Discipling My Congretion Leader's Pack
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Discipling My Congregation Leader's Pack
1 Workbook
1 Leader's Guide
1 Pastor's Guide

In his book "Kick Habits," Tom Bandy discusses the bad habits churches fall in that hamper growth and lead to decline. He states in Chapter 1, "...the difficulty with [churches] perceiving a mission is that too often the congregation is unable to discern between an authentic calling of Jesus Christ, and its abiding additions to past ideals, forms, and procedures." Discipling My Congregation goes right after these "addictions," challenging members to measure their church activities with Christ's ultimate measuring stick, Matthew 28:18-20.

Discipling My Congregation

What does it mean? Discipling a congregation is the act of teaching obedience to members of the church, and this can be done in several ways. Discipling My Congregation allows church groups to explore and examine the discipling ministries of their church. It asks the tough questions: are we focused on Jesus' great command? Is our church a friendly church or a church of friends? Ultimately Discipling My Congregation challenges the group members to build up the church's discipling effort by "each one bring one each year" — that is, bring another person or family into the discipling ministry of their church each year. Imagine the power of accomplishing such a challenge, possibly doubling the church year after year. But the key is having a discipling congregation... and that is what Discipling My Congregation is all about.

Why worry about discipling in the church and growing this ministry? Well, it is the primary way to stimulate spiritual growth in members. Jesus said in Rev 3:15, "I know your deeds, that you are neither cold nor hot. I wish you were either one or the other!" Without a growth catalyst for members — new and old — faith cools and we become sedimentary in our faith. America has more than 350,000 churches with about 135 million members... what an awesome opportunity to disciple our nation.


Discipling My Congregation is a 10-session course on how to disciple our congregation and its members. Each session helps us and our fellow members open our church lives up to God, inviting Him to examine several aspects of our interpersonal relationships and ministries. Here are the topics covered in Discipling My Congregation:

1. Priority of Prayer 6. Major on What's Major!
2. Your Pastor Needs You 7. Keep on Keeping On!
3. SWOT Analysis 1 8. Encouraging Personal Righteousness
4. SWOT Analysis 2 9. The Power of a Church Writing Group
5. Each One Disciple One 10. Lift up the Fallen!

A good example is Discipling My Congregation Session 6 titled, "Major on What's Major!" There is a short Bible study on Corinthians 5:18-21. (These short lessons are great for class, small group, and family discussions - no lecture material here.) These 6 daily challenges (there are 6 per session) step us through each Discipling My Family area, and many of the daily challenges can serve as family devotion "starters" to help families establish a common spiritual base. In Session 6, they serve as our assignment to practice "setting the goal" of discipleship and reconciling the lost to Christ. The activities go like this:

  • Consult a pastor or board member about how each small group in the church serves the all-important goal of discipling.
  • Meet with two members of a small group and ask them how their small group is actively discipling
  • Share with these members your honest-yet-loving assessment of your small group's discipling effort
  • Record with a church friend your efforts to practice 3 different commands of Jesus this week. Compare notes at the end of the week.
  • Send a thank-you note to every small group leader in your church that is focused on discipling.
  • Volunteer to meet with these leaders for prayer and discuss ways to increase the emphasis on discipleship


Leader's Guide

The best group leaders are actual participants in class. Preparation time drops significantly as leaders complete the daily challenges just like other class members. The Leader's Guide is there with helpful suggestions on getting class started, focus discussion, and keeps participation high from group meeting to group meeting. For each group Bible Study and daily challenge devotion, there are additional questions and fun exercises to stretch people's minds and promote participation.

For example, in Discipling My Congregation Session 6, "Major on What's Major!," The Leader's Guide uses a chalkboard "talk" on the definition of "reconciliation" to start discussion the best meaning of the word. This gets the class discussing the different aspects of reconciliation with God, which is the topic for Workbook Session 6.


Pastor's Guide

There is no doubt that Discipling My Congregation is great as stand-alone material for family Bible studies, Sunday school class, small groups, one-on-one discipleship, and independent study. But imagine an entire church focused on redefining its discipling ministry. To help pastors lead in discipling his/her church, we created Discipling My Congregation Pastor's Guide. This book provides the context for Pastors to support the Discipling My Congregation classes and small groups within the church by providing defined expectations, suggested resources, and outlines for sermons and promotional event. This "Kick-off Weekend" is an excellent way to spike interest in the church's discipling program and drive up class attendance.

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