Matthew 28.19-20 shows Jesus giving the disciples what has come to be known as the Great Commission. The essence of what he says is, “go and influence others into a relationship with him by discipling them”. Discipleship should be the core focus of any faith community who desires to be Kingdom minded and community effective. One of the challenges for many ministry leaders, though is developing a solid discipleship process that is effective at moving people deeper into a relationship with Jesus rather than just passing along information. It’s this reason I thought I would share over the next few weeks the experience I had developing the discipleship series I have taught for the last couple of years.
Today I wanted to focus on the ‘why’. If you decide to write your own discipleship series for your ministry it is important to explore why you want to do it…what is the purpose of the series or what is the problem you are wanting to address? The discipleship series I developed was focused on creating a common ground for everyone in our church. As guests were coming into the church from various backgrounds, it was becoming apparent everyone was not on the same page theologically, and we felt it was paramount to their overall experience with us and the health of our faith community that everyone has the same foundation from which to build upon. So, as a part of the Assemblies of God fellowship, our natural starting point for a foundational discipleship class was our 16 Fundamental Truths of doctrine that the Assemblies adhere to. These doctrinal statements are the lens we as a church approach theology and ministry through, so we felt it was important to everyone who decided to be a part of our church to know it all on the front end. This all came from asking ‘why’. We wanted a foundation our faith community can be built on, and that desire led us to the doctrinal statements of our fellowship.
Your ‘why’ should provide you with some direction on how to approach developing your discipleship series. The answer to your ‘why’ should create a framework of some kind that will get you started.
Next week we will discuss how I went from 16 Truths to 7 conversations. Until then…