For some time I have wanted to see church planters use Simple Discipleship to implant disciple-making DNA into the church at the beginning. It is much easier to accomplish this at the time of the church’s birth than later. Stagnate or declining churches must often remove obstacles before launching a new initiative like Simple Discipleship. Michael Kenney is a church planting pastor in Rochester, New York of Bridge Community Church. I loved the passion I heard in his voice as I talked with him and I am excited for the Bridge Community Church family.
Pastor Kenney is methodically and prayerfully building a transformational discipleship process for the Bridge Community Church that will endure for some time and get the church growing and going. As you read his comments below, note how he read the book, Simple Discipleship, got his church planting leadership team to read the book, and now they are contextualizing the process to fit their ministry. Here are his comments in the form of a brief book review:
I have been church planting for nine years in Western NY. My passion has always been reaching the lost and making disciples. After years of having some good, some bad results I was frustrated. I looked at what we were using to disciple people and found it lacking. It was great in regards to the disciple RECEIVING but not in the area of REPRODUCING. What I saw were several people that became receivers only. I began to pray and look for other ideas to make disciples. I came upon Dr. Tom Cocklereece’s website and immediately read all I could about Simple Discipleship. I spoke with Dr. Tom and picked his brain then ordered the book.
This book was the answer to a structure of discipleship I was looking for. The four areas that are in the model for SD help the disciple to be well rounded from day 1. They learn, they serve, they worship, and they are missional. I purchased the books for our leadership and they are all equally as excited about SD. Our church will implement this in Summer 2011.
One last comment that is a wonderful addition to SD is the ability to measure progress. This is so vital to be sure our churches are doing all we can to honor our Lord Jesus in the command He gave to make disciples of all nations. I would highly recommend this model to any and all churches for disciple making! Thank you Dr. Tom for your labor in the disciple making ministry!
Bridge Community Church
I am praying for more opportunities to lead Simple Discipleship training seminars for groups of church planters, church launchers, and pastors. These may be done in one-day workshops or even better is a once a month workshop for at least four meetings. This format supports better learning as old paradigms are replaced over time, discussion, prayer, and interaction with the group. It is a major readjustment for church leaders to realize that effective discipleship is the future evangelism bank of the church. Evangelism without effective discipleship leads to shallow under-nourished Christians who do not share Christ. I have found that “the lights come on” in the minds of pastors and church planters after the second or third meeting. That is when they really become transformational church disciple-makers.
It is a major readjustment for church leaders to realize that effective discipleship is the future evangelism bank of the church. Evangelism without effective discipleship leads to shallow under-nourished Christians who do not share Christ.
Dr. Tom Cocklereece, The Disciplist
Simple Discipleship: How to Make Disciples in the 21st Century was published by Church Smart Resources. To learn more about Simple Discipleship and to order the book, follow the link below:
Dr. Tom Cocklereece is Author of “Simple Discipleship,” and a contributing writer for www.Linked2Leadership.com Blogazine. He is a pastor, leadership coach, and ministry development specialist.
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THE LAWS OF DISCIPLESHIP PROJECTBe a part of The Laws of Discipleship Project! Each law of discipleship reflects the light of Christ like a facet of a diamond. Tom Cocklereece is currently writing the manuscript for this upcoming discipleship resource. You are invited to participate. If you are interested, email tom@ simplediscipleship.com
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