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Healthy Targets

Healthy Structures – Discipleship

This week I share the ninth and final target for healthy churches – Discipleship.  The three targets under the category Healthy Structures are Leadership, Membership, and Discipleship.  As Baptist we are people who have been champions at pointing to the Great Commission as our purpose and mandate.  Jesus gave us the holy order to “Go, make disciples…,” baptizing and teaching them until he returns.  From evangelizing the lost to building up the saints, churches are called to make disciples, and healthy churches will have intentional strategies and structures to involve people in discipleship no matter where they are on their spiritual journey.  Every church needs to have a sequential pathway of discipleship for their members to walk and journey together on.  What system does your congregation have in place to lead someone far from God to faith in Jesus Christ, to grow mature in the faith, equipped to serve in the Body, and able to be a disciple-maker themselves?  As one church put it, “Our purpose is to turn atheist into missionaries for Jesus.”  That doesn’t happen by accident but by intentionality and design. Methods are plentiful today, but my favorite is what Paul modeled and wrote for Timothy to follow.  “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 (2 Tim. 2:2). The key question of discipleship is not how much have you learned, but how much have you passed it on to others?  Healthy churches have a clear understanding and strategy for making disciples and support it with intentional leadership and resources to implement it well.  Let us encourage one another in our efforts to reach people for Jesus and then lead them to gather, grow, give, and go for the glory of God and expansion of His kingdom. – Dr. Gary Mathes