Building A Discipling Culture
The book Building a Discipling Culture was written for the purpose of both challenging and inviting all Church leaders to consider the future of their congregations. Even small congregations need to consider the fact that Jesus called on us to create disciples and spread His Word. Indeed, there are many difficulties to this process, which is what created the need for a book of this nature. We may be exceptional leaders that can provide comfort and wisdom to our congregation, but we must also be willing to grow our congregations and increase our numbers. It is this that Jesus has called upon us to do.
The path is not easy. It is often frustrating, and much of it falls on the Church leadership. We must not only create disciples who lean on us for comfort and wisdom, but we must also create disciples who are in turn themselves able to create disciples.
That being said, there is much that stands in our way, and our own nature as humans is among the most difficult hurdles to overcome.
The Three Temptations
Remember that the devil tempts Jesus three times. But understanding precisely the temptations offered is remarkably instructive to overcoming our own human trappings. The devil enticed Jesus to turn bread to stones and to quell his own hunger, his appetite. The devil enticed Jesus to throw himself from the highest temple in order to prove that He was truly the Son of God; to demonstrate God’s favor. The devil then enticed Jesus to overcome all the kingdoms of the world, but of course for a price. In these three temptations, the devil appeals to Jesus’s appetite, His desire for God’s approval, and His ambition to see his mission complete, respectively.
These three temptations are humanity’s. Our human experience is driven by our desire for approval, our appetites, and our ambition. We consider these three roadblocks on the path to discipleship.
The Five Capitals
The story of the shrewd manager in Luke 16: 1-13 is a story about two kinds of capital. It ends with Jesus instructing His disciples that they cannot serve both God and money. The first kind of capital is financial capital (money). The second kind of capital is spiritual capital, which is a relationship with God as a disciple of Jesus. But upon scrutinizing the parable more closely, we can identify other forms of capital as well.
The manager in Luke, who realizes that his boss is displeased with his lending practices, also realizes that he’s about to be fired. He recognizes that he is both too weak to dig for a living, and too proud to beg for a living. He lacks the physical capital (the strength) to find himself a new job, and then he realizes that there is another kind of capital: his relationships with others (relational capital). Perhaps they will look kindly on him if he uses his intellectual capital to manipulate circumstances to his advantage; in this case, cheating his boss.
When we consider these elements as a form of capital, it raises our awareness to the fact that the true issue here is a matter of investment. Which form of capital is the most important to us, and which form of capital do we invest in?
Beyond this, Building a Discipling Culture focuses on the three keys to creating this culture in our communities. These three keys, which are covered in much detail in the book, are: a discipleship vehicle (which is called a Huddle), giving people access to your life, (which is referred to as Family on Mission, and a discipling language, called LifeShapes. For more information, please visit our webpage.