Jesus desires to build a community of people centered around Himself …not just to gather a crowd. We often miss the main thing and wind up distracted with good intentions. We ask people to come to our churches, but He told us to “Go into the world and make disciples.”
Wanting people to come to church isn’t bad, but it isn’t enough. We want them to come because we pour our lives into our churches, but we should be pouring out our lives for the right reason. We need to turn attendees into disciples, but we don’t know how to make disciples. Discipleship is more than a Sunday service.
Discipleship doesn’t happen in a classroom. Would you fly with a pilot who only attended lectures? Discipleship doesn’t happen by reading the Bible. Would you go to a surgeon who only memorized the medical journals? Discipleship doesn’t happen one hour a week. Would you draft an athlete who only picked up the ball on game day?
Classes, Bible reading, and church attendance support discipleship, but they are not discipleship. Disciples follow their Teacher. Classes help our faith to grow when they point us to Christ. Bible reading transforms us as it reveals Christ to us, and church attendance is essential. But discipleship happens within a close relationship with Jesus and His body.
4 Essentials of Turning Attendees into Disciples
The right focus. Focus on making disciples. If we’re not, we miss the call Christ gave us. Making disciples must be the heartbeat of our churches or we’ll feed the insatiable consumerism that destroys and dilutes the best of us. Do we instill this focus into our people?
The right people. Find and empower people who desire to make disciples. Disciple-making takes time and effort. All people must be pulling in the same direction. If even one member of the team has a different vision, the body will suffer. Do we attract and empower the right people?
The right systems. Systems are the processes we implement to turn attendees into disciples and the paths they follow on their spiritual journeys. If there’s no process, leaders will do anything or wind up doing everything. If there aren’t clear paths to follow, our people can wind up anywhere. What systems have we built to help people grow closer to Christ and other believers?
The right metrics. We measure what we treasure. We watch our watches because time is scarce, and we mind our wallets because money is a necessity. Discipleship is measured within relationships – the barometers of our spiritual lives. What are we measuring and how can we measure it? May we all spend our lives being disciples and making disciples.
For more helpful tips on building discipleship in your ministry, download our free guide, “Turning Attendees into Disciples.”