Is the church rediscovering the lost art of disciplemaking?
You be the judge. Several big name pastors are now publishing best-selling Christian books on the topic of spiritual multiplication. One of the largest church planting gatherings in the world, Exponential, dedicated its April 2013 meetings to the topic of DiscipleShift. There is an explosion of no-cost or low-cost ebooks out on the the topic.
No doubt about it; suddenly discipleship is hot.
Jesus gave his followers three big imperatives:
1. Love God.
2. Love people.
3. Make disciples of all nations.
Why is the 2,000 year old Master plan finally returning to center stage?
I think there are several reasons for this shift, and I welcome them all. Perhaps that five years after Willow Creek’s Reveal Study, megachurch pastor/authors are realizing that just getting more bodies into seats on Sunday doesn’t change the world. After a glut of “bigger is better” programs in the evangelical church, we are returning to the basic truth that “your church is only as good as your disciples” (Rick Warren video snippet from the Exponential2013 conference in Orlando this week).
At Exponential’s opening session, all 5,000+ attendees were handed a “Scorecard” on the way in. There were two blanks to fill in: weekly attendance and weekly offering. The speaker encouraged us all to acknowledge that though those numbers may be helpful, they are very incomplete measures of the church’s true mission. He invited us to tear up that scorecard and work on a new one this week, one that would reflect life-on-life disciplemaking, wholistic life-change, and sustainable multiplication through multiple generations.
This was music to my ears. I’ve been doing this for the past 30 years in full-time ministry and can testify that intentionally investing in 3 to 12 people each year bears amazing results. Jesus promised that his way would produce 30, 60 and 100-fold results.
How have you experienced the fruit of intentional discipleship or mentoring?