On June 16th, nearly 30 pastors and marketplace leaders gathered to discuss the topic of discipleship. Tyler Flynn kicked off the morning by defining discipleship. We hold that disciple is defined as follows:
1-on-1 Discipleship is an intentional, spiritual, life-on-life relationship in which one person helps another grow under grace into Christian maturity through regular time together. It does not replace but rather supplements other corporate forms of discipleship. Outside of one’s own household, the general practice in the New Testament is men discipling men, and women discipling women.
Furthermore, Tyler spoke to the goals of discipleship, as well as the stages in the process, as outlined in the chart.
Following Tyler’s introduction, we shifted into a segment entitled “How One Church is Equipping its Members to Live Missionally”. Doug Franck interviewed Todd Smeltzer, the discipleship Pastor at Jersey Baptist Church, and Sam Koon, a marketplace disciple-maker, about how the Lord has transformed their church to be characterized by it’s disciple-
making culture. Our guests thoroughly enjoyed getting to hear from real-life disciple-makers who were able to share honestly about the struggles and triumphs of their journey.
One pastor shared:
“Sam and Todd’s church story was helpful, particularly in helping me think through who are the marketplace leaders in my church”
Next, we moved into a presentation from Bill Mowry about “The Pastor as Champion for Disciple-Making”. He began by explaining that discipleship is NOT “just another program” or “one more thing to balance”, but instead that it is THE program, and THE thing that keeps everything else in order. Bill then asked the pastors to consider the amount of time they currently set aside for discipleship, and challenged them to a “discipleship tithe”, calling on them to give up at least 10% of their week to 1-on-1 discipleship. Click here to listen to Bill’s discussion of a “discipleship tithe”
The pastors and marketplace leaders were reminded during Bill’s talk that there are coaches available to meet with them to discuss disciple-making and to provide practical support. One pastor stated that the most helpful part of the morning was “knowing that others are interested and struggling with discipleship, and that there’s help available”.
Bill concluded his presentation with an illustration where he asked the audience to consider their approach to ministry: do they treat their church like a conservatory – to be tended to and cared for simply to be looked at? or do they approach their congregation like a nursery – tending to it for the purpose of growth and distribution among the community, so that the impact of the fruit borne by the plants is widespread and city-reaching?
Following Bill’s talk, the pastors and marketplace leaders had time to discuss several questions in small groups at their tables. These questions were:
What was a highlight, new insight, or challenge for you from the presentations
What motivates you to be a disciple maker – as either a pastor, church leader, or in the marketplace?
What do you find to be some of the greatest challenge to living as a disciple maker?
Is there anything that the Lord is speaking to you about from this session?
What do you think He wants you to do?
The response we received from this meeting was so encouraging! Seven pastors indicated that they are interested in meeting with a coach to discuss next steps in disciple-making! There was a general consensus that this time was encouraging and refreshing, a time for these men to “recharge their discipleship batteries”, as one pastor described it.