You may want to argue with me, but I think there are certain signs that indicate clearly whether you have a bad disciple-making strategy. With me? Isn’t obvious that certain results or a lack of results would indicate a bad disciple-making strategy? Remember, “your ministry is perfectly designed to produce the results you are currently experiencing.” If you don’t like the results, you must change the design.
I love this line from Winston Churchill. “However beautiful the strategy, you should occasionally look at the results.” If you don’t like your results, change the strategy.
See where I’m going? Can you go there? Here are five signs you may have a bad disciple-making design:
5 Signs You Have a Bad Disciple-Making Design
- You don’t have enough adults being discipled. You pray for it. You talk about it. You promote it. But it just doesn’t happen. Sign-ups for your disciple-making effort fall far short of projections and expectations, and another season comes and goes. Doesn’t the number of people entering the pipeline determine the number coming out? See also, Would You Rather: Connect More People or Make More Disciples?
- You have plenty of adults being discipled…but you are rarely producing disciple makers. Real disciples make disciples. If all you’re making is more knowledgable consumers, you have a bad disciple-making strategy. You can have a steady stream of people completing the curriculum, but if you rarely see disciples become disciple-makers it is time to take a serious look at your results. See also, 4 Leading Indicators of Small Group Ministries that Make Disciples and Lagging Indicators of Small Group Ministries that Make Disciples.
- You have plenty of adults who have been discipled…but you still never have enough people serving. Results are the true test. If your strategy is making disciples you will be producing a steady stream of other-centered men and women. Rather than a shortage of volunteers, you will have a surplus. It will become easier and easier to fill ministry positions with volunteers who are fruitful and fulfilled, obviously in the right seats on the bus.
- You have plenty of adults who have been discipled…but you aren’t developing a culture of generosity. Struggling to grow your annual budget? There may be no clearer indication that you have a bad strategy for making disciples. If your disciple-making design isn’t producing a culture of generosity, shouldn’t very loud alarm bells be going off?
- You have plenty of adults who have been through your discipleship pathway…but what you are producing barely resembles Jesus. If you’re graduating men and women in number from your discipleship pathway, but your graduates aren’t really exhibiting the fruit of the Spirit or ending up fully mature in Christ, isn’t that an indication that your strategy is ineffective? If your pathway graduates are still drinking milk and not ready for meat, isn’t that a signal that you’re producing something less than complete?
What do you do if you see these signs? I detail what to do if you discover a bad disciple-making strategy right here.
What do you think? Have a question? Want to argue? You can click here to jump into the conversation.
Image by Peter Nijenhuis