Staying Focused On Discipleship
Excerpts from No Man Left Behind (Chapter 5)
To build a sustainable ministry to men, you’ll need a solid foundation. That foundation starts with your focus. Yes, men need to be godly fathers, caring husbands, good stewards, and servant leaders. But what is the core issue? And how can we communicate it to men so they feel valued and inspired? Laying the right foundation can help disengaged men to connect with the ministry of your church.
The Bible tells us, “Go and make disciples–baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit” (Matthew 28:19). Sometimes we get this confused with, “Go and make workers–browbeating them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit.”
Jesus said, “Go and make disciples.” That’s interesting, because he could have said anything. He didn’t say, “Go and make worshippers.” He didn’t say, “Go and make workers.” Nor did he say, “Go and make tithers.” Is Jesus interested in worshippers, workers, and tithers? Of course. But he knew we get worshippers, workers, and tithers, by making disciples.
Discipleship is the portal priority through which all the other priorities of the church can be achieved. Only by moving through the discipleship gateway can people truly affect their church and their church affect them.
For instance, how can a man worship a God he doesn’t know? Why would a man want to share his faith if he didn’t understand the Great Commission? How could a man be a good steward if he didn’t understand and believe that everything he has is a gift from God-his time, talent, and treasure? As we disciple men’s hearts, they start to live out of the overflow of their relationship with Christ. Therefore, we can organize these efforts by putting discipleship in the center and drawing arrows out to each of our priorities. (see the diagram below.) These are the outcomes of staying focused on discipleship.
How can a church implement discipleship as the portal priority? The items around the outside of the box represent activities or methods, which a church engages in to help build disciples. (The next diagram illustrates this principle.) Remember these activities are not ends, in themselves, but rather focus on helping people learn or live out what it means to be a disciple.
For more information on how to keep discipleship the portal priority in your men’s ministry, see our next Issue of “Get In the Game” or order No Man Left Behind, from the PCA bookstore by clicking here.