A ministry team needs to be comprised of people who are faithfully making disciples using your preferred tools. Not everyone whom you disciple will reproduce in others. I wish that wasn’t the case, but it is reality.
Growing the seed of God’s Word
In Matthew 13, Jesus told us this would be the case. In the story of the sower, the seed of God’s Word responds differently in different soils. In some soils the seed doesn’t produce any fruit at all. In other soils the fruit is very productive!
The moral of the story is simply this: not everyone will reproduce what you plant in his or her life. Some will receive what you say but it will never take root in their lives. Some will hear God’s Word planted in them but be choked out by the distractions and demands of life. And some will take God’s Word that you invest in their lives and share it with others, producing a great harvest of spiritual multiplication.
Not everyone you train will reproduce.
I’ve been making disciples for twenty years. It has been my experience that one out of every four men I train will actually continue to reproduce over the long haul. That’s not discouraging to me, it’s just reality.
So, if that’s true, I need to be constantly looking for the men who are passionate about walking with God, reaching the lost, and investing in a few, and I need to stay close to them.
Begin with your staff.
If you are privileged to have a paid staff working alongside you, then begin with them. Invest in them, train them to reproduce, and set them free to do it with encouragement and accountability.
I expect every staff member on our team to be a disciple maker. There are many in our church who are not on paid staff, but are proven disciple makers. These are the men who were in the circle on that warm Texas night. These men are my proven reproducers.
Some of these men have gone on to lead groups and serve on leadership teams. Others God led to quit their jobs and come on staff at the church. Still others changed their work schedules so they could spend more time investing in men.
This is my disciple-making ministry team. Now you may be thinking, “I wish I had a group of dedicated men like that.” You can! But you have to build them. You build them by discipling them yourself and helping them to reproduce.
Growing your disciple-making ministry team.
Over time, your proven reproducers will begin to grow. Then that group becomes your team that will move your ministry forward. I encourage you to identify who these people are in your church and draw close to them.
Spend time with them. Keep them encouraged. Focus them on outreach strategies in your church. Constantly funnel new believers to them so they are always discipling. Inspire them with stories of success, reminding them of the eternal impact they are making.
This blog features an excerpt from our book, Bold Moves.