Discipleship

Simple Church Planting

There is nothing simple about making disciples, and yet, making disciples should be done simply. Forming local churches from new disciples does not need to be an overly complicated affair.

In unreached areas, or among unreached people groups, to make disciples is to plant local churches. This is what Jesus communicated to us in the Great Commission:

Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, [even] to the end of the age. Amen. (Matthew 28:19-20 NKJV)

The Lord Jesus commissioned His people to go and make disciples of all nations. They are to baptize these new believers in the Name of the Triune God and teach them to obey Him.

To be an obedient disciple of Jesus means that a believer becomes a significant part a local body of Christians, a local church. There they learn to put into practice the teachings of Jesus and His apostles. It is God’s design that His disciples follow Him in the context of local churches. As the author of Hebrews tells us,

Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for he who promised is faithful. And let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works, not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the Day drawing near. (10:23-25 ESV)

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Leadership Development: A Three-Step Process

By Micah Colbert. Reposted from Rooted Thinking.

Leadership development is one of those things that churches frequently talk about but rarely plan for or actually do. According to Ephesians 4:12-16, every church is responsible to train its members for gospel-advancing, church-building ministry. But how do we do that? Below is an example of the process our church uses to develop leaders for ministry:

The Three Step Process of Ministry Leadership Development at Community of Grace

Our prayerful desire at Community of Grace Church is to cultivate a culture where ministry leaders are encouraged and equipped to use their gifts to serve the body of Christ. For this to happen, we recognize the need to be intentional about ministry leadership development. As elders, we have identified a three-step process that we will use to choose, train, and equip potential leaders for gospel advancing ministry:

Identify

The elders seek to identify servants who are teachable, able, faithful, and fruitful (STAFF) to lead and serve in the various ministries of Community of Grace Church. Below are questions we use to help identify STAFF people:

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From the Archives – The Importance of Presence in Ministry

Going Beyond Public Gatherings

God calls every believer to teach His Word to others at a grassroots level. To motivate and equip them to do this, He provides pastors. These are responsible to “hold nothing back,” devoting themselves to ministry in two venues: public gatherings and private settings (Acts 20:20). While both settings are necessary, it seems that prevailing Western models favor public gatherings over more personal settings. Perhaps this imbalance hinders our efforts to engage people in ministry.

We work hard at our public gatherings. Pulpit style. Stage lighting. Usher training. Multimedia presentations. Music of all kinds: congregational, choral, instrumental, solo, ensemble, instrumental and choral. Service orders and liturgies. Invitations (or not). Announcements. Special events. Dramatic interpretations. Guest speakers. Sound systems and auditorium acoustics. We give attention to all these things and more.

But do we give equal or adequate attention to the other important ministry setting? Do we devote ourselves to connecting with believers in personal settings to the same degree? Church ministry that occurs only (or primarily) at a central church building misses a key element of the “hold nothing back” approach that Paul emulates.

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Barna: 56% of Christians Feel Their Spiritual Life Is Entirely Private

"This majority of Christians is less likely to say it is very important to see progress in their spiritual life (30% say progress is important vs. 54% of those who don’t consider their faith private), less likely to say their faith is very important in their life today (45% vs. 66% agree strongly) and less likely to have weekly time with God (51% vs. 66%)." - Barna

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Is Facebook Discipling Your Church Members?

"MIT Technology Review recently showed that troll farms had reached over 140 million users on Facebook before the 2020 election. A troll farm is an organized group of users (or even bots) who intentionally craft content to exploit division and sow discord in society." - C.Leaders

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The rise in apostasy: Who is to be blamed?

"A critical look at what could be responsible for believers’ inability to withstand calamities of life is traceable to “bread and butter messages” in churches today. Sound doctrines are rarely preached and many Christians have been weakened by rosy messages that only make Christians focus on how to find solutions to the challenges of life through God. When expectations are not met, frustration sets in." - C.Post

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They Profess to Know God: Do They Know Him? (Part 3)

Reposted from Rooted Thinking.

This is the last of three articles exploring these truths:

  • Those who endure to the end are true believers (first article)
  • Church discipline reveals true saving faith (second article)
  • Levels of growth vary between believers.
  • Life “baggage” and hindrances can make change difficult.

The goal in pondering these four truths is to better understand what our responsibilities are and are not when striving to make disciples for Jesus. All of us try to discern genuine saving faith among those that profess Jesus Christ in our ministries. We see people fall away. We see some profess Christ but grow only minimally over years of faith. Are they real? How do we process people falling away and some growing so little? What responsibilities do we have in “making sure” that people are real? There are key truths in Scripture to guide us into a right understanding of this important matter.

Let’s consider the last two truths: Levels of growth vary between believers and life “baggage” and other hindrances can make change difficult.

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