I don’t necessarily mean, “did a personality profile label you ‘strategic’?” But: do you think in steps, plans, and strategies? (I do. I can’t help it. It’s a blessing and a curse!) So it shouldn’t be shocking that when it comes to effective discipleship, I love strategy and intentionality in the local church. I love seeing a preferred future or end-in-mind and developing a step-by-step intentional process to get there.
If ever there was a place where intentionality is needed, it’s the church. I suspect you’ll like this post if you are bent more strategically. If you’re not a natural strategist, I hope this content helps you understand the importance of intentional methods and gives you something to consider in your church and for your community.
Intentional Churches + Intentional Mission = Effective Discipleship
All churches exist for one reason. The mission statements may be unique, and denominations different, but their purpose is the same: effective discipleship.
You have some predisposition when you hear that word, so let me define it as I’m using it. To me, effective discipleship is the combination of reaching and growing. It’s evangelism and edification. Both are part of the “renewing of the mind” process. We must determine how discipleship happens best with this definition as our foundation.
I should preface this entire conversation with “God does the work, not us.” But we participate in the work. Not to put anything past God, but it’s hard for him to use the Bible in our life if we don’t pick it up. It’s challenging for God to use people in our life if we isolate. It’s nearly impossible for God to use a preacher or sermon to grow our faith if we don’t listen.
The problem is that most church leaders have a story (or once heard a story) of God doing the miraculous outside of a strategy. You’ve heard it before: “We didn’t have a plan, and God just came through!” Since it happened that one time, God can do anything in their mind, and we shouldn’t get in the way.