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Look Beyond Numbers to Generations

guardrailsHow many disciples have made disciples? Great challenge from Alan Briggs in his new book Guardrails: Six Principles for a Multiplying Church.

Reproducible discipleship looks beyond numbers to count generations – it measures how many disciples have made disciples… When we aim at mere numbers, we will rarely multiply disciples, but when we aim at generations, numbers come naturally.

Love this thinking! If church is about making disciples and one thing disciples do is make other disciples, we should be able to begin measuring generations within the first few years of our church. Take a look at your church roll and see how many generations deep you can go. If not far, examine your goal for people. Are you making disciples or just attenders? This is a mistake I have made in ministry. Attendance makes pastors feel good and populates the chairs on Sunday’s. Disciple making makes the kingdom grow and populates heaven. 

Guardrails is a great book to help you get back to the simplicity of discipleship. Here’s a few other great quotes:

  • healthy ministry always centers around making disciples.
  • Our mission is to make disciples. That’s what missional people do.
  • Spiritual leadership is not about gaining followers; it’s about making disciples.
  • Disciple-makers are very ordinary people who take God’s mission seriously.
  • Discipleship is a beautiful and rugged journey into living like Jesus.
  • Discipleship is not something to be comprehended and mastered by something to be lived out and passed on to others.
  • Every follower of Jesus has the capacity to become a multiplier of the message.
  • When we portray discipleship as complicated, ordinary people leave discipleship to the experts, and reproduction is killed before it starts.
  • We simply cannot afford to choose building our churches over making disciples. We must follow the progression of making disciples, developing leaders, and leading churches – in that order.

Grab a copy of Guardrails. Refreshing, challenging book to fuel the mission of making disciples. See the Trailer for the book HERE. Looking forward to having Alan Briggs as one of our Equippers in 2017 & 2018 for our Multiply Louisiana Church Planting Network! More info soon.

“Don’t just invite people to a meeting, invite them into your life” – Small Group Training Notes from @RickHowerton

Great day of learning yesterday with Rick Howerton. Rick was gracious to give a day to leaders in the Greater New Orleans area. On the Northshore, we foundRickHowerton that only about 4% of the population attends an evangelical Bible Study of any kind. Small Group leaders are needed to shepherd people to maturity in Christ.

Here’s a few big takeaways from his talks.

  • A small group is four to twelve people doing the Christian life deeply together, REALLY. It’s more than just a class. They are more than just friends. They are fellow disciples.
  • Churches can choose to run programs or grow people. Small groups is the best way to grow people.
  • The goal of church is not to get people to stick, but to make disciples that make disciples.
  • The goal of small groups is to make disciples that makes disciples. Not just to help people become good friends, but to move them to maturity in Christ.
  • Don’t just invite people to a meeting, invite them into your life.
  • On expectations and commitment: If you continually lower the bar, it will accomplish nothing in someones life.
  • On Multiplying Groups: Start each group with the vision and expectation that it will multiply. Have an apprentice leader from the beginning that is there to multiply the group. The group that doesn’t multiply in 24 months, never will.
  • When groups don’t want to multiply: Teach them that the mission of God is more important than the desires of individuals. Ask, “What if the first group of 12 would have chosen to just stay together?”
  • On reproducing leaders: People don’t do what they’ve been told to do, they do what they see someone they trust doing.
  • On keys to small group leadership: Stay connected with God, Confess all known sin, Be filled with the Holy Spirit on a Daily Basis, Prioritize your daily devotional life, Depend on God more than techniques.
  • The best person to cast vision for small groups is the Sr. Pastor. The Sr. Pastor should be leading or attending a group.

Looking forward to learning more from Rick in the future. He blogs daily HERE. Great daily dose of solid Small Group thinking. Also, his latest book is A Different Kind of Tribe, published through NavPress.

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