If you haven't stayed up with recent blogs, check out the Tracking Discipleship Signs series. In these posts I had a great time relating scripture application to data. Then using this data to provide analytics that give you feedback on your discipleship effectiveness as a church.
"To the Jews who had believed him, Jesus said,“If you hold to my teaching, you are really my disciples. Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.” John 8:31-32
Here is another place that Jesus makes it clear what His disciples look like.
"Then he said to them all: 'Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross daily and follow me." Luke 9:23
Here is another place that Jesus makes clear what he expects of his disciples and thus what you and I should expect of them. Our first sign in this series was commitment or surrender. This is self-denial. The next expectations from this verse are cross-carrying and following.
"A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.” John 13:34, 35
This is one of those times Jesus makes crystal clear what his followers look like. This quality is so outstanding that people don't miss it. Love.
“No one can serve two masters. Either you will hate the one and love the other, or you will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and money.” Luke 16:13
Last time we talked about Commitment as the foundational quality of a Christ-follower. For most of us commitment is a familiar theme of our faith. Maybe too familiar.
In last week's blog I made the case that the best way to measure discipleship is by tracking the signs (or indicators) of Jesus followership in a person's life. One of the first and most fundamental signs is commitment.
Commitment to Christ and commitment to his church. Let's consider these and then how to use data to track them.
Like you, I love the church and am enamored with Jesus' commission to make disciples of all nations. Years ago as a university student, I was heavily involved in a college disciple-making ministry. During that time I consumed Leroy Eims' book, The Lost Art of Disciplemaking. It gave me a framework with clear objectives for becoming and making disciples - devoted followers of Christ.
To give you an idea of what I'm talking about, here is a list of some of the objectives right out of the appendix of this
book. (There are 30 listed there.)
The ways churches are meeting at this point in the pandemic are as diverse as the church itself. I know great churches that haven't met live on Sundays since March of last year. And I know great churches that have been meeting live since July and now don't even require masks or social distance. This is the beauty of God's design and the difference in the communities our churches serve.
I started this series more than a month ago but got sidestracked on topics related to the Covid 19 crisis. The pandemic has only ramped up. But, for a moment, let's refocus on how we help a church measure how well they are multiplying disciples.
Jesus didn't mentor his disciples just to make them better men. His goal was for them to mentor other people who would do the same thing. Paul was super clear on this multiplication model of mentoring in 2 Timothy 2:2.
We who are captivated by the privilege and challenge of this calling are part of a growing movement of churches owning the multiplication vision. Our experience has shown us that consistency and conversations are two powerfully helpful measures of multiplication.
Last week we were at the Exponential Conference in Orlando. It is an exciting gathering of thousands of people devoted to multiplying leaders and planting churches. Our many conversations with men and women enthusiastically pursuing a life of significance through mentoring and multiplication reminded me again of why we started Churchteams.