Positioning the Chruch for Discipleship

Group of students studying Bible

By Lupe Diaz – Pastor, Grace Chapel Benson
Copyright 2011 – August

Positioning the Church for Discipleship

Change is constant so we must embrace it. If it is not embraced then it will bring discomfort.

Just recently we changed our meeting from a traditional Wednesday night service to meeting in various homes for sharing, support, study, singing and snacks. The purpose of this change is to create and atmosphere where people can grow in the Lord and learn more about this Christian walk – discipleship. This is where they hammer out the issues of life, find support and learn the Christian belief and faith.

This change was announced over a period of six months on Wednesday night with as many as 35 people in attendance. We used email and social media to inform people of the new groups. Once we made the move we saw several interesting things happen. Some stopped supporting the Wednesday night services as they knew it as coming to an end. Some got on board and love the small group setting. Others are watching to see what their friends are going to do and they will follow suit.

Communication

The majority of the people use social media. However there is a minority that do not use internet at all. Using traditional means of communicating is needed when the church is facing change. The church newsletter for the elderly (defined by George Barna, more on that, later) is necessary. Newsletters help the elderly transition along with those who are receiving news and data on real-time. The lack of communication at can be a problem when change is in process. If that step is not taken then the elderly will be left out and may not make it through the process of change. It is our goal to keep as many of our people informed of the upcoming events.

When it comes to change, your ministry age will determine the kind of response you will have. There is a book out that I want to read it is called Who Stole My Church by Gordan McDonald. I have read the preface and part of the introduction. You can see by the title what sentiments people might have as they face change.
Determine your Ministry Age

Determine Your Ministry Age is a survey that Leadership Journal published on 10/12/2009. We have to face the fact that each age has a way in which they approach ministry. This is not chronological your age, this is the attitude in which you approach ministry. The change that the church will face will bring about a challenge of adjusting to the new.  Understanding what people expect and how they view ministry can help.
We are attempting a fusion of the new with the old. Most of the people like receiving prayer requests and updates through email or Face book. It is easy to communicate this way.  We are now in the process of going back to the prayer chain to inform the people who are not on-line of the things that are most critical. We were doing it through email, but a significant amount of people were missing out. So we are doing both – a fusion of the new with the old.
These changes can catch people off guard. So it is important to communicate with all of those affected. Then once you have done this all one can do is ride out the wave of change.

Find out what your ministry age is and how you will respond to change. This link it is very enlightening.
http://www.christianitytoday.com/le/buildingleaders/ministrystaff/determineyourministryage.html

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2 Responses to “Positioning the Chruch for Discipleship”

  1. Jenn Says:

    Thought provoking, Lupe. Thank you for including the link to the test. I didn’t have paper handy but my responses were predominately 1 & 2.

    But I wonder if we might be headed back to 3 given the closing comment about that being predominant when people are seeking stability. Change is happening so fast today.

  2. Lupe Says:

    Jenn, it is great that you took the test to determine your ministry age. Most will not but I know you did. Great example to those who will read this, Jen. Yes change is happening so fast and people look for stability. Which can be a challenge to the church leader today. It is good to see what faces the church today.