This topic is adapted from the PursueGod Network YouTube channel.
Pastors want to know where to start to develop a discipleship culture in their church. Institutional change in a church can take a long time. But there are some steps pastors and ministry leaders can take to develop the culture that will inform and support structural changes. Here are two such steps.
Start Using Mentoring Tools in Your Own Family
It’s best to start individually before you start institutionally. This gives people a chance to see and hear positive results from mentoring before you ask them to adopt it. Stories about successes and changed lives will reduce the natural resistance people feel toward anything new, different, or challenging. It will also give your appeal credibility as you share your own investment in the process.
The simplest place to start is your own family. This doesn’t require anyone to take a vote or change a policy. Your family is your most willing audience. If you have children, use topics from the Kids library. If you don’t have kids, you can take the initiative to mentor your spouse.
Using the mentoring tools at home will accomplish a number of positive results.
- You will become increasingly familiar with the Pursue God tools and library.
- You will begin to develop positive stories that you can share with others.
- You will be modeling something you expect others to learn to do.
- Your endorsement of the tools and library will be sincere and credible.
- Above all, you will be having a significant spiritual impact on your family.
Introduce Mentoring Tools into Existing Meetings
With all the commitments church leaders are already making to sustain the church’s ministries, it’s hard to move to a whole new set of time commitments required for mentoring relationships. But you can nudge your leadership toward a discipleship culture as you prepare for those larger changes. The simplest way to do it is by including mentoring in the meetings you’re already having, using the Pursue God tools.
For example, the next time your board meets, open the agenda with a conversation from the Pursue God library. Here’s how:
- Choose a topic. It doesn’t have to be a ministry or leadership topic, although we have many good ones. Expose your leaders to life and faith topics as well.
- Send your team the link in advance, along with the meeting agenda. Expect them to watch it prior to the meeting.
- Spend a short time using the discussion questions to explore the topic together. (15 minutes of a 90 minute meeting is plenty.)
- At the next meeting, assign another member of your board or team to pick the topic and lead the discussion – and make sure they know how.
You can also use this technique in any individual meetings you’re already having with ministry leaders. You can use it in existing counseling sessions or pre-marital preparation – actually in any meeting you’re already having.
Using PursueGOD tools and topics in existing meetings will accomplish a number of goals.
- You will be modeling a behavior you want your leaders to catch.
- You will be having a disciplemaking impact in the lives of your leaders.
- You will be exposing your leaders to the method and tools.
- You will be developing unity around a common experience.
- You will begin developing some positive experiences and success stories.
- Watch the video together or invite someone to summarize the topic.
- What is your initial reaction to this video? Do you disagree with any of it? What jumped out at you?
- Can you think of a time when you tried to introduce a change into your ministry, but the people weren’t ready? What happened? What did you learn?
- How can your use of mentoring tools and topics in individual relationships pave the way for introducing them to the whole church?
- What are the pros and cons of starting to use Pursue God tools and topics in your own family?
- What obstacles can you foresee when you start to introduce mentoring conversations into leadership meetings and appointments?
- What adjustments will you have to make to overcome those potential obstacles?
- When is your next opportunity to include a mentoring conversation into a leadership meeting? What will you do to prepare?
- Write a personal action step based on this conversation.