Welcome to the first issue of the Church Doctor Report for 2014. This issue features “Making Disciples: Why Christians Get the Goal and are Clueless About the Method” and includes “10 Ways to Develop Relational Discipling.” This is great information to pass along to others wanting to grow in this area. You may subscribe to The Church Doctor Report at this link.
After working with a few thousand churches of all brands and sizes, I’m convinced: if Jesus was a Church Doctor consultant, His number one recommendation would be to get back to relational discipling. Why? (1) He modeled it. (2) Where it is practiced, churches experience breakthrough. (3) Many church leaders seem clueless about how to do it. (4) It speaks to the most significant roadblock to the expansion of Christianity.
Hudson Taylor, the missionary to China said, “The Lord’s work must be done in the Lord’s way if it is to have the Lord’s blessing.” Nancy Pearcey nails it in her book, Total Truth: Liberating Christianity from its Cultural Captivity: “…a Christian church or ministry may be biblical in its message and yet fail to be biblical in its method” (Wheaton, Illinois, Crossway Books, 2004).
In 2006, George Barna Research reported that the number one topic of interest for church leaders was discipleship; not growth, pastoral care, or evangelism. In the last several years, books on discipleship have flooded the market. During these years, we have noticed a common frustration among church leaders: most get the goal of making disciples, yet very few know how. When we recommend relational discipling to congregations, some of the most gifted and experienced leaders struggle to grasp the concept. Knowing the goal of the Great Commission seems easier than following the right strategy. Using right methods transforms theory into practice, the goal into results. This is the breakthrough transformation Pastor Larry experienced when he interviewed Jill for the position of Director of Discipleship.