Home > Healthy Church Network > The Big 5 Questions: Their Answers Will Revitalize Your Church – Part 9

The Big 5 Questions: Their Answers Will Revitalize Your Church – Part 9

Last week, we moved to our third of these critical five questions for strengthening your church–How will we teach them how to follow Jesus? Before we dive in again, let’s review where we’ve been so far.

We have already discussed the first two of five critical questions for the enhanced and ongoing health of your church. Our first question—How do we engage new people?—helped us see the critical need to develop specific strategic steps for connecting with people throughout our community. There simply can be no new day at your church without some new life!

Our second question occupied us for several blogs—How will we treat them when they walk through our doors? As we said, it would be tragic to work hard to connect with someone only to drop the ball when they visited our church. Effective hospitality and assimilation strategies are some of the most critical elements of a church health plan.

In our last entry, we affirmed that making disciples is the primary work of the Church. We simply aren’t getting the job done if we aren’t guiding those who accept Christ’s free gift toward the much deeper commitment to give up their own life and follow Him. Making disciples is job one!

So how will we teach them to follow Jesus? The first part of an answer must address the content of our teaching. What are the most important elements of becoming and living as a disciple? Today, many groups are studying the whole idea of a disciple, trying to decide what a disciple looks like so they can develop tools for making such things happen. This is a worthwhile effort to be sure, but being a disciple is so much more than matching behaviors to the Scriptural list.

What would be on a list you’d construct of things we must teach other Christ followers? Would you start with the fruit of the Spirit or work through an expository approach to the entire New Testament? What are the critical first steps and how can you adequately prepare people for what they might encounter in the next few days? After all, life doesn’t unfold in a systematic way. Needed lessons come in a different order for every individual.

It’s been said that making disciples is the hardest work of the Church and there are good reasons for such an observation. Jesus seemed to make things simple, however, when He handed the assignment to His largely uneducated followers. In the Great Commission, Jesus said “Baptize them and teach them those things which I have commanded you.” Sounds simple enough–baptize them as a demonstration of their faith choice and teach what you have been taught.

Wouldn’t the things Jesus has specifically taught you seem to be the most important truths you could reveal? Discipleship cannot be done on an assembly line. True disciples won’t be mass produced, at least not in any depth. Instead, we can learn from each other as we engage conversation around the truths we’ve been learning.

Remember that Jesus taught His guys on a daily basis–as life unfolded before them. He let each moment provide the teaching opportunity. Why? Because He knew He was teaching a life, not a series of lessons.

So if your “curriculum” started with what God has been teaching you, what would that be? Sure, there’s more to consider because God has been teaching a lot of others too. We’ll look at some of that content next time, but spend some time reflecting on the lessons God has brought clearly into your focus. It seems likely that those are things He wants you to share.

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