That might be the one word that unites us all. It is shocking if you hear someone say, “We really haven’t had that much going on here lately.” I only have one child (a soon-to-be two-year-old) and my wife stays home but we still struggle to find time to relax with both of our families on opposite ends of the state and birthday party planning and church functions and you know the drill because you’re right there with me.
So how in the world can we ask our congregations to add this new-to-most endeavor called a Discipleship Group to their calendars?
Teach Them Jesus’ Methods
Yes, Jesus had his twelve disciples but he also had his main three guys he spent a whole lot of time with: Peter, James and John. They were in on some important, exclusive teachings that the other nine were not privy to. Jesus knew the length of his ministry was limited so he invested heavily in three that would teach the other nine and turn it into a movement of exponential growth. If Jesus thought it was wise to focus on those three men, we ought to adopt that same line of thinking. Make sure your people see how Jesus prioritized his time and teach them to do the same.
Show Them Life Change
There is a reason “Social Media Influencer” is a legitimate career in 2020. They find beneficial, wallet-friendly products, tell others about them and then those people go buy them too. It’s as simple as that. Humans are eager to get in on the success of others.
In the same way, life change is contagious. When people see someone changing for the better they want to know how they’re doing it and do the same thing! If discipleship has impacted you in a meaningful way, which I’m assuming it has if you find yourself reading this blog, make sure the people around you know that! If your role includes preaching from the stage don’t shy away from stories of how you’ve grown because of the discipleship relationships you’ve experienced. Highlight stories of others who have increased in Christlikeness through discipleship on Sunday mornings or on social media. Make sure life change is front and center so that your church can’t miss it.
Help Them Rethink Their Calendar
Those first two don’t amount to much if your people still look at their calendar and cannot find a place to squeeze in 90 minutes of D-Group. You have to truly lead your congregation to totally rethink their calendar. We have to challenge ourselves and our people to build our calendar with spiritual priorities. For most of us, this means a complete 180-degree shift.
Ask yourself and your people this question: Should we not start with a blank calendar and fill it in with things that are going to help us and our families grow as disciples first?
If we’re honest, that’s a no-brainer question. Activities that build us up spiritually should be the pillars of our week that are nearly impossible to move. Once those things are written in pen, then we can figure out what else fits around those pillars.
If you can teach your people that Jesus himself focused on a few, show them that lives are changed through discipleship and help them rethink their calendar they are left with few excuses for not making disciples.
You are not asking too much of your people by challenging them to make disciples. You’re asking them to make a lifestyle change for the Kingdom.
Remove a time barrier from your people by giving them the D-Group Starter Guide! This resource will help you coach and train your people and help them see that a D-Group is not as complicated and time consuming at they may think.
Pastors, find help developing every aspect of your discipleship ministry by checking out the Replicate Network.