Over the years I’ve had numerous friends who left pastoral ministry for various reasons. Some found that it was not what they expected. Others left under difficult circumstances when there was financial troubles or interpersonal conflicts. But many who left, experienced significant guilt that they had failed their “calling” because they are “leaving the ministry”. They were no longer in the “higher calling” that everyone seems to refer to when they speak of ministry as if it was the most important occupation in the Kingdom of God.
But this is clearly not consistent with a biblical understanding of ministry or calling! Just because you are earning your living as a missionary, or an employee of a church or a church organization does not mean that this is a more important vocational choice than others. In fact, many who enter pastoral ministry soon discover that the interpersonal, pastoral function that they felt so drawn to, is often overshadowed by administrative functions, endless meetings, and too often, management of interpersonal conflict. If it were not for the preaching side, pastoral ministry is very similar to any other management position in our communities! Read more …
There are 5 Dimensions of the human person we have identified in our new vision of discipleship:
Spiritual Formation undergirds all the others and is the way we summarize what it means to love God with all our heart, soul, strength, and mind (Matthew 22:37-40).
Personal Wholeness focuses on emotional heath and proper self-respect, and biblically, emotional and spiritual maturity are inseparable (Ephesians 4:17-5:33; Colossians 3:1-16).
Healthy Relationships is the dimension that reflects the biblical command to, “Love your neighbor as yourself.” From our families to our friendships, all relationships can be marked by love and wisdom (I Corinthians 13)
Vocational Clarity means we have a sense of calling and purpose that is more than our current job, but informs our daily life and work (Ephesians 2:8-10).
Economics and Work is the dimension that speaks to our daily lives as the place where our discipleship and mission are carried out (Jeremiah 29; 2 Thessalonians 3:6-13; I Timothy 2:1-6)
We are thankful to God for every personal, local church, and community-wide spiritual revival. It is wonderful when God’s people reignite their passion for love and truth, consecration, and evangelism. It is a joy seeing new converts baptized and added to our churches. American and global church history are filled with seasons of spiritual refreshing and renewal.
But the Lord has even more in store for us as we pursue God’s glory and the good of others. In special moments of history, the reviving work of the Spirit also overflows to social and spiritual transformation of neighborhoods and nations, touching every people group and domain of society. Put simply, the people of God have influence and impact in economic and social structures. We call this overflow awakening. Read more …
Friends, we are so excited to share with you all the new developments with the Discipleship Dynamics Assessment (DDA) and the mission we are on with you to transform discipleship. We are calling this new era beginning today, “DDA 4.0.” Why? Because we have learned so much in the last decade that we can confidently declare that our vision is clearer, our assessments are more refined, and the new resources we are offering make our entire mission more complete.
A little history, from 1.0 to 4.0: We introduced the DDA in 2013 with five Dimensions and 40 Outcomes. It was met with approval and many joined us in this unprecedented vision and evaluation of whole-life discipleship. In listening to users, they asked if it could be more streamlined and have an outcome focused on physical health. We heard you and the DDA 2.0 was born a couple years later. Since 2016, we have been refining this tool that offers a unique snapshot of a believer’s current walk with the Lord. Read more …
Discipleship has always been a challenge for the church. We have traditionally been excellent at gathering people together, at delivering anointed preaching, and producing amazing worship experiences. We do prayer meetings and small groups and invest in Sunday School programs, all as organizational strategies to somehow produce disciples. After all, making disciples was the “prime directive” that Jesus left for us (with humble apologies to my Trekkie friends!). Jesus said He would build His church; our task was to make disciples (Matthew 28:18-20).
COVID-19 has severely disrupted our organizational strategies. But even if they had been highly successful in producing mature disciples who understand the ways of the Lord, we will not be able to utilize them for the foreseeable future. Read more …
Discipleship has always been a challenge for the church. How do you effectively define discipleship? What does a healthy disciple look like? How can you measure progress? But today in a COVID-19 world, the existing approaches to discipleship have come under even greater pressure. The traditional ways that we used to evaluate discipleship are no longer available! We used to look at church attendance, volunteer involvement, small group participation, Sunday school size, or possibly even financial support levels to the ministry.
I want to introduce you to the Discipleship Dynamics Assessments (DDA™). This confidential online discipleship tool presents the disciple with a model of discipleship that challenges growth in 5 different Dimensions. It is not a curriculum but lends itself to developing a unique discipleship intervention for each disciple. The Assessment takes about 40 minutes to complete. The Assessment has excellent reliability and validity support (Cronbach alpha exceeds .700 on almost all the Outcomes). The results are immediately calculated and provide a personalized, 13-page report to each disciple on 35 Biblically based discipleship outcomes.
First Steps in Using the Discipleship Dynamics Assessment™ in your Congregation
Thank you for your commitment to the Great Commission and Great Commandment of Jesus to “make disciples” (Mt. 28:18-20) that love God and their neighbor with grace and wisdom (Mt. 22:37-40; John 13). Thank you as well for leading your group through the Discipleship Dynamics Assessment ™ process and discovering the strengths and weaknesses of your group.
The members of your group each have detailed reports and you have the overall scores detailing the trends in your community. This is biblically grounded and empirically verified information found in no other resource. You can now target your discipleship goals and process to cultivate the strengths and improve and mature the areas that need growth. Read more …