One of the things I’ve observed over the last 30+ years is that there are many ways to make disciples.
You are limited only by your imagination. From organic to highly programmatic, new approaches are being developed as you read this blog.
I am focusing on the absolute minimum support a discipler or disciple maker requires to make disciples. Specifically if the discipler has adopted a coach approach because the people the disciple coach is engaging with have aborted absolute Truth, are highly individualistic and secular. Because of this dynamic the disciple coach must help the people they engage with discover Truth for themselves. The disciple coach does this through listening and asking questions. It is not a one size fits all approach. Over the previous four weeks, I have been addressing the bare essentials a disciple coach needs to sustain their ministry–I call these essentials the habits of a disciple coach.
Here are the first four habits of a disciple coach:
- Missional Values
- Active Prayer
- Relational Connections
- Disciple Making Cycle
The fifth and final habit is Strategic Partnerships.
Partnerships that support disciple-making relationships are multifaceted and help keep the disciple coach on mission:
- Partnership with God
- Partnership with those the disciple coach has engaged with on their spiritual journey
- Partnerships with trusted mentors
It would be easy to focus on any of these to the exclusion of the other two, or to focus on two and exclude the third. in the best case scenario, all three would be exercised at the same time. While that is optimal, it can be difficult to prioritize all three simultaneously.
Here is a simple example:
As a disciple coach, you and I are doing life in the community of a small group of other disciple coaches who are on mission loving God, loving their neighbors, and making disciples. Partnerships within the group encourage and support the three values. When a disciple takes the next step on their spiritual journey to find and follow Jesus, it is celebrated! This might take the form of an act of service, a generous gift of one’s resources, or taking a step of faith to pray for the very first time. Whatever it is, the group synergistically supports the work of the disciple coach.
The other Strategic Partnerships the disciple coach nurtures is with not-yet Christians. Right now, at the tail end of a global pandemic, developing new relationships can be complicated. Creative ideas are necessary. A church planter that I work with has launched a virtual “Youth Alpha”. This has provided an opportunity to form small pods of young people to emerge where redemptive relationships are being formed. that will growth as the church transitions to in-person gatherings. The youth Alpha not only sustained the plant but grew the church to the point now the plan is well on its way to reaching the vision to launch 5 missional communities. Whatever the needs, the Lord instills creative ideas in the minds and hearts of disciple coaches – even during the most challenging times.
This completes the list of the five habits of a disciple coach! I wonder if you have some thoughts of what else a disciple coach needs to support the work of making disciples. I would love to hear your thoughts and ideas!