Why Discipleship is the Ultimate Church Growth Model

Not all church growth is healthy growth.  Unhealthy growth attracts people from other churches by catering more to them and expecting less of them.  Healthy, exponential growth involves sending those who’ve experienced genuine life change out into the community to demonstrate and share the love of Jesus Christ with those hopeless and hurting.  The growth potential from discipleship is about leverage and empowerment, fueled by the Holy Spirit.  There is so much latent potential sitting idle in America’s church pews. …

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External Factors Keeping Churches from Discipling

In addition to the internal impediments to discipleship we discussed last week, there are cultural norms making it difficult for churches in America to build disciples.  Even if pastors were fully committed to implementing personalized, intensive discipleship programs, they would encounter three significant attitudinal roadblocks pervading the psyche of most Americans today: 1.  Do What’s Best for Me… Baby Boomers were dubbed the “Me Generation” in the 1980s and 1990s as conspicuous consumption, career ambition and narcissism precipitated an…

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What’s Keeping Churches from Discipling?

Part 1 – Internal Factors As we showed last week, discipleship expands the Kingdom, changes your community and grows your church.  So why do only 1% of church leaders surveyed believe American churches are discipling well.  Why wouldn’t more pastors emphasize discipleship and implement a discipleship track that goes well beyond sermons and small groups (which aren’t making many disciples)?  Why don’t many churches utilize more intensive and effective discipleship methods? It’s not for a lack of understanding that…

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Maximizing Kingdom, Community & Church Impact

Jesus selected an odd cast of characters to be His disciples.  If you were asked to pick a team of 12 people to change the course of history, I’m guessing you wouldn’t head straight to the local marina or IRS office looking for candidates.  Yet that’s exactly what Jesus did.  In fact, the Old Testament, New Testament and the annals of church history are riddled with stories of “ordinary people doing extraordinary things”.  God gets all the glory when…

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Love Needs

By RIck Ezell Love needs to be more than warm, glowing emotions. The cold Mondays of daily living will quickly chill that kind of love. In our culture love is at best a little more than syrupy romanticism, and at worst just another four-letter word. Part of the problem is that today love can mean anything, nothing, and everything all at the same time. We toss the word about so loosely that we’ve tossed out much of its meaning….

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One Thing That Will Ignite Your Church

Everywhere church consultants and researchers are advocating ways to grow, change, and move the church forward. “Follow These 3 Principles” “4 Actions for Growth” “5 Steps to Change” In addition, products are offered, seminars are touted, consultation is pitched. Everyone recognizes a problem and promises a solution. What if there is something more foundational and fundamental, than what is being written about and sold today? What if church growth, change, and ministry were boiled down to one key accomplishment?…

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A New Year’s Resolution for Your Church

Several weeks ago, we provided a simple answer to a difficult question – “Are You a Disciple?  A Surefire Litmus Test”.  Disciples of Jesus Christ assume His attributes, and foremost among those is that of a humble servant.  In 2017, we all have a fresh opportunity to show we truly are Jesus’ disciples.  One of the most important ways we can serve the Lord and advance His Kingdom is by following His final marching orders – to “go and…

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Do We Treat Salvation Now As An Event Too?

The U.S. comprises around 5% of the world’s population but consumes roughly 33% of its goods and services.  To accommodate our consumer culture, pastors have devised 3 types of events to provide a more convenient, engaging church experience: Church as an Event – Once the weekend’s services are over, most members do little evangelism between Sundays (besides possibly inviting a friend to hear a sermon from the “professional” evangelist next weekend) Compassion as an Event – Once Christmas is…

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When Did Church Become An Event?

No pastor sets out to make a church primarily about its weekend services.  Seminary students envision impacting a community mightily for Christ, something putting on a worship event every Sunday alone could never accomplish.  They understand that occasional outreaches or service events during the holiday season won’t transform a community either.  Church planters and new pastors realize that attaining such a lofty vision requires utilizing the other five or six days of the week.  They know that powerful, eternal…

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Happy New Year

Happy New Year, Neighbors! I pray that you had a wonderful Christmas; that your home was filled with friends and family and that you took the opportunity of the season to share the love and message of Jesus with your “neighbors.”  The cultural calendar holiday makes it an easy conversation – asking people how they celebrate and worship throughout the season and inviting them to celebrate and worship with you. As 2017 begins, our thoughts and conversations turn to…

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