Whenever a crisis hits we get bumped into survival mode. But then the new context is normalized and we begin to get our bearings. As soon as you move beyond survival mode and into ministry mode you need to develop a ministry plan for the current context.
You will likely need to learn some new technical skills and new tactics along the way such video recording and streaming, holding meetings and services online, working from home. But then you will be on your feet, feeling more oriented than disoriented and it will be time for the ministry plan.
What we all need to realize is that crisis or no crisis, the basic task is the same as it’s always been: be a disciple who make disciples.
Once you reaffirm this calling, it’s time for the two-step:
Step 1: What is a disciple of Jesus Christ?
Many pastors and churches have not yet answered that question clearly for either offline or online ministry. So you may as well answer it now.
How do you answer the question? What is your definition, description or profile of a follower of Jesus Christ?
For my answer, see DNA of a Christ Follower
If you already have an answer, is it a comprehensive biblical answer or is it, as is often the case, a general mish-mash of ideas that any church-goer basically fits whether they are passionately following the Lord or not?
Whatever it takes, get a clear biblical picture in your mind of what a disciple really is.
Step 2: How do we make such disciples right here and right now?
This gets very personal very quickly, because in order to make such a disciple you need to be such a disciple. Modelling is inherent to disciple-making.
So unpack what it has taken, or will take for you to become a solid biblical follower of Jesus Christ. Identify the steps, the process, the learnings, the practices.
And then make these things easily transferrable to others.
The method of delivery may be different if you are ministering online vs offline, or in a different culture, but the issues are the same.
For instance, let’s say you determine as I have that a follower of Jesus Christ is, among other things, a lover of God. What does that look like, what does it mean practically?
Well, I see from scripture that it means they are worshipers and it means that they are obedient. Okay, how then do I model and teach worship and obedience? Once you have that figured you have the starting point of your disciple-making process.
And on you go through whatever traits you have determined are essential in a disciple, showing from scripture what the trait actually means and how it can be modeled, taught and developed.
A Time for Recalibrating?
You might discover, from looking at these two simple but rather loaded questions, that your ministry hasn’t adequately addressed either of these steps in the past. Well, this could be a good time to do your own study and get clear on what a disciple is and how you can model it and teach effectively.
You will note that this same two-step will work for ministry both online and offline, in any context really. That’s the nature of principles as opposed to tactics- they are true and relevant always and everywhere.
If you have developed or do develop a simple, focused description of what a disciple of Jesus Christ is, I’d appreciate seeing it.
You can find mine in the book DNA of a Christ Follower.
Now go be a disciple who makes disciples!