Focusing our efforts by Discipling My Congregation:
The 7th component of "Becoming A Christ-Centered, Disciple-Making Church" is "Discipling My Congregation." We identify 12 ways to involve each member in the disciple-making ministry of their local church.
- I will pray every day for the discipling effectiveness [teaching obedience of Jesus' commandments] of our congregation, its pastor, and all the believers who participate in its ministry.
Corresponding Blessing: As I pray every day for the discipling effectiveness of our congregation, the Holy Spirit increases my sensitivity for the needs of others related to teaching obedience of the commandments of Jesus.
- I will support and encourage our pastor in his/her focus on Jesus' central mission for the congregation defined by Him in Mt. 28:18-20. "Make disciples. . . teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you."
Corresponding Blessing: As we look to our pastor for guidance in how we can serve in discipling our congregation [teaching obedience of Jesus' commandments], our growing love for our pastor and fellow disciplers inspires a unity of purpose equipping us for our neighborhood mission. As one prays for the congregation, supports one's pastor, and seeks to call one's congregation to the unity of discipleship, the vanity and selfishness of friction, dissention and factions among congregation members goes down. Our pastor can focus on Christ's ministry. The obedient Christian practicing this will find a Christ-centered unity of mission with other believers, strengthening his/her relationship with them. This brings less stress, more love, and deeper spiritual relationships into each person's life and strengthens the vitality of our congregation.
- I will encourage our congregation leaders to conduct a S.W.O.T. analysis [Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats] related to our congregation's discipling mission. This will enable us to:
Understand the plans and strategies of the evil one so we can work in righteousness and obedience to overcome his defenses and thwart his intentions.
- Emphasize the effective use of our strengths in the work of our discipling mission.
- Understand our discipling weaknesses and work to overcome them.
- Understand our discipling opportunities and focus our strengths and gifts in these areas.
Corresponding Blessing: Through our S.W.O.T. study related to our discipling mission, we understand the biblical and spiritual strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats. Prayerfully we make the most of our strengths, work to overcome our weaknesses, pour spiritual and material resources into our opportunities, and with prayer and fasting neutralize Satan's threatening strategies.
- I will strive to be engaged in discipling at least one other person in our congregation at all times.
Corresponding Blessing: With great joy I am discovering that love is expressed by investing time and energy in others lives through obeying, learning, and teaching the commandments of Jesus, our perfect model.
- I will support the idea that every small group in the congregation must be organized for the end purpose of teaching obedience of Jesus' commandments; that Bible study without the effective, productive teaching of obedience is unbiblical.
Corresponding Blessing: Every small group in our congregation recognizes the main purpose in Bible study is to prepare and equip each Christian for the work of making disciples by teaching obedience of all Jesus commands us. We will never have perfect knowledge, so rather than wait until we gain a certain level of knowledge, we do this discipling work now! At least half of all small group meeting time is spent discussing the discipling activity that took place in our lives last week and that which we are planning for the coming week in joyful obedience to all that Jesus commands us to do.
- I will work to guide the spiritual energies of our congregation to be focused on organized efforts to disciple individuals, families, congregation and neighborhood.
- I will encourage an emphasis on the need for righteousness in the life of every believer. I will teach the need for an inventory of blatant and subtle sin in our lives so we can do the work of discipling from a state of righteousness with no un-confessed sin in our lives.
Corresponding Blessing: Because I have taken the subtle sin inventory, I find confession and repentance produces an empowering state of cleansing and forgiveness in my life. God is blessing me with increased effectiveness and productivity in my knowledge of Jesus Christ.
- I will encourage the use of modern methods for identifying personal giftedness so spiritual gifts may be recognized and used with discipling power.
- I will support pastoral prayer during every worship service asking God to bless our work in "Becoming A Christ-Centered, Disciple-Making Church."
Corresponding Blessing: We are reminded in regular Pastoral prayer and the ongoing prayers of other believers that our never changing mission and goal is the work of the grandest of all causes: Becoming A Christ-Centered, Disciple-Making Church.
- I will support and participate in the discipling ministry of a Church Writing Group.
Corresponding Blessing: The influence of our Church Writing Group is growing as the numbers of its participants increases. Discipling thousands with every letter to the editor, book review, and guest editorial is truly a rewarding investment of my love. A beautiful change is occurring in our local newspaper where inspiring stories of answered prayer, victories of faith, and the goodness of God are replacing the anguish of evil, violence, corruption, greed and immorality.
- I will support the formation of a group from our congregation to study and perform the necessary work to provide services and sustenance for the needy. As government downsizes the role in welfare by turning this responsibility over to the private sector, congregations are mandated by Jesus Christ to come forward and obediently fill this gap. Momentous discipling opportunities exist in this expression of Christ's love.
Corresponding Blessing: As our congregation develops effective, organized efforts to serve the poor, eliminate the welfare rolls, provide mentoring assistance to the addicted, training guidance to the jobless, comfort and hope to the prisoners, and compassion for all those Jesus loved and served, we are always engaged in making disciples by teaching the need for understanding and obedience to the commandments of Jesus.
- I will continuously promote and encourage each believer to honor the Kingdom-building principle of EACH ONE, BRING ONE, EACH YEAR.
Corresponding Blessing: As our congregation focuses on our central mission and we are working in biblical unity and love, each individual and family becomes committed to the inspiring and fruitful work defined in the Kingdom-building principle of EACH ONE, BRING ONE, EACH YEAR.
Next Component: Discipling My Neighborhood