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Two Ways to Grow a Disciple-Making Culture in Your Church

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This sponsored post was prepared by Marty Sweeney of Matthis Media.

Trellis and VineAs evangelicals we have a clear sense of what we want our church to be from reading our Bibles: a vigorous, growing band of disciple-making disciples of the Lord Jesus, abounding in the work of the Lord (1 Cor 15:58) and not neglecting to meet together to encourage each other (Heb 10:25). Many of us have read books like The Trellis and the Vine, challenging us to pursue such a biblical vision. (You might also like to read this excellent article on what church is for.)

Yet we struggle to establish that type of Spirit-filled culture in our fellowships, despite preaching our hearts out week-by-week and praying for fruit in people’s lives.

I want to encourage you to keep preaching and praying your heart out.

But I also want to urge you to take a moment right now to choose 12 Christians in your congregation to invest in as disciple-making disciples. It almost doesn’t matter which 12. Don’t overthink this step. Just choose 12.

Done that? Ok, here’s step 2…

Provide those 12 people with a biblical vision of what life is for—what it means to be a follower of the Lord Jesus—in not just theoretical but quite practical terms. That is, at a level that impacts their life decisions, both big and small. And then give them practical help in developing their competence and confidence to be able to carry out that biblical vision, exercising the gifts that God has given them for disciple-making (yes, including evangelism).

That’s all there is to it.

What’s that? You want some ideas on Step 2? Fair enough. Actually, I’ll give you two options.

Option 1: The “I’m stretched to the limit; I have no time to add anything to my schedule” option

Order a copy of each of these three books for your 12 people:

(Save money with the 3-book bundle.)

Then say something like this to each person you’ve selected:

“Hey Beau, if I give you 3 books I’d really like you to read, would you do me a big favor and join the small team of people I’ve asked to read them for me? The books are free and are yours to keep, so there’s no deadline—just as soon as you can manage. All three books are less than 100 pages and are really quick and easy to read. And as you finish each book, I’d like you to grab me at church the next Sunday and tell me what you found good about it. That would be really encouraging to me if you could do that.”

(By the way, It’s important that they read the three books in the order they are listed above.)

That’s it. That’s Step 2, Option1.

Option 2: The “I’m busy, but I think I can find the time to meet with my 12 people in a group context once a week” option

The second option is this: invite them to join a 10-week group to do The Course of Your Life with you. This is a bigger commitment, but the shared nature of the course makes for a more powerful impact on participants and more momentum for your church.

If you’re not familiar with The Course of Your Life, here’s a video…

Maybe, in God’s kindness, you’ll end up with a team of disciple-making Ninjas in your church!


Got questions? Give me a call on 1 866 407 4530 and we can share ideas. And please let me know how it all goes.

Marty Sweeney
Old North Church, Canfield
Matthias Media (USA)

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