Being a part of a faith community is a blessing. But when you have encountered something you think could help the whole community grow, it can be a challenge to bring it up in the most helpful way. How can you be influential without being seen as “pushy?” How can you honor your pastor, bible study leader, or ministry coach while also suggesting something new? In this article, we’ll introduce you to 5 helpful ways you can bring up the Disciple Making Course with your pastor or faith leader.
1. Start with sincere gratitude.
Leading a church or ministry is hard! Most Christian leaders struggle to balance the needs of a diverse group, while fielding complaints from disgruntled members with Christ-likeness and grace. They work hard to shepherd their flocks and often receive little to no thanks. So start by expressing how much you appreciate all they do! Think of a few things you’ve appreciated about their leadership and tell them. Be specific, too. You want your gratitude to be sincere, not just an excuse to get to what you want to talk about. So name a few specific things they’ve done that have blessed you personally.
2. Be slow to speak and quick to listen.
Nobody likes feeling like a project, including pastors. If you’re only interested in what you want to share, others are not going to be as interested in hearing you out. But more importantly, they won’t feel loved and valued. So ask your pastor or leader a few questions about their hopes for the community they’re leading. I few helpful questions you can ask are as follows…
- How has ministry been lately?
- I’d love to hear more about how God led you to serve this community the way you do.
- What is the vision God gave you for our church/ministry?
- What do you hope to see happen in the next 6 months or so, and how can I help?
3. Build a bridge.
Perhaps you read that last bullet point and thought, “Wait a minute! I thought I was meeting with my leader to suggest trying the Disciple Making Course, not to sign up for another volunteer position!”
The reality is, your pastor or leader is probably in the role they are in because they love God, love people, and want to help people know God and grow in their faith. So, nine times out of ten, their goals are already going to be closely aligned with the Disciple Making Course. This gives you an opportunity to humbly submit the Disciple Making Course as a way to accomplish what is already on their hearts.
And what if those goals are not aligned? Hear them out. Perhaps you need to spend a season serving them and their vision before bringing up the Disciple Making Course in their church or ministry. Remember Jesus washed his disciples feet before the Church exploded in the book of Acts.
4. Share personally.
So, at this point you’ve finally reached an opportunity to actually share about the Disciple Making Course. Hooray! But how? Remember how Jesus taught. He asked a lot of questions, told a lot of stories, and only a few times preached a sermon. So try telling a personal story of your experience with Disciple Making. Here is a simple way to come up with an engaging story.
- Start by sharing a struggle that disciple making has helped you with (For example, you might not have known how to share your faith without making people feel uncomfortable), and how that struggle made you feel. (Maybe you didn’t feel like you were living up to God’s calling in your life)
- Describe one way you unsuccessfully tried to overcome that struggle, and how you eventually discovered Disciple Making as a solution.
- Finish by sharing what you’ve experienced since learning about Disciple Making, and how it’s made you feel. (For example, maybe now seekers don’t feel like a project when you share with them, and as a result you feel like you’re “growing in favor with God and man!”)
Once you’ve told your story, don’t jump to planning the meeting just yet. Stop and ask your pastor or leader for their thoughts. Be sure to inquire about whether or not they think the Disciple Making Course would be helpful to them.
5. Start with an interest meeting.
Most people feel more comfortable trying something new when they start with baby steps, so don’t start planning your first meeting just yet. If your pastor or leader seems interested, offer to organize an interest meeting. An announcement could be made or included in your church’s bulletin, and anyone who wants to know more can meet in the church’s foyer, or in any space available to meet. An interest meeting is super easy to hold, since all you have to do is show the trailer for the Disciple Making Course! Offer to answer any questions people might have and be sure to follow up later with those who came to see if they want to take part in the course.
If you’ve followed these 5 simple tips, then you’re ready to launch the Disciple Making Course. With the blessing of your pastor or ministry leader, your community will thrive learning how to make disciples that multiply. Be sure to check out our previous article all about how to be a good host when facilitating the Disciple Making Course, and if you haven’t signed up yet, what are you waiting for? Head over to wahatraining.com today!