Most church leaders I talk to truly want the churches they lead to be effective at fulfilling the mission of Jesus. The problem is, they don’t really know where to start. They know they need to be making disciples, but how that happens is still a mystery to them. Let me share with you four questions that will bring great clarity to fulfilling Christ’s mission.
What is your target? If you don’t know what you are aiming for, how will you know if you hit it? I know many churches that are trying to make disciples without knowing what it looks like to actually make one. Let me say it again: you can’t hit a target you can’t see! If you do nothing else, be sure you know what it looks like when you have made a disciple.
This is such a basic concept, but it is so easily overlooked. At the church I pastor, we have identified at least seven marks of Christlike conduct along with Christlike character (The Fruit of the Spirit) that give us the target of a “fully trained” disciple.
What is your strategy? Once you know what your target is, you need a plan to hit it. Every church needs a strategy to help people move from untrained to fully trained disciples.
This is exactly what Jesus did over 2,000 years ago, and it is the same thing we should be doing in our churches today. The plan will work if we work the plan. The strategy of Jesus is not complicated. Jesus made it so simple even fishermen could do it.
What are your environments? Jesus made His disciples in a small group context. Yes, He used the large crowds and ministry experiences, but the primary environment for disciple making was a small group of twelve people. You must have disciple making small groups in your church to work the strategy and hit your target. It will not happen if all you have is a large group environment. Jesus did not make disciples in a crowd, and you won’t either.
A church can have small groups that are agenda driven or mission driven. The difference is in why they exist. Jesus’ small group existed to drive the mission of making disciples. You will want disciple making groups within your church and not agenda-driven groups.
What kind of leaders? All churches have leaders, they just don’t always have the right kind of leaders. If the mission of the Church is to make disciples, then the Church needs disciple making leaders. When Jesus anointed His disciples to be leaders of His movement, He knew exactly what kind of leaders they would be. The twelve were disciple making leaders because they had been trained by the best disciple making leader of all time.
Most churches do not have disciple making leaders, and they have no plan for developing them. You cannot expect to be a church on mission if your leaders are not on mission. A church of non-disciple making leaders will not produce a movement of disciples and disciple makers.
These four questions are the beginning to being a church on mission for Jesus. Here at Impact Discipleship Ministries, our goal is to help you figure out the answers to each of these questions. Contact us for training and resources to help you become a Disciple Making Church at firstname.lastname@example.org.