Have You Got a Plan?

There is an old saying, if you fail to plan, you are planning to fail. A few years ago in a meeting at a church, I had an interesting experience. We were evaluating an activity that had seemingly gone really well. Much had been accomplished in a short period of time, but then someone asked a question, “what was the goal of this activity?”

Everyone looked around at one another and cited the things that were just accomplished. The follow up question brought a longer pause however. When had we decided this is what we needed to accomplish? At that moment, one of the men in the group had an epiphany.

“We didn’t,” he said, “and we do church this way all the time.” What followed was a great discussion about how we do ministry. So often, rather than create a vision or plan of what we expect from our ministry, we do the things that we know to do or the things that have always been done and then celebrate whatever we accomplish.

I am not saying that nothing good comes of this ever. But the downside to doing ministry this way is this is not something we can replicate or pass on and it can hamper the efforts we make for the Kingdom when we can’t do so.

We should have a plan for making disciples that helps us to continue making disciples for the long term. We have a component in the toolkit that can be accessed online called the discipleship template. It is designed to help you think through a way to define the process your church will use to make disciples. I want to encourage you to take a look at the template and use it as a guideline for creating a plan to make disciples that will make disciples.

Be blessed and go and make disciples.

Dakota Discipleship Podcast Episode 3 – Part 2 of an Interview with Eric and Casey Reimche at New Life on Main

This is part 2 of an interview with Eric and Casey to talk about the impact of small group ministry in the life of New Life on Main during transitions in the church and we had a great conversation. We talk more in this episode about the positive testimony of how small groups impacted New Life on Main during a season of transition in the church. Be sure and subscribe to this blog if you want updates and new episodes when they are published

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Music bed credits: “Groundwork” Kevin MacLeod (incompetech.com)

Licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 3.0 License


Dakota Discipleship Podcast Episode 2 – Interview with Clint Calvert

This is an interview I did with Clint about discipleship. We discuss creating a discipleship culture in the church and more. Feel free to leave comments and discuss more below. May you be blessed and go and make disciples.

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Music bed credits: “Groundwork” Kevin MacLeod (incompetech.com)
Licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 3.0 License

What Are You Going to Be in 2019

Discipleship is a buzzword these days it seems. But what do we mean when we say we are going to BE a disciple of Jesus Christ? What does it mean when we say we are going to make disciples for Jesus Christ?

I keep a quote on the top of my big workflow chart on my office wall:

Culture will eat strategy for breakfast

The quote is usually attributed to Peter Drucker, so I want to give him proper credit here. What does it mean for discipleship though? I would guess that each of you who sees this quote might have your own take on the implications. I would invite you to leave a comment and have a discussion about it at the bottom of this post. Here is my take on this statement.

What we are as a disciple influences the ways we will choose to make disciples. In a church, the culture that we create for discipleship is going to determine the kinds of disciples we make. So, we need to ask a few key questions. What does it mean to BE a disciple? Do we get there by studying the right things and knowing certain answers? Do we get there by doing the right things and exhibiting certain behaviors? Is it really a combination of both of these?

What we will be is determined in large part by whatever foundation we build upon in our lives. We know from Scripture that there is only one foundation we can build upon as disciples: Jesus Christ (1 Corinthians 3:11). So, what does that look like in practical terms? Let me suggest that we begin with the basics of dedicating time to reading God’s Word regularly.

Robbie Gallaty posted this to Twitter a few days ago:


We need to BE people who read God’s Word regularly. The result is we will BE disciples of Jesus Christ as it impacts every area of our walk with Him.

Discipleship Podcast Episode 1

The first episode of our discipleship podcast. This podcast highlights a couple of the tools in our new toolkit. This will be a regular feature. Be blessed and go and make disciples.

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Music bed credits: “Groundwork” Kevin MacLeod (incompetech.com)
Licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 3.0 License

Discipleship Strategies

Strategies for Making Disciples

The power of the Word: According to research, the number one indicator for spiritual growth in both children and adults is simple: regular Bible reading (note this does not say daily although that is certainly a good regular interval to use). Consider developing strategies for encouraging people to read their Bibles.

  1. Providing a church-wide reading plan for people to adopt and follow. There are many options available to choose from.
  2. Emphasizing the importance of regular Bible reading in sermons and group times.
  3. Choosing a memory verse for the entire church to learn together on a regular basis i.e. quarterly or monthly.

The Word of God is powerful and active (Hebrews 4:12) and we can see that power at work when we are all reading God’s Word regularly.

The power of a vision: Make sure everyone is seeing the same picture. Define what it means to be a disciple and use a simple model that everyone can remember and repeat. It can be something like Be a Disciple by Knowing God’s Word and Doing What It Says and using the keywords: Be, Know, Do. It can be an extensive model that describes growth from Newborn (new believer) to Child (growing disciple) to Young Adult (maturing disciple) to Parent (making disciples) like the Real Life model. There are plenty of other models and ways to define the process, but the important part is making sure that everyone is on the same page. We can help you define the process that would work best in your place of ministry.

The power of process: Always keep in mind that this is a process and not a program. Think of it as a road-map. It will work best when you have an idea of where you are going as well as where you are in the process at any given time as a disciple. Define a way to measure where a person is as a disciple to know where they need to go next. We have provided a couple of online assessments that can be used for this. We can also help you create your own.

The power of community: Discipleship is made easier in community. As Scripture says, two are better than one (Ecclesiastes 4:9ff) and the power of a small group to provide encouragement and challenge to grow as a disciple is well known. Start a new group whose primary focus is on discipleship. We have included a resource that can help with this process called Go Disciple.

The power of intentionality: In all toil there is profit, but mere talk tends only to poverty. – Proverbs 14:23. No matter what plan you choose, the real key will be seeing it through. You can do it. We can help.