There are two types of churches. There are map churches, and there are menu churches. A menu church is a church that offers a variety of classes and programs that people can pick and choose from. A menu church is very much like a buffet or cafeteria where you select the things you like and leave out the things you don’t like. A map church is very different from a menu church. A map church is a church that helps you arrive at a specific, intended destination. A map church guides you with intentional steps to become the person God has called you to be. A map church recommends taking a path that will lead you to become what God intended for you to be: a fully trained disciple.
Let’s take a closer look at some ways your church can become a map church.
Know the Destination
First, know the preferred destination! When my family gets ready to leave town for a vacation we have lots of highway options. We live outside of Atlanta so we can take major interstate highways in just about every possible direction. All those options are good, but they are meaningless if our destination is the panhandle of Florida. A map is only good as long as you know where you are going. The preferred destination of a believer is to go from an untrained seeker to a fully trained disciple.
Jesus led a handful of people to take steps and helped them arrive at the destination of fully trained disciples. He intentionally and strategically led them from the culture to the crowd. From the crowd into community. From community into a disciple making core. From a core into to called and sent leaders.
Know the Route
Every destination requires a route. If I want to drive from my house to Florida, I need to know the right places to turn and the roads I need to take. A good smart phone will make navigating that route much easier. Unless you want to be a trail blazer, you typically follow the proven path that has been followed by others. The fact that so many other people have already traveled to Florida from where I live makes it much easier to know how to get there.
Jesus was the trail blazer. He laid down a new path with the original disciples that has not changed in over the last two thousand years. Becoming a fully trained disciple has alway started with a “come and see” invitation. Joining a biblical community has always been a result of a “come and follow” challenge. Growing as a disciple of Jesus has always meant “come and remaining” in obedience to Jesus. Finally, being a leader in the harvest as always been a result of “coming and going out” for Christ’s mission.
Know the Guide
If my goal is to travel to Florida from Georgia, I will need help getting there. I can use a GPS on my phone, go old school with a paper map, or simply follow the street signs. Either way, I cannot travel to my preferred destination without help. Just like a student needs a counselor, a disciple needs a leader. We all need someone to help direct our steps as we become fully trained disciples. There is no question that Jesus was the perfect guide for the disciples. He led them to be more like Him. He led them to become fully trained disciples who had His own character and conduct.
Impact Discipleship Ministries exists to inspire people and churches to be and build disciples of Jesus Christ. We can help you lead your church to become a “map” church. We have training, resources, and consulting designed to assist you in becoming a disciple making church. Contact us and get started on the journey towards your destination today!