Recently, I finished a year long discipleship process with the Baptist Association in my area. The purpose of the process was for each pastor involved to develop a discipleship process they would implement in their church. Here is the process I developed.
What Might a Church’s Discipleship Process Look Like?
If you visit my church’s website, on the top right you will see the tagline: Taking you from Come and Worship, to Go and Serve in Christ. That tagline reveals the church’s discipleship process.
(1) Come and Worship
What that simple means is come to the main worship service. We’ve designed our main worship service to be all about Jesus. We see it as a time where you can grow in your love for God as you learn more about who He is and what He has done for you.
(2) Stay and Connect
Not only do we want our members and regular attenders to consistently come to the main worship service, but we also want them to stay and connect with others in our church. We primarily see them doing that through our Sunday School classes, but also through Community Groups and Bible Studies.
In these classes they will not only learn more about Jesus, but they also have an opportunity to build relationships with others. The opportunity to build relationships is important because if they are going to grow in their love for others, they need to have relationships. Relationships that allows them to know how best to love and serve each other.
What I mean by this is for the church to go and spread the gospel message to others in the community.
Part of being a disciple is sharing the gospel, so our church needs to help it’s members do that. Not through a church evangelization program, but rather by training and encouraging them to live as missionaries in their own community.
I am convinced that by training and encouraging them to do what missionaries do — build relationships with others with the intention of sharing the gospel — they will be an effective evangelical force in the community.
Disciples are those who follow Jesus in serving the church and community, so as part of a discipleship process we need to not only encourage the church to serve but to provide opportunity for them to serve.
We have a lot of opportunities within the church to serve — Nursery, Children’s church, Work days, Women’s Missions Ministry, Media booth — as well as there are a lot of service opportunities outside of the church. To highlight these opportunities, I created a page on our website so folks can see what areas we and the community need help in.
I believe that if we take the opportunities given to us to serve the church and community, we are going to continue to grow as a disciple.
(5) Bring others along
Disciples are those who make disciples. The best way for you to do that is by bringing someone along on the journey with you. To that end, I am encouraging those in my congregation to bring people to the worship service, Sunday School, Communities Groups, to bring others along when they serve or share their faith, and to sit down with another person and discuss God’s Word with them and pray.
Disciples are those who make disciples and one of the best ways to do that is just by bringing others along on the journey with you.
Here is a visual that goes along with my process:
Question for Reflection
- What process do you have for making disciples at your church?
Post adapted from my sermon: Introduction – A Discipleship Process for the Church – Week 1