One of the questions I get from Pastors is how they can move the pendulum to be more focused on discipleship in their church. I’d like to give you a few ideas about how that’s possible.
Model it without announcing it.
Don’t stand on stage and tell people what you are going to do. Quietly start to do it on your own. Start by finding key people (same gender) and invite them to be part of a discipleship group (call it whatever you want) that meets consistently (at least twice a month to be meaningful). Yes it will cost you time from some other area of your schedule. You will probably have to stop something you already do in order to make space.
Structure for it.
Do what needs to be done organizationally behind the scenes to emphasize discipleship in a greater way. Change your percentage of emphasis. Shift your finances. Change your staff structure.
Change your language
Move on from language that takes away discipleship to language that is promotes discipleship. Emphasize what matters: relationships, conversations, circles not rows, etc. Move from ideas that serve the organization to those that serve discipleship. For example – from volunteer (about the organization) to serving (flows from discipleship).
Articulate your playbook.
Articulate every aspect of how ministry will look like, seasonal rhythms, systems, support methods, resources, and what you will measure so staff and leaders can understand, be aligned, and implement.
Time & Consistency
It won’t happen overnight. Give yourself three years to see results. Transition people to a discipleship culture by slowing implementing new methods. Start with your staff and your existing leaders.
By the time you get to this step – you have the ministry cred to celebrate what’s happening. You are modeling it. Don’t start with preaching. People are resistant to “another idea”.