In my experience as a pastor and in my interactions with other church leaders, I know that churches sometimes struggle with how to make disciples most effectively. Approaches that worked well in the past may not be as effective today.
In this blog, we will look at a holistic process for making disciples that involves churches growing in 11 key areas. This strategic pathway of discipleship attempts to integrate a biblical understanding of discipleship with an understanding of contemporary culture. Obviously, some elements may be more important in a particular context while other elements not included in this list may need to be considered.
1. Prayer Saturation
Prayer permeates disciple-making churches. How can we grow a culture of prayer—a culture in which God delights to work deeply in peoples’ lives?
2. Loving Christ-centered Community
Discipleship occurs best in deep communities where people lovingly practice life-on-life discipleship. What can leaders do to develop this kind of intimacy?
3. Growth Orientation
When everything in the church is geared toward helping people take next steps, growth becomes normative and expected. Discipleship can flourish in this kind of growth-oriented environment.
4. Personalized Approach
Even though programs can provide a context in which discipleship can occur, we must strive to come alongside individuals and help them take next steps. This personalized approach is a requirement for in-depth discipleship.
5. A Missional Mindset
Without a strong desire to reach lost people, churches are unlikely to have the passion and motivation to devote a significant amount of time and energy to making disciples. A main goal of making disciples is so that we can make more disciples.
6. Biblical Teaching
Good sermons can help people know and follow Jesus. We need strong biblical teaching that exposes people to the whole counsel of God and motivates them to greater depths of obedience.