|DISCIPLE MAKING 101:
A new Advanced Lay Servant course
coming to districts in the Illinois Great
Rivers Annual Conference this fall.
What is the simplest system one can
use to make disciples and mature
them spiritually to the point where they
can make their own disciples? A flood
of new ideas and methods in
evangelism has made us skeptical.
The innovation that is needed in
churches today is far more elementary
yet entirely sufficient: Jesus is Lord.
How can we overcome resistance to
Information on the online class upon which this advanced
lay servant course is based is available here.
A New Way of Making Disciples: Using the Left Hand
WHAT IS THE FOCUS?
In the mid 1950s the Latin American Mission,
worried about the failure of churches to grow,
studied three diverse movements that were rapidly
growing in their context: Communism, Jehovah's
Witnesses and Pentecostals. With the message
and values of each group so different, the
commonalities would reveal what was causing
"Each had successfully mobilized their entire
constituency in continuous outreach. Latin
American Mission put their findings together in a
concise statement, the so-called Strachan
Theorem: the successful expansion of any
movement is in direct proportion to its success in
mobilizing and occupying its total membership in
constant propagation of its beliefs." (Richard
Peace, Small Group Evangelism - A Training
Program for Reaching Out with the Gospel, 25.)
This reflects a trend beginning in the United
Methodist Church: ¶126 of the 2008 Book of
Discipline of the United Methodist Church:
“Every layperson is called to carry out the
Great Commission (Matthew 28:18-20); every
layperson is called to be missional.”
WHAT IS THE POTENTIAL?
Missiologist C. Peter Wagner suggested that 5% to 10% of
worship attenders have the gift of evangelism. Given our
total conference worship attendance, this can be as many
as 6,000 persons.
The hope of the course is twofold: teach these people
specific methods which will work in any size church and
any theological position. Second, the course will be
structured so that the material can be immediately used by
the lay servants in Bible studies, Sunday School classes
and other small groups in their home church.
As Jesus said in Mat 13:33 He told them another parable.
"The kingdom of heaven is like leaven which a woman took
and hid in three measures of flour, till it was all leavened."
I believe that lay servants, trained to make disciples, would
be excellent leaven to transform our local churches.