With wave after wave of change hammering against our world, something that remains constant is God’s method to salvage it all: Disciple-making! It’s the core work of the Church. It’s as true today as the day Jesus sent those he trained and divinely empowered to carry out that mission. This month, I’m picking up on the third of four questions we’re asking to guide our efforts as we seek to carry out that mission today. The third question totally builds off of the first two, if a leader is to be effective. It’s also tougher to wrap your arms around and requires more leadership muscle. Bringing your answers through to actual implementation in your context will require a collective effort of the key influencers from your church's leadership.
The question is: Do you know how to develop a disciple-making culture in your church? For local church leaders, the question becomes: Do we as leaders know how to model disciple-making in a way that results in parents intentionally discipling their children, students reaching and discipling other students, professionals reaching and discipling their peers, etc. This kind of culture doesn’t just happen; it requires tons of prayer, discernment, leadership skill, and sweat equity. But, the good news is Jesus promises great results when we go all in.
There’s no quick route to changing culture (a truth I keep learning), but it can be done. In an effort to help you tackle this one, the Field Office team is developing a ministry “vehicle” called The Discipleship and Mission Incubator. The Incubator will be an eighteen-month, four-retreat process with ongoing coaching that equips lead pastors and their key leaders to increase the disciple-making capacity of their local church, with the goal of seeing a disciple-making culture emerge. The hope is to help leaders not simply gain knowledge, but to implement doable disciple-making habits over the long haul.
Much of the Incubator is still on the white board, but we anticipate piloting our first cohort early 2017. As we learn and “build it out”, we’re hopeful it will prove to be of great benefit to you, and help shape the disciple-making and sending capacity of the Church for years to come.
For more and better disciples, Randy Shaw Field Director, Alliance Northwest