders in our church community. We have an orientation session that lasts a couple of hours for new small group leaders. But training happens “just in time” as leaders lead their group.  I’ve found that the periodic calls we receive from our coach gives the level of support needed in about 90% of the situations we find ourselves. The remaining 10% need pastoral intervention when the situation warrants it; but that is not the norm.

Recently we kicked-off the fall Small Group season in our church community. You can see more of what we do in small groups when you CLICK HERE. When I asked our pastor, Steve Redden, the key to the small group DNA at Crosspoint he said two things stand out:

  1. From day one, small groups were the priority and no other ministries compete on the same evening as small groups.
  2. From day one, Steve has led a small group focused on new people with the intent of handing leadership over to an emerging leader from the group, so that he and his wife can start a new group.

Small groups that provide excellent pastoral care and a robust leadership development process are contributing to the vision – more and better disciples.  Multiplication at the most fundamental level of disciplemaking and small groups is a good thing!  These helpful tips are intended for you if you are wondering where to start or the next step you need to take to move your small group ministry forward.

Coachability – what are the traits of a coachable leader?

Coachability – what are the traits of a coachable leader?

I’ve struggled to describe the non-negotiables of a coachable person when training leaders in the coaching process and skills.

That is, until I read Patrick Lencioni’s book entitled, The Ideal Team Player.  I’ve blogged about the three qualities (Hungry-Humble-Smart) as it pertains to a coachable person, in the past – CLICK HERE to review previous blogs.  These are so important, easy to remember and helpful to determine if a person is a good fit.

What I did not know is that you can actually assess a person for these three qualities with a statistically reliable and valid tool – CLICK HERE to learn more.

The Harrison Assessment is capable of doing just that.  This could be a very helpful exercise to assess prospective coaching clients, potential team members or as a developmental tool for people already on your team.  Honestly, to have people see where they assess on the three qualities could be a humbling exercise, as well as a great way to help leaders surface blind spots.  I’m always looking for new ways to come alongside leaders to help them go further faster.

If you would like to chat about this or other Harrison assessments, please CLICK HERE to schedule an appointment with Gary and discuss how The Harrison Assessment might further your mission to pre-qualify future staff hires & church planters, assess existing staff and develop your leaders.