I’ve noticed significant differences among groups I’ve trained to make disciples and plant simple churches. Some groups have gone on to start multiplying groups of disciples (simple churches) that have multiplied to the third and fourth generation. In other cases, very few, if any, new disciples were made and churches were planted. What made the difference?
Every single time the biggest difference has been follow up and coaching!
4 things leaders should do after a Disciple Making Training
1. Beware of Ministry Busy-ness – In Luke 10, Jesus sent out 36 teams of two to enter specific pockets of people who weren’t yet acquainted with Jesus and the message of the kingdom. He warned them, “Don’t stop to talk to anyone along the way.” Be aware of the distractions that come from endless ministry opportunities that may present themselves. Make reaching and establishing groups of disciples in new pockets of people first –priority.
2. Follow up with those sent to make disciples and plant churches. I recommend doing this within the first week following the training, and at least once a month afterward. People need care – and they need coaching. The Action Plan people fill out during a SCPX training experience provides a very simple format for accountability and encouragement. Ask them how it’s going. Ask what challenges they are experiencing. Pray for encouragement and remind them to focus on implementing the Action Plan. Remember, the disciples Jesus sent out in Luke 10 reported back to Jesus. Have your people report back to you about how it’s going.
3. Gather together regularly (once a month is good) with your disciple makers for prayer, celebration, and encouragement. When people are sent to make disciples in new pockets of people, they will experience the joys of reaping the harvest as well as the challenges that come with pioneering. People will grow in their effectiveness as they share in these joys and challenges with others who are doing the same thing.
4. As simple churches start growing, look for the basic characteristics of church to be present in these groups. Celebrate strengths. Coach simple church planters to add any specific areas they are leaving out.
Ask these questions of your leaders:
Are new people repenting and believing in Jesus?
Are new believers being baptized?
Are the groups receiving and practicing gifts of the Holy Spirit?
Are the groups practicing the Lord’s Supper?
Are the groups gathering regularly for Word, Worship/Prayer, and Fellowship?
Are personal discipling relationships being established?
Are the groups following the Seven Basic Commands of Jesus?
- Repent and Believe
- Be Baptized
- Receive the Holy Spirit
- Love and Forgive
- Abide – Spend time with God
- Gather with Other Disciples
- Go Make Other Disciples
If you follow these four basic steps after a training, you will help people have the best chance of success in expanding the gospel, making new disciples, and multiplying movements of the church.