Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Therefore…Make Disciples

A week ago we enlisted responses to an Effective Disciple-making Survey. The survey is one in a series of steps designed to help us learn what systems or processes churches are using to make disciples.

If one agrees that disciple-making is the central command of the Great Commission, then we might assume that churches have carefully developed their processes for making disciples. Whether formal or informal, they would be able to say, “This is our process for helping followers of Jesus grow to live as His disciples.”

In fact, the first hundred plus responses do not indicate that churches have a clear understanding about their processes in this important area. In responding to the question, “Does your church have a formal process for making disciples?” the following answers were given:

As members and leaders refer to their own congregations, only 4 in 10 indicate that they have a clearly defined process to develop followers of Christ as disciples. In subsequent blog posts, we will share what leaders in those churches told us about their defined disciple-making processes.

When it comes to rating their “…congregation's effectiveness in developing authentic disciples,” 30% of those responding rate their congregation as either excellent or good. One third rated their congregation as fair in this area. One in ten respondents rated their church’s disciple-making process as poor. And one of every three respondents chose not to respond to the question. My intuition tells me that “no response” means things are probably not going real well in disciple-making! The responses look like this:

The good news is that one third of the responses do indicate excellent or good effectiveness in producing disciples. In our next blog post, I will share what some of those church leaders shared about the processes they are employing in this important role. All of us can do better in this task as we learn more about the gaps that exist between the command and its fulfillment.

I encourage you to invite friends to add their insights to the survey which can be found by clicking here.

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