by dan grider
If you are coaching a leader to refine their disciplemaking process, church planting process or leadership pipeline – a story board can be a helpful tool. This tool helps you create a framework that will help you assess the disciple making process. You can also chart their progress.
Take a large sheet of paper and a markers and chart how a disciple goes from the introduction of the gospel to maturity in your culture. This is an eye opening exercise.
Draw your disciple-making path way
The storyboard is simply a tool. It can result in your creation of a discipleship flow chart. This is a mind map for how a disciple can flow from a pagan to a reproducing disciple.
1. List each major step in your disciple making pathway on a Post-It® Note.
2. Organize each step people take to become increasingly more mature as a disciple of Jesus. Do this in a logical order on a poster.
Ask the question: In what sequence do people typically progress as disciples?
- Spiritual seeker
- New Disciple
- Reproducing Disciple
3. Identify any missing essential steps.
- How will we embrace the commission?
- Change what we care about?
- Find disciple-able people?
- Intensify Multiplication?
- Unleash communities?
4. Consider what level of commitment is required for involvement at each step.
5. Determine the communication and relationships required to move people to the next level of commitment and involvement.
6. Use arrows to connect your ministries, steps, and activities to create “flow” to move people toward spiritual multiplication.
In many of our churches there is not a clear path to maturity. If people arrive there it is purely by accident. There is not a clear pathway. If people are maturing, you have a pathway, you may not be fully aware how it works or that you have one. If disciples are reproducing you probably are subconsciously operating from your experience. This was my experience. Our church was multiplying disciples, I seldom every slowed down enough to think about how it was happening. If your church is not reproducing multiplying disciples, you don’t have a discipleship path way.
If your process is linked tightly to a particular model you will discover limitations. Especially when you work across denominations, cultures or with diverse leaders.
For instance, I have been working with a disciplemaker. Over the last two years he has collaborated with a network of leaders who have catalyzed a disciplemaking movement. They have launched 10 X groups. Some groups reproducing to the third and fourth generation. In addition, a new church plant has been birthed from their efforts.
If the disciplemaking process is based on principles it will endure. If it is based on a program it will fail.
The reason why many movements stall-out in the first generation is due to the leader’s inability to release the need to control the outcome. Once again, when a principle-based approach is taken – the fruit tends to be healthier. The leader will posture himself/herself in the role of catalyst which results in reproduction into the second, third and fourth generation.A tool you can use is the “Process of creating a discipleship pathway or storyboard. This tool is helpful in allowing you to think through how you take a person from a newly found discipleable person to a reproducing disciple.