Family in Focus
What's Your Discipleship Plan?
Strategy for Discipleship
By David Womack and Danny Conn
strat·e·gy | a plan of action or policy to achieve a major or overall aim.
In Luke 14:25-35, Jesus explained that true discipleship requires full commitment. Verses 28-32 explains this commitment involves evaluating the situation and establishing a plan of action to succeed. Consider how:
Planning to build a tower involves counting the cost to make sure enough resources are available to complete it.
Facing an opponent in battle, one must consider whether enough troops are available to win.
A major element of most accomplishments is an intentional and executable strategy. We use blueprints and schematics to construct buildings. We employ strategies for military engagements.
In everyday life we make plans and develop goals for more than we realize. We have plans for everything from grocery lists to vacations to date night to retirement. Some plans come easy, with little thought; others are more important and demand more thought and time. Much of our planning is just that, a simple plan of just a few bullet points. The big things in life require planning at a higher level, an intentional strategy.
If we wrote a list of things that require higher planning, more of a true intentional, executable strategy, it would be a short list. Education, career path, child rearing, and retirement; health care might make the list. Most other plans would fall under one of these headings. All are necessary and important.
What about discipleship? In light of Jesus’ words in Luke 14, commitment to discipleship requires a strategy. Discipleship should be the first objective on our short list of major accomplishments. Like other major objectives in life, discipleship doesn’t just happen. So again, what is your discipleship strategy?
We should answer that question on two levels: personal strategy and church strategy. Our personal strategy includes a Bible reading and study plan, how we pursue and grow our prayer life, how we engage with other believers, and other disciplines. Our church strategy for discipleship is a little more involved, because it is a collective endeavor. The church leadership of your local congregation should develop a church strategy. Most churches have programs in place to facilitate discipleship: Sunday School, life groups, and various age-specific ministries among others. These are all great vehicles to help us pursue discipleship.
The real question on the church level is, “Are we intentional about a discipleship strategy or do we just have a program?” It may be a little uncomfortable to acknowledge, but sometimes we’re just working a program without any real, measurable objective or strategy for achievement. By the way, although you may not be making decisions about your church’s discipleship strategy you are responsible for deciding how you will be involved. Just like the other major endeavors of life…discipleship is too important not to have an intentional, executable strategy.
We have endeavored to develop a multi-layered discipleship strategy in D6 2nd Generation curriculum. The first layer addresses biblical literacy as we cover the story of the Bible. Defining and instilling a biblical worldview through the D6 Doorposts is another layer. We intentionally identify how students can apply and respond to the principles of Scripture so as to bring about hand, head, and heart transformation. Each of these layers begins in the Sunday School, small group, or life group. But one hour a week is not enough.
We add more layers by providing study guides for the entire family to reinforce the principles of the lesson all week. We supply parents with resources such as Home Connection and Splink to help them be actively involved in the discipleship of their children. Elements Kids Worship is another layer to reinforce and even go deeper in teaching biblical principles and doctrine.
Some of the newer layers offered in 2nd Generation curriculum include additional links and recommended resources that a teacher, parent, or mentor could use to pursue even deeper study on topics and questions one-on-one as needed. We also provide a planning calendar poster the church staff can use to coordinate the entire discipleship and training schedule.
Some have lamented that there is more in the lessons than can be covered in one class. That is by design. The once-a-week class is not the only time for discipleship. The lesson can be introduced in class, but should extend to home, with friends, and throughout the week. That is the discipleship plan of D6 2nd Generation curriculum and it can be part of your discipleship strategy.
About the Writer: David Womack is customer service director at Randall House. Danny Conn, Ed.D. is editorial director at Randall House.
Learn more about D6 2nd Generation Curriculum at www.d62gen.com.