February 10, 2016

How to Start a Discipleship Ministry In Your Church

I was able to listen to a few speakers from the If:gathering online throughout the weekend, and as it went on, I realized I'd started a mental checklist in my head of all the things I needed to do better in life. I so want to be a part of racial reconciliation and justice issues and, well, everything good that God is doing in this world. And then I remembered that, hello, I wrote a book called From Good to Grace, and I needed a little Whoa Nellie to slow up enough to hear God's voice. David Platt, in his talk, was just the Whoa Nellie I needed. He said, "You don't need to start an organization or a blog or write a book. Just make a disciple."

OK, now that's something I can do. That's the heartbeat of why I'm in ministry and why I moved to Charlottesville, VA eight years ago and why I'm a mom and why I do everything that I do.

In fact, God gave me a huge Whoa Nellie about 14 years ago, when Kyle and I were just starting out in vocational ministry and trying to figure out the most important things to give ourselves to within that ministry. God settled our hearts firmly on discipleship, which we made the crux of our personal ministry and began training others to make disciples as well. Let me tell you, it is the best thing we ever did.

So when we moved to Charlottesville to plant a church, we made discipleship one of our church's core values. We prayed disciple-making would become an ingrained part of our church's DNA. We are certainly not perfect, and our church isn't either, but it's been super exciting to watch what God has done in and through discipleship in our community.

Discipleship is God's Plan A, and He blesses that plan. Like David Platt so aptly reminded me this weekend, we don't have to start a major organization or business or do super flashy stuff to make a difference in this world. We can simply do what Jesus did: spend more time with fewer people for greater and lasting kingdom impact.

I've put together some resources to train and help the women in our church, so I thought I'd share those with any of you who are interested in learning more about discipleship or interested in starting a formal discipleship ministry in your church. Click on the image below for a 15 minute podcast in which I share about how our discipleship ministry works and offer a few steps you can take to implement something similar. The resources I mention are linked below. Happy listening!

Below are links to resources I mention in the podcast: