on discipleship

June 27, 2012

Minus Plus – Discipleship Works

Early this year our pastoral team decided after much prayer to cancel our Wednesday service which was attracting 250 people to church. It looked like a bad move at that time but we were believing God for something bigger.

The plan we had was to make our Wednesday a Discipleship Day. It means we would transform our Wednesday nights from worship services to a discipleship day for our people.

For the first month, we felt a big drop in our weekly attendance. We knew it was going to happen but we were believing God that as we are faithful in making disciples we would see a new wave of growth and discipleship in our church.

Today is our 11th week since we shifted to discipleship on a Wednesday. We now have 170 people regularly attending our Wednesday victory groups. Almost 90% of them are new people. The numbers of attendees that we lost in our Wednesday service are actually not lost. Most of them moved from being an attendee to being involved in Victory groups. We have added at least 20 new leaders because of the discipleship initiative. Our weekly attendance is up again.

It is what I call minus-plus. Eliminate things you do that might be good but not really produce disciples and add opportunities for new people to be discipled. We took the bullet when we said we will stop our weekday service but we knew as we are intentional and deliberate about discipleship – growth will follow. Create environments for discipleship to flourish in your church. Talk about it, celebrate it and center your strategies on discipleship.

When you GO and  make disciples, you strengthen the church. When you DO church, it does not guarantee disciples of Christ.