How to Recruit Allies For Discipleship
See if this all-too-familiar story rings true: Many men in your church probably look at the church’s ministry as a set of mostly unrelated activities and tasks. You probably spend most of your time recruiting—begging—the men who are already sitting in your church to attend your events or activities. For the first event you make an announcement, the next time you add a testimony…and maybe the next time you have a few skydivers land on the church lawn as the service ends!
So you spend all your time, money, creativity, and energy to get the men who are already at your church every week interested in your ministry to men. And you do it over and over again, event after event, year after year. What’s wrong with this picture? These are your committed men. Many of them should already feel a part of the vision and be excited about joining what God is doing.
Creating a Disciple-Making Culture Requires Allies
If we wanted to identify the disciple-makers in our churches, what would they look like? In a previous post, we said that in order to make disciples who love and follow Jesus (called, equipped, and sent), we need to create a disciple-making culture in our churches. We also discussed how the hallmark of a disciple-maker is that he is fostering intentional spiritual friendships with other men.
Let’s say a man walks through the front door of your church for the very first time with his wife and children. Imagine teams of men trained to mobilize and take action—men who have sat around a table and wrestled with the questions, “Why did he just do that? Why would a man visit our church? What is the problem he is trying to solve?” They understand what a big step it is for a man to walk through your door.
These men are your disciple-makers. Disciple-makers are the ones who will take other men under their wings and show them the ropes—the spiritually mature men who will show the new guys how to become godly men, husbands, and fathers. They care, because someone once cared about them.
We also call these men allies, the men who really get your vision for discipleship and make it a priority in their lives. He may or may not formally serve on the leadership team, but he is convinced that discipling men is a cause worth giving his life to. You don’t have to beg an ally to be involved—he’s grateful for opportunities to advance his ministry in the lives of other men.
Instead of focusing on the number of men who come to events and activities, make it a point to identify and grow your team of allies willing to engage in intentional discipleship with other men. And encourage them to do this through all the ministries of the church, not just “men’s ministry.”
How do we do that? Well, the most important thing to do is to pray to the Lord of the harvest that He would raise up workers to disciple others (Matt. 9:37-38).
In addition to prayer, God often inspires a new ally when we give him a concrete step and ask him to connect with another man. For example, you may ask him to lead a short-term follow-up group for a few men after an event.
Or you may equip him with an invitation card (like this) and ask him to invite disconnected men from a church picnic to be part of the community group he and his wife attend. These concrete directions give him a chance to step up and find out that God really can use him in the life of another man.
The Big Idea: Instead of focusing on the number of men who come to events and activities, make it a point to identify and grow your team of allies willing to engage in intentional discipleship with other men.