How to Train Disciple-makers | The Plan
Once you have selected the people you are to train (disciple) what is your plan? A good plan lays out how to take someone from ‘here’ to ‘there’. In other words how to help each of your disciples determine their ‘current reality’ and their ‘preferred future’ and then how to close the ‘GAP’.
Ok, I need to clarify some terms. Determining your ‘current reality’ is the process of being honest about where you are at in your walk with Jesus right now. The hard part is many of us do not really know our current reality unless we look in a mirror and have the truth displayed for us. If you really want to know accurately ask your spouse or best friend. It takes work to find out honestly someone’s current reality. The process of helping someone become self aware is a big deal.
The ‘preferred future’ is the vision. It is what we want to be and do. Many churches will say they want to develop people into fully devoted followers of Jesus. Ok. Cool. But, what is a fully devoted follower of Jesus? A preferred future defines it clearly.
The ‘GAP’ is a acronym for growth, achievement, and progress. The gap between someone’s current reality and preferred future will look different for every individual. A master disciple-maker will know how to fill in the gap and train each disciple to move from here (current reality) to there (preferred future).
I have read many books on disciple-making and every book lays out a plan for how they think disciple-making works best, or they would not write the book. Every disciple-maker needs a plan. Trust me, I have been discipled by people without a plan and it does not take long before I’m giving them a plan or moving on.
What is my plan? I’m glad you asked.
Every good plan should start with the end in mind. So, I will start with the preferred future, the vision for what I want each disciple to do and be. There are six statements every person needs to do and be. I call them ‘we are…’ statements. Let’s see if they resonate with you.
I realize there are so many more statements I could included in my plan. Yet, I feel if we can get to these six goals we will win in life and so many other great things will overflow as a result of becoming and owning these six goals. Remember, less is more.
What would you write out for your preferred future? I took mine from my Dad. It is tried and true for over 40 years. Feel free to use it like it is yours.
After I lay out the big picture goals I go back to the starting line with each individual God gave me to disciple and help them determine their current reality in light of the preferred future. This takes some time. I actually crafted an evaluation sheet to help us do this easier and it provides a discussion platform in the beginning stages of meeting as a group to get to know each other. This step is very important and cannot be skipped.
Finally, I start filling in the gap and leading them down the pathway to get to the preferred future. This pathway I believe requires six very important practices and tools. Download all the content here.
To close I want to point out the most important part of the plan. You must trust the Holy Spirit provide the growth. Ultimately, as you lead, train, teach, coach, and spend time with each disciple you must be praying for them daily. This is the most important part of the plan and it gets skipped most often.
Take some time to figure out your plan. If you have not read my blog on the ‘selection process’ please take the time to read that here. Next, I will be writing about ‘how’ to work your plan with people from all different walks of life. This is not a cookie cutter approach, but instead a spirit led and relational approach to disciple-making. Ultimately discipleship is relationships.
Stop and pray. Make your list of people. Invite them into a disciple-making friendship with you. Lay out your plan. Jesus will never leave you of forsake you. Remember, if it is worth doing it is worth doing continually.
Matthew 28:19, “Go make disciples…”