If the goal of the church is to be a disciple making church there are at least four essential questions that must be answered. The answers to these four questions will reveal whether or not you will succeed at becoming a church that makes disciples the way Jesus did.
1. Are you a church of addition or multiplication?
Very few churches can honestly say they are movements of multiplying disciples. Most are movements of addition at best. Christ intended his church to be making disciples by multiplying them, not adding them. When the church becomes a movement of multiplication it grows exponentially and rapidly. The Book of Acts is a great picture of a multiplying church. The church grew from a core of 130 disciples in the upper room to crowds of thousands of believers in approximately thirty years. To be a movement of multiplication the church must reach more people, build more people, and send more people.
2. Are you making partially trained or fully trained disciples?
In Luke 6:40 Jesus said a fully trained disciple will look like his teacher. If the church is making fully trained disciples they will look like Jesus in their character and conduct. Often the church ends up making disciples that have some of Christ’s character and some of his conduct. The goal ought to be fully trained disciples that have all of Christ’s character and conduct. Making a fully trained disciple is not subjective. Scripture gives us a very objective picture of who Christ was and what he did. The biblical picture of Jesus ought to be the measuring stick for when a disciple has been made.
3. Are you providing a menu or a map?
Most churches try to make disciples by providing a menu. They let people pick and choose what they want and don’t want for their discipleship journey. Jesus did not give his disciples a menu, he gave them a map for how to move from untrained seekers to fully trained disciples. If the disciples followed Jesus he would lead them to be like him and do what he did. Jesus helped unschooled, ordinary men become world changers because he had an intentional plan to develop them. Schools follow this exact same approach. Schools help untrained students become graduates by following a curriculum plan to help them gain what they need to go to the next level.
4. Are you connecting people to small groups or disciple making groups?
All groups are not created equal. Jesus had a small group that was focused on making a core of disciples that would eventually step into leadership and lead the movement of Christianity. The disciple making group of Jesus was uniquely designed to help people be “with Jesus” so that he could “send them” out to do ministry. In three short years Jesus raised up a group of men that would become leaders of his mission and movement here on earth. The group Jesus led was a group that trained people to be on mission for Jesus. Do you have these types of groups in your church?
So, how would you answer these four questions when it comes to your church? Over the next few weeks stay tuned to this blog as we unpack more on how to make progress in each one of these four questions.
Impact Discipleship Ministries exists to inspire people and churches to be and build disciples of Jesus Christ. Part of this mission is helping churches become Disciple Making Churches. Contact us at impactdisciples.com for more information and resources on becoming a church that multiplies disciples.