Creating a customized disciple-making pathway for your church

N.C. BAPTIST PODCAST
February 26, 2018

This podcast was recorded at the Disciple-Making Conference breakout session training and focuses discipleship within church bodies. Today, 80 percent of churches are experiencing a plateau or decline in attendance. Yet most churches still offer an overwhelming menu of programs that assume people will go to church at designated times. How can today’s church leaders effect change that will draw people into church so they can experience spiritual transformation? How can Christians be encouraged to pursue discipleship and take the next step in their specific contexts and church bodies? Jay McGuirk explores how churches can be uniquely positioned to make disciples in a meaningful way through a pathway that includes worship, serving, community and giving.

Here is an excerpt from this podcast:

About 10 years ago, I joined the staff of First Baptist Church, Hattiesburg, Mississippi. We were a downtown, county seat, red brick, four white column, choir-having, suit-wearing First Baptist Church. They hired me to be the singles’ pastor. Without a doubt that was where God was telling me to be. After I’d been there about six months, the pastor, who’d been there about 20 years at that point, walked in to our staff one day and said, “I don’t like the fact that our church is in decline. All we’re doing is going through the motions. I want to reach lost people.” Not being from Mississippi, my first thought was: “This is Mississippi. I don’t think there are any lost people here.” Turns out there was: Only 30 percent of the population actually went to a church, even though 85 percent of the population said they were Christian. We said, “What if we went after the 70 percent no one wants to go after?” And we did. Lostness began to walk through the door even as traditional Christianity walked out the door. So here’s what we did. We ended up completely changing our discipleship culture. We went from 18 adult Sunday School classes to 43 small groups, about half of them led by people who had never done any kind of discipleship before. Here was the crazy thing: it worked. We changed our definition of a leader and began to create a culture of discipleship that matched who we were and put a priority on helping people follow Jesus. My passion for you and your church is to help you build a customized discipleship pathway for your church because your church is unique.


by Jay McGuirk  /  Preaching and Vision Pastor  / The Austin Stone Community Church

How to use your community’s ‘third places’ for the gospel

The coronavirus pandemic has caused a bit of a shake-up. But one thing that has become evident from this experience is the fact that the church is not a building, and it is not a program. We are the church, and we are called to love and serve both those who are inside and outside...

‘Reimagine’ resource addresses today’s realities, tomorrow’s possibilities

How does your church see this COVID moment? On a recent webcast by the Barna Group titled “Caring for Souls in a New Reality,” panelists posed the question, “Is this an interruption or a disruption?” An interruption means that this is only a temporary interference in our lives,...

Saved from war, man from Congo planting church in Raleigh

Rufus Muhirwe is tall, thin and soft-spoken. Look at this gentle man and you would never guess the years-long nightmare he endured before coming to Raleigh, N.C. He found that God was with him through those years. And the fact that Muhirwe is planting a new church is a testimony...

3 practical ways to encourage your pastor

Pastors are quitting today for many reasons. Pastors, as a whole, can be a troubled lot. Unfortunately it comes with the territory. But much of the remedy would come if somebody would simply offer them some genuine encouragement. To encourage means “to inspire with courage,...

Encouragement from the early church in trying times

Where do we turn at this moment in history for wisdom, direction and inspiration? Many leaders are tired, fearful or wrestle with thoughts of doubt and discouragement. Every leader I know could use some encouragement in our country’s current circumstances. Our hope is not in...

Stay connected by signing up for our monthly newsletter and events email.

Select Language ^

Share This

Share this with your friends!