If you haven’t seen them yet, we’ve recently posted videos of all the sessions from the 2016 Missional Leaders Meeting that took place in Colorado in October. There is a lot of excellent material for all pastors and church planters there, but we know you don’t have a spare week to sit down and listen to them all, so we’d like to highlight a few of our favorite moments and ideas that are specifically relevant for church multiplication over the next few weeks.
And right off the bat, Jim Egli’s talk about multiplication and discipleship groups stands out as an incredibly practical discussion of how we can more effectively go about making disciples. Watching the entire talk is definitely recommended, but one of my big takeaways is that every seemingly simple process functions because of good systems.
When you walk into a beautiful, casual, warm Sunday service at a Vineyard, it might look effortless, but behind that breezy exterior, there are volunteers, schedules, preparation, janitorial work, trouble-shooting with malfunctioning sound-equipment...you get the picture. When things run easily, smoothly, and naturally, they typically have been built well and intentionally.
The same goes for the process of making disciples. As you increase volume and scale, those systems must become more complex. But at the most basic level, there are a couple things you can always do to lay the foundation for easy, smooth, natural discipleship and multiplication.
Never do anything alone.
This is a classic that bears repeating. Whatever ministry, whatever learning you are doing yourself, find someone else to bring along to watch and learn from you.
Focus on a few to reach many.
A theme from MLM was to embrace a kingdom that builds slowly. Jesus poured intensively for years into a few, who, after he left them, multiplied his ministry by hundreds and thousands.
Again, keying into the long, slow theme—if you don’t see results right away, remain faithful. Keep doing what Jesus calls us to do. Keep putting one foot in front of the other.
Keep learning and experimenting.
I love this—what works for you may change over time. Or you just might not hit on it right away. Keep trying things until you find what does work.
There was so much other good material in Jim’s talk, I really encourage you to watch or listen to it, if you have the time. In particular, don’t miss his walkthrough of simple discipleship groups—it’s gold!