Do you have a desire to disciple others with God’s Word but feel like you are unequipped to do so? This book will help you immensely.
Most Christians agree that they are supposed disciple others. However, we are often stymied by how to do it. This book serves us by helping us.
A helpful resource to identify, equip and appoint new elders in a local church.
Sometimes as Christians we can’t help but feel good about ourselves, particularly when we are serving God faithfully. It’s subtle too. Maybe it’s hospitality, evangelism, preaching or teaching, or serving in the nursery–when we get done we might be tempted to say, “Ah, that was good.”
No problems there—right? Of course not.
But then it continues, “That was good. And, I am good. I’ve done well. People should see this.”
Now we have begun to veer.
It is good and right to serve with gusto and joy. It is dangerous to serve with pride and pretense.
Every Christian parent deals with this at some point. They struggle with what they should mandate vs just encourage their kids to do. And with this, how much? At what point will we defeat our purpose and discourage them?
This is what we do in our home. I am not saying it is for everyone, but we are supportive of it as a practice by conviction and experience. Our children range from 20 months to almost 16. There is quite a variety.
I’ll hit this from two angles, family and personal devotions.
Nearly a year ago some of the leaders at our newly planted church sat down to assess what we were, for lack of a better word, “creating.” We examined what our culture, systems, and structures were producing. We measured it against what we were aiming for, to make and train disciples who make and train disciples. During this healthy period of self-examination we determined that we were not hitting the mark in a satisfactory manner. As a result we started with the end in mind, reverse engineering our overall approach and execution of discipleship with the goal of producing a certain type of guy. This guy was aptly named, “The Gospel Man.”
Before telling you what The Gospel Man is like, let me tell you why I think it is absolutely important for leaders to do this.
I found this quote to be helpful in diagnosing and pointing ahead. The book as a hole is really good (review coming). I highly recommend it.
The American landscape is dotted with churchless Christianity. Church has been reduced to a weekly event, even a religious institution. Instead of being the church, we have fallen into merely doing church, and far too often our doing is disconnected from being. We have devolved from being Jesus-centered communities into loose collections of spiritually minded individuals.
Churches today have more in common with shopping malls, fortresses, and cemeteries than they do the church of the New Testament. They have become consumerist, doctrinaire, lifeless institutions not Jesus-centered missional communities. Why this gross distortion? ….it is characterized by a one-third gospel. This one-third gospel is hardly the gospel at all. It focuses on Jesus’s death and resurrection as a doctrine to be believed, not on Jesus as a Person to be trusted and obeyed. The gospel has been reduced to a personal ticket to heaven. But the biblical gospel is much more than personal conversion to a a reservation in heaven. It is conversion to Jesus Christ as Lord. Moreover, the gospel has two more “thirds.” The gospel calls us to community and mission. (Dodson, Gospel-Centered Discipleship), pp. 107-108
Over the last 15 years I have gone through many variations of personal fitness goals. As I look back at the years and the goals I can see a common thread: I stick with what works and get frustrated with what does not seem to work.
I suppose there is nothing wrong with this; if we are not meeting the clearly defined goals then the process or technique should be reevaluated. At the same time, sometimes it requires a little more time and patience in order to see goals met. Smaller, incremental goals are quite helpful in evaluating the overall progress.
If you read books, blogs or hear talks on church planting or church growth you will eventually hear someone decry transfer growth. As the term would imply, transfer growth is the moving of people from one church to another. This is to be contrasted with conversion growth, which would describe new Christians joining a church.
The question that must be answered is, is transfer growth bad?
I enjoyed this video from David Platt about how to practically make disciples on a day to day basis.