I was introduced to a pastor of another church here in town a couple of weeks ago and the conversation turned to what do I do. I said I am serving in the areas of church health and leadership development and he asked, “what makes a church healthy?”
It’s a great question and in a moment of inspiration I said, “making disciples.”
Sometimes it may seem as though this is said over and over again, but given the power of repetition,this can never be said too often. The mission of the church is to make disciples. Period! Discipleship is the core, the engine, the purpose, the point of it all. Go and make disciples! Everything else in the life of the body is wrapped up in the mission of doing this well.
The next great question will serve as a bit of a health check up, “Is our church making disciples?” When you go to see the doctor, they check your vitals. They know the expected benchmark measurements to determine if your body temp, or blood pressure, or other vital signs are in the proper range. As a church body, we need to recognize our vital signs as well.
Lifeway research came up with 8 signposts or indicators for growing disciples. These are incorporated into the Disciples Path study series (which we included a sample of in the toolkit). You can use these vital signs or make your own version for your church, but I do want to encourage one in particular.
Regular Bible reading!
Think of it like your discipleship pulse. Research showed that those who regularly engaged in Bible study also grew in all the other vitals as well. This the key to being a growing disciple and making growing disciples. So, check your pulse and the pulse of those you are discipling.