We're talking about what should we measure if we want to see church planting movements.
4. Training disciples
We talk about discipleship like it's equivalent to sainthood. Maybe Mother Teresa was a true disciple, the rest of us just should feel failures.
Discipleship has become another abstract concept rather than a reality. Jesus commanded his disciples to make disciples. Then he told them how go about it. "Teach them to obey everything I have commanded."
That's how you train disciples. You teach them to obey Jesus, one step at a time. That's something you can measure.
How do you teach obedience? One story, one passage, at a time.
Read a story from the gospels and ask these questions:
- What does the story teach about God?
- What does it teach us about ourselves?
- Is there a command we should obey, or an example we should follow?
- How we going to obey what we've learned today?
- How did you go obeying the lesson from last time? [First question you ask when you meet next time.]
Don't just teach, teach them to obey. Along the way you might learn to obey too!
Keep score: how many people do you have in a face to face Discovery Bible Studies learn to follow Jesus one story, one passage, at a time?
How many of the groups are run, not by you, but by someone you've trained?
How quickly do you teach new disciples to make disciples of the people in their relational world?
Can you measure that? Yes you can. Measurement number one—how long is it going to take you before you start your first Discovery Bible Study? You don't have to start with believers. Why not start discipling someone who doesn't know Jesus yet?
Next we'll look at gathering communities.
UPDATE: For more on Discovery Bible Studies as an evangelistic and discipleship method . . .