Building a discipling culture involves shifting from a mostly attractional (inward) focus to more missional (outward) focus.
When in an attractional mindset we ask the question: “What can we build or develop (i.e. facilities, programs) in order to attract people to our church?”
When in a missional mindset we ask the question: “What needs can we meet in our neighborhood, community and world as a vehicle for showing people the love of Christ and bringing people to Christ?”
Churches typically use a combination of attractional and missional methods, but most focus significantly more on the attractional vs. the missional.
The missional approach calls us to spend more time outside the walls of the church, in contact with the unchurched . . .modeling Christian living, sharing our faith stories, being sensitive to needs, praying for them and with them, discipling them and inviting them. For many of us, these are the the types of things that are “outside of our comfort zone.” Yet it is what Jesus asked of his disciples and what He asks of us:
- “Come, follow me,” Jesus said, “and I will send you OUT to fish for people.”At once they left their nets and followed him. (Matthew 4: 19-20)
- 1He said to them, “GO into all the world and preach the gospel to all creation. (Mark 15:15)
Building a discipling culture involves a focus on disciple making and creating an environment where we continually strive to become more outwardly focused through helping our neighbors, sharing our faith and brining people to Christ. This shift also calls for placing a greater emphasis on developing disciple leaders who can in turn make and develop disciples…etc. etc.
Our conference is currently using a number of disciple making tools and processes to encourage and develop this outward focus (i.e. Huddles, 3DM Life Shapes, “The Disciple Making Way” etc.)