How were you first taught to make disciples? Was it through inviting new friends to your church? Handing pamphlets out on corners? Sharing testimonies with strangers? If any of this sounds familiar, you are not alone. For decades, this was how many Christians were taught to share the gospel and produce more followers of Christ. However, if you have tried any of these methods recently, you have likely been met with indifference or even animosity.
A couple of years ago we met our new neighbors and had them over for dinner. We had a wonderful time connecting which led to conversations dealing with their journey of faith. At no time did it seem odd to go there. They had been seeking relationship and we were first to extend an invitation. This led to multiple encounters over the next few years that allowed us to coach them to a next step on their spiritual journey simply by listening and asking questions. A skill-set that most Christians can develop.
We created the discipleship coach quiz because only about two percent of American Churches are growing through multiplication, while ninety-eight percent are not producing disciples for the next generation. Part of this problem is due to the fact that the Church is a little behind the times. We need to understand the cultural shift of a postmodern person. The postmodern generation doesn’t like to be told what to do and how they should do it; they value discovering these things on their own, in their own way.
In a previous blog we contrasted the spiritual journey of a modern vs. a postmodern person Essentially I asked: “WHAT’S DIFFERENT?” My answer, based on experience, observation, discussing the topic with others in the field and reading books on the topic: “THE STARTING POINT HAS CHANGED!”
- Instead of beginning with ‘Believing’ as the starting point – the initial point of contact is ‘Blessing’.
- When a person comes in contact with a Christian who heightens their curiosity for spiritual matters, that person might be interested in exploring a next step on their discipleship journey.
- That initial point of contact, which heightens curiosity and could lead to a potential next step, most naturally occurs in the Harvest!
So how do we reach the very people that are like the disciples Jesus tapped to follow Him? They are not going to magically appear in church. They are unlikely to seek out Biblical wisdom out of the blue. We need to meet them where they are at; outside of the walls of the church. Jesus didn’t go to the temples to find his first disciples; he met them on the shores of Galilee, in the middle of their workday. Disciple making doesn’t start in church “anymore”; it begins earlier, in the harvest. It begins in conversation and through true relationships. It starts by recognizing where not-yet Christians are on their spiritual journey and finding ways to join them.
Everyone has a different path. We shouldn’t impose a pathway… Everyone needs to create their own. We may have a few principles or milestones, but they are the author of their story. They create their own pathway.
We are getting closer and closer to launching the Disciple Coach Quiz. As we beta-test the quiz we are receiving amazing feedback. Here is what other people are saying about the Disciple Coach Quiz…
Gary and the InFocus team have put together a very helpful tool in the Disciple Coach Quiz. It only took a few minutes to complete and gave comprehensive feedback that was immediately helpful. The quiz helped me identify where I was weakest and the quiz report offered up quality questions to help me start down the road of growth in this area. A natural next step will be to pursue coaching in this growth area.
Daniel Bethel Director of Church Planting, Christar International , Malaga, Spain
Stay tune! We are excited as the we prepare for the launch of the Disciple Coach Quiz.