There seems to be a lot of debate in the church world about the best way to reach people. The crazy thing is that the more we debate, the less people we seem to be reaching. Personally, I feel like it is another trick of the enemy to get our eye off the ball. Our enemy specializes in distracting us in ways that prevent us from doing the things we ought to be doing. I’m pretty sure the one thing we all agree on is that we need to be reaching more people for Christ. Amen?
My gut tells me that our enemy laughs at us while we debate on being mission or attraction-based. As long as he keeps us from helping people move from lost and unchurched to fully trained disciples, Satan could care less what approach we use. He is much more interested in the bottom line than he is with our church strategies. I for one am more interested in reaching people for Christ than I am on winning the debate on how to do it.
Now that I’ve gotten that off my chest, let me suggest that if we are committed to helping people become fully trained disciples, there has to be a time when people move from the “culture” to the “crowd.” Any way you slice it, fully trained disciples have made a transition from being part of secular culture to regularly participating in a Christ-centered crowd. In other words, you are not going to make fully trained disciples like Jesus did unless you figure out how to help people become part of His mission and movement.
Jesus invited people to come and see what He could offer them and what they could become as they followed Him. Jesus was very intentional and strategic with this invitation. He was asking unschooled and ordinary people to take a simple step and discover more about who He was.
Whatever you call it, we need to do the same thing Jesus did. We need to invite people that are far from God to take an initial step into the movement of Christ. It doesn’t matter if they trust Christ and then take the step, or if they take the step and then come to faith in Christ. The Christ crowd is important, and it is a first step in becoming a fully trained disciple.
In the church where I pastor, we use a number of different ways to get folks to come and see what Christ is all about. We encourage personal invites, servant projects, small groups, special services, and even big day celebrations as opportunities to invite people to come and see. The bottom line for us is that we have a much greater chance of seeing someone become a fully trained disciple if they are part of our weekend Christ-crowd than we do if they are just caught up in our culture. Honestly, very few people ever become fully trained, world-changing disciples if they have not become an active part of the mission and movement of Christ.
Our goal at Impact Discipleship Ministries is to help churches figure out how to be and build disciples. The Disciple Making Church Seminar is one of the training resources we provide to help churches. If you are interested in hosting a Disciple Making Church Seminar please contact us here, or register to attend a seminar near you.