I’ll admit, I was late to the party – but I love the map apps on my phone. When the various map apps first came out, I was reluctant. I wasn’t keen on someone telling me to “re-direct” my course. Now, I welcome the corrections and have no problem re-directing. Finding my way and arriving at the right place at the right time has become more important to me than protecting my ego.
Not only is arriving at the right place at the right time a priority to me while driving, it is even more a priority to me to arrive at the right place at the right time spiritually. My goal is to grow spiritually and become more like Christ. To do that, I know I need a map. I need a plan to get me to my destination and I need someone to help me make mid-course corrections when I get disoriented.
If the goal is to become a fully trained disciple who looks like Jesus (Luke 6:40), then hopefully every church is a place where that goal is being accomplished. In the church where I pastor, we give people a map for becoming a fully trained disciple when they attend a class we call “Next Steps.” Next Steps is a four-week class that helps guide people through the steps needed to become a fully trained disciple of Christ. Completing the class does not make someone a fully trained disciple, but it does give them a map to follow to become fully trained.
This map helps a person understand how to become a member of our church. It helps them understand how to be a magnifier who worships both privately and publicly. It helps them find the right small group for spiritual growth and maturity. It helps them find a place of ministry and service. It helps them understand how to manage their God-given resources and how to share Christ with others. Finally, this class reminds people how to reproduce more disciples and live as a multiplier.
Not only do we give people a map at the Next Steps Class, we also give people a person to help them navigate the journey. When a person attends our Next Steps class, they sit at a table with a trained facilitator who helps guide them through the connection process. This person is committed to following up with each person and helping them understand their “map.”
The combination of a map and a guide is a great way to help someone make the move from our weekend crowd to Christ-centered community. This is the same thing Jesus did two thousand years ago when He invited His disciples to “come and follow” Him. Jesus was inviting interested seekers to join Him in community. Connecting to community is a critical part of the process for becoming a fully trained disciple of Christ.
At Impact Discipleship Ministries, we are dedicated to helping churches learn how to make fully trained disciples. Feel free to contact us for resources and training or check out our website, impactdisciples.com for more information and helpful resources. You can actually purchase our exact Next Steps class guide on our website here. We encourage you to use it as inspiration for developing your own Next Steps “map”. You can also learn more about how we facilitate our Next Steps classes on our podcast here. Let us know if we can support you further as you create your own process!