Equipping Your Church for Disciple Making Movements: A Pastor’s Guide to Effective Training

If you’re a pastor who recognizes the importance of your church being actively engaged in making disciples, you’re not alone. 

There is a growing movement of pastors who are seeking to train their congregations in disciple making movement methods. But where do you start? 

Here are a few key steps you can take to begin training your church in disciple making movement methods.

1. Start with prayer

Prayer is the foundation of any disciple making movement. 

Encourage your church to pray for their friends, family members, and co-workers who don’t know Jesus. Pray for the Holy Spirit to open doors and create opportunities for conversations about faith. 

Jesus himself emphasizes the importance of prayer in Luke 10:2 when he says, “The harvest is plentiful, but the workers are few. Ask the Lord of the harvest, therefore, to send out workers into his harvest field.”

2. Focus on relationship building

Disciple making movements are built on relationships. 

Encourage your church members to intentionally build relationships with people who don’t know Jesus. This can be done through social activities, volunteering, and simply being present in the community. 

Jesus modeled this approach in his own ministry, spending time with tax collectors and sinners (Luke 5:30) and engaging in conversations with Samaritans (John 4:1-26).

3. Use simple tools

The goal of disciple making movements is to make the process of sharing the gospel and making disciples as simple as possible. Encourage your church to use simple tools like the Three Circles method or the Bridge Illustration to share the gospel with others. 

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Paul emphasizes the importance of our methods being reproducible in his exhortation to Timothy in 2 Timothy 2:2, “And the things you have heard me say in the presence of many witnesses entrust to reliable people who will also be qualified to teach others.”

4. Practice obedience-based discipleship

In a disciple making movement, obedience to Jesus is emphasized over knowledge about Jesus. 

Encourage your church members to focus on obeying what Jesus has commanded, rather than just learning about Him. Jesus himself emphasizes the importance of obedience in John 14:15 when he says, “If you love me, keep my commands.”

5. Empower and release your members

Disciple making movements are not led by pastors or church leaders, but by everyday believers who are empowered and released to make disciples. 

Encourage your church members to take ownership of their faith and to feel empowered to share the gospel with others.

6. Emphasize multiplication

In a disciple making movement, the goal is not just to make disciples, but to make disciples who make disciples. 

Encourage your church to focus on multiplying disciples, rather than just adding to the church. Jesus himself emphasizes the importance of multiplication in Matthew 28:19-20 when he says, “Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you.”

7. Provide ongoing training and support

Finally, it’s important to provide ongoing training and support for your church members as they engage in disciple making movements. 

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This can include small group discipleship training, coaching, and mentoring. Paul emphasizes the importance of ongoing training in 2 Timothy 2:2 when he says, “And the things you have heard me say in the presence of many witnesses entrust to reliable people who will also be qualified to teach others.”

Conclusion

if you’re a pastor looking to train your church in disciple making movement methods, there are several key steps you can take. 

Start with prayer, focus on relationship building, use simple tools, emphasize obedience-based discipleship, empower and release your members, emphasize multiplication, and provide ongoing training and support. 

Remember, disciple making movements are not about building big churches or programs, but about making disciples who make disciples. As you train your church in starter tools, you will see lives transformed and communities impacted by the power of the gospel.

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