Intentional Disciple Making System

Disciple Making System

Our church has been making disciples without any intentional directions. Still with God’s grace, we could produce disciples. However, average Christians have better opportunities to be disciples of Jesus Christ in an intentional disciple making process. This system has three steps:

  1. Invitation
  2. Nurturing
  3. Sending
  1. Invitation

At this stage, we want to do everything to make people to come to church. Special occasions, small groups, intentional events, and personal debts can be excuses for them to come to church. People come to church mostly by invitation of a trusted friend or family member. Sometimes, people just come. In that case, we may say that they respond to God’s invitation.

Here, “radical hospitality” and “relevant worship” is the most important ministry. We want to make them deeply impressed or moved either by worship or by fellowship. If visitors are disappointed by the quality of worship or by the distance-keeping fellowship, they would not come again. It is important to make meaningful connections with God and with people in our church within a week.

  1. Nurturing

At the second stage, we want to make them grow in relationship with Jesus. Nurturing can be provided through (1) preaching, (2) teaching, and (3) small group sharing. Through preaching, we want to share God’s unconditional love expressed through the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus.  We want them to experience that God’s love is genuine and unconditional. Through teaching, we want to share [1] what the core values are, [2] what the biblical view-points are, and [3] what the biblical visions are (3V).  Through small group sharing, we want to help them to find [1] purpose for their life, [2] plan to realize that purpose, and [3] partners whom they can work with (3P).

  1. Sending

After we nurture disciples, we do not keep them in our church. They should go into the world that God loves so much. When we send them, we do not send them alone. We send them in groups. Small groups will discern collectively the readiness of team members. Because people have been nurtured in partnership with others, they are ready to go with their partners. Before we send them, we have to make their life simple. [1] Simple life demands for us to throw away things that have nothing to do with our mission and ministry purpose. Those disciples who are ready to go can focus on the mission and ministry and forget everything else. Now they are ready to serve others by sharing what they have, in other words, life in Jesus. [2] Serving and [3] sharing life can mean evangelism, intercessory prayer, short and long term mission, offering, service project, making disciples in small groups, caring and visiting people or chairing committee works (3S). Or 3S life can mean leading his or her work area and home with the biblical character and leadership. These are the ones who are at the front line of God’s vision of transforming the world.

This (1) Invitation, (2) Nurturing, and (3) Sending cycle is an engine of a church that moves forward on its faith journey as a loving community. When people are ready to go, they start inviting people and nurturing people both in the church and outside the church. So, the next cycle starts. When this cycle is repeated, the circle will be enlarged and deepened. We can call the phenomenon as numerical and spiritual church growth. So, church growth is actually a by-product of an intentional disciple making system. May God bless our church’s intentional disciple making system!

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About biblepreacher

United Methodist Church Pastor. My wife, Hysung Hong Lee, is also a UMC pastor and my children are all grown and have their independent life. We have now empty nest. I and my wife are collecting some mission eggs now in that nest!
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