Recently I read some findings from Pew Research that stunned me a little bit. They found that 69% of Americans find meaning through their families.
This got me thinking about disciple making and the family. How do these findings inform my ministry and disciple making strategy?
How should these findings inform your ministry and disciple making strategy?
Here are the other two opportunities I believe we have in the church when it comes to disciple making and our families.
Opportunity #3 - Sunday Morning Children and Student Ministry
To be honest, I don’t have a lot of experience in this area. It’s more theoretical for me. However, I can see that the opportunity for the American church is massive.
Imagine if every child who checks in to your children’s ministry on any given Sunday, their family is passed along to a team member who follows up with them during the week. That team member gets to know and asks how they can pray for them.
The next week rolls around and that family meets up with that team member that was in contact with them during the week. This team member is trained in your disciple making basics and ready to invite this new family into a disciple making relationship.
Now your children’s ministry is far more than “babysitting” on a Sunday morning. It is an intentional onramp for disciple making.
You could flesh this out more in your own context, but this is a huge opportunity.
The same could be said of your student ministry. Imagine a student getting connected to your student ministry either at a home group or on a Sunday morning. You learn their parents names and get some contact info to keep their family in the loop on upcoming student opportunities.
Then in a similar fashion, there is an initial contact. Maybe at group one night, a simple email, text message or phone call. There is a touch to the family. The question is asked, “How can we pray for you this week?” The family immediately feels more like a part of the family, not just through their child, but also because someone has reached out to them as well.
Maybe that turns into a conversation over lunch or after church one Sunday and the disciple making opportunity is right there. An invite into getting to know more. An intentional invite to gain some tools for themselves to be better parents and to lead their children spiritually.
If 69% of Americans find meaning in their families, there is an opportunity here to reach a community of parents who want to be discipled and to disciple their children, but don't know how.
The opposite also holds true. There is an opportunity to reach a community of students who want to be discipled but may not be sure where to begin. The multiplication impact goes to their parents, their schools and networks of friends.
Student and Children’s ministries are a gold mine of untapped disciple making opportunities!
Opportunity #4 - Ministry Team Members
You have people serving on your teams right now who probably love that team. They are happy to serve, they love what they do. But like the majority of churches on a Sunday morning, they serve, put in their time and some check the box for the week. I did my thing. Now to get on to what I want to do the other six days.
As your teams serve together, the opportunity is huge for disciple making conversations. Let’s say the team leader for your hospitality or greeting team is a disciple maker. They will see their role as a disciple making missionary and that their work doesn’t stop on Sunday. They see the opportunity to disciple their entire team.
I love when I hear stories from teams of people getting together outside of Sunday morning to experience the “one another’s” together. “We ate, prayed and played together this week.” Those are excellent onramps to the deeper level, disciple making conversation. The disciple making questions from above…
What are you reading in Scripture these days?
What is God showing you?
What do you think your next step is?
How can I help you get there?
These are not the only questions, but they are good ones to get started on the disciple making journey. Now imagine 100% of your team members are invited into that conversation? Not that every one will respond well (ie, parable of the soil) but for those that do, imagine the opportunity to disciple their families through them.
As we disciple our teams we are through them preparing them to disciple their families. The family where they naturally feel the most meaning. Instead of making parents feel bad for choosing their children over all the church activities during the week, let’s set them up to make disciples right where they are; in their families.
What is one step you can take this week to disciple a student or team member?
Who do you need to have a Gospel conversation with?
Who do you need to invite into a disciple making relationship?