I believe that leaders struggle with the priority of Ministry every day. There seem to be so many things that pull leaders in various directions. Which programs to do, when to offer various ministry opportunities, who the leaders are of the various ministry events and activities, who will preach, teach, lead the songs, play the music, direct the choir, serve in the nursery, be over the children's Ministry and the list can go on and on. All of the things above are worth prioritizing, but they are not the priority of the Ministry. The focus of the Ministry is to make disciples.
Disciples are made thru relationships, not programs.
Summer VBS, the Sunday Christian Education hour, the weekly Bible Study, and Sunday morning worship do not make disciples. How do I know this? Because Disciples reproduce disciples. Church programs, including Sunday morning worship, do not reproduce. Disciples reproduce disciples. I know I have said that twice but it is true. Most people attend Sunday School or the Christian Education hour, Bible Study, VBS, and other Christian education opportunities to equip themselves or to learn for themselves, but rarely do they take what they have learned and intentionally teach it to someone else. Disciples teach what they know to others.
The priority of the Ministry is to create a disciple-making process that creates opportunities for disciples to be in relationships with others so that disciple-making relationships bear the fruit of reproduction.
This requires the church to intentionally hold space for people to connect and to be paired up with someone or put in a group where they meet, hold one another accountable, read scripture, and share their successes and struggles. This is the priority of the Ministry. This is discipleship. This is the priority.
One point I want to make is that it is and will be challenging to create a disciple-making process with reproducing disciples who bear the fruit of the Spirit in an unhealthy church environment. Unhealthy church environments run the risk of developing unhealthy disciples.
Still, if the leadership is unhealthy, then the followers of unhealthy leaders ultimately perpetuate unhealthy discipleship; reproducing unhealthy disciples.
When it comes to discipleship, I look at how Jesus discipled the twelve and others. He allowed them to become his friend (John 15:15); Jesus taught the disciples what he had learned from his Father. Who are you teaching? We all should be teachers (Hebrews 5:12-14). However, people cannot teach others what they have not been taught. It is essential to have a model of discipleship, an example that every disciple in your church can use to guide at least one other person in the teachings and principles of our faith. We need more one-on-one, small groups; we need more discipleship happening in the church.
Today I want to challenge you to think of at least one person you can disciple. Ensure you are subscribed to this blog and all of my other social media platforms @joycelynignites, my podcast, etc., where you will be discipled by me in how to disciple others.
I will provide materials, videos, PDFs, and more; if you follow me, I will teach you how to disciple others, and we will grow and glorify God together.
Let's make disciples together! Let's make discipleship the priority because it is!
In my next blog, we will talk about High Bar Discipleship. Let's ignite the church!
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