How many of your churches have a discipleship plan?
How many of your churches have an intentional leadership development plan?
If we are to “go and make disciples” then our ministry will only go to the depth of our discipleship so increasing discipleship focus ought to be one of our highest priories. If everything rises and falls on leadership then our ministry will only rise to the level of our leadership so increasing leadership focus ought to be one of our highest priorities. Both of these are important, we need leaders in our churches. But have we focused on developing leaders at the expense of discipleship?
The Church is divinely designed to develop leaders through the discipleship process. Leaders ought to be developed through our discipleship process. What if leadership development took place within the context of our discipleship process?
Possible differences between Leadership development vs. discipleship.
Discipleship: I learn to live like Jesus
Leadership: I learn to lead like Jesus
Discipleship: Primarily about character
Leadership: Primarily about competencies
Discipleship: Leading self
Leadership: Leading others
Discipleship: Cultivating intimacy with God
Leadership: Cultivating influence with people.
Ephesians 4:12 “…to equip the saints for the work of ministry…”
What does an equipped saint look like?
Loves God/loves others
Exhibit Godly character
An equipped saint becomes an influencer. Leadership is influence.
We are developing others to become influencers.
Cultivating a Leadership as Discipleship Ministry:
1. Model true discipleship.
2. Commit to leading a disciple making ministry.
3. Create a discipleship pathway.
4. Equip the Saints for ministry.
5. Cultivate leaders being discipled.
Seven questions to determine if you have a disciplemaking culture:
1. Are the few doing the ministry for the many? Or are the few equipping the many for the ministry?
2. Do we spend the majority of our time equipping, training and developing leaders?
3. Is it apparent that every member is to be a full-time minister in your church?
4. Do new believers get called and sent into the mission upon conversion?
5. Do you celebrate those who leave to start new works?
6. Is there shared leadership within the local body?
7. Do you intentionally create vacuums for other leaders to fill?
The Disciple Making Pathway
Needs to be simple.
Needs to be systematic
Needs to be sustainable
Congregation (Worship Gathering) – A disciple should gather together with the corporate church body for weekly worship. During this time, believers are equipped and edified for the work of the ministry through expository preaching of the Word.
Community (Life Groups/Small Groups) – This mixed-gender group of 10-20 people is the starting point for relationships, spiritual growth, and service both inside and outside the church. Friendships are formed in this context for future D-Groups (Discipleship Groups).
Core (D-Groups) – These are gender-exclusive groups of 3-5 people who meet for 12-18 months. The maturity of these groups is measured by the M.A.R.C.S. of a healthy D-Group.
Crowd (Engage the World) – Through divine appointments and relational evangelism, a disciple engages non-believers with the Gospel by forming intentional relationships in their workplace, neighborhood, and community.
Resource- Designed to Lead: The Church and Leadership Development by Eric Geiger