Here is the first of seven mission critical concepts leaders are re-thinking strategically to create a more robust disciplemaking + church multiplication culture.

Concept 1 – Discipleship:

What is your discipleship pathway?

Immediately when I asked this question to a youthful church staff regarding their list of “indicators” for a disciple – the notion of a  non-organic, results-oriented disciplemaking process was rebuffed. Over the next few minutes I attempted to logically explain the rationale behind my question. I earnestly explained my “why” observable behaviors are important for a growing disciple are essential – but lost that battle!

Whether you have a relationally driven, organic disciplemaking process or a highly structured approach, the point is, every disciplemaker has a process they follow. A deeper question is, what are the essentials of a growing disciple?

My conclusion is that a discipleship pathway that leads to a disciplemaking movement embraces the following missional behaviors:

Grounded in Biblical principles

  • You can have disciples of all kinds, such as, religious, philosophical schools of thought, diets, etc. For apprentices of Jesus the Scriptures are the moral compass we follow.
  • Key Insight: Stay true to the Word of God.

Clear understanding of what a growing, reproducing disciple does

  • I like Covey’s Habit #2: “Keeping the End in Mind”.  The principle holds true to making disciples.  A framework with the essential outcomes, like the Making Disciples Storyboard, is helpful to keep the end in mind.
  • Key Insight: set boundaries for disciplemaking relationships, then stay within those.

Values relationship(s)

  • Some leaders gravitate towards 1-1 vs. others leaders who think 2-3 OR some leaders think small group vs. missional community.  Crosspoint Community Church is the local church I attend with my wife, Gina where we lead a small group of 15 apprentices of Jesus. Our church consistently has 85% or more of the adult church attenders in small groups which is one of the strategic focuses of our disciplemaking process.
  • Key Insight: Relationship(s) trumps content.

Takes a coach approach

  • I write a lot about this. Essentially, taking a coach approach is anchored in the ability of the disciples to hear and respond to the Holy Spirit and the disciplemaker helps the disciple draw out new insights by listing and asking questions.  See 5 Shifts to be a Great Coach blog.
  • Key Insight: Listening & asking questions help disciples go further, faster.

Revolves around transferable concepts

  • I remember a conversation I had with my mom when I was first starting out in ministry. She was an amazing leader who discipled many people, families and groups over her lifetime – that are still making disciples to this day. However, to my knowledge she never completed the 1-1 discipleship program our church (which is a great church) had introduced. In my niavete, I had a conversation with mom to critique the way she had made disciples over her lifetime to help her see “the enlightened path” I was following. Needless to say, she did the program and I am sure benefitted – to a degree. To this day, I regret having this conversation with my mom who is one of the most influential disciplemakers I have ever known.
  • Key Insight: transferable concepts have the potential of reproducing disciples into the 3rd-4th generation.

Take a moment and reflect on your experience:

  1. What missional behaviors do you practice?
  2. What missional behaviors do you need to adopt?

Please continue the conversation and respond below….


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