God starts with ONE. He always has. Whether it was Adam, Abraham, Moses, or Jesus, God launches movements beginning with just one. The journey toward becoming a disciplemaking church begins the same way . . . with just one.
You just might be the ONE for your church. If not, are you willing to be that ONE?
Eighty-four years ago The Navigators started the same way, with just ONE. Dawson Trotman was a lumberyard worker who some regard as the father of modern disciplemaking. He began by walking alongside Les Spencer, passing on practices to help him in his spiritual journey. One-to-one, life-to-life—that was the first generation.
A man of action, Dawson was the first to use disciple as a verb. He also observed, “The greatest amount of wasted time is the time not getting started.” But how do we start? There are three options:
Be the ONE. Like Dawson, pray for one person to invest in. Then invite that person into a discipling relationship. This path requires a lot of initiative and perseverance.
Partner with ONE other. When the Wright brothers wanted to develop powered flight, they worked together to figure out how to do it. Through the process of trial and error, combined with grit, they accomplished something even the most highly educated and trained had not been able to do. There is power in partnership and commitment to figure something out together. Getting started with another is very doable if you’re connected with someone of like heart.
Learn from someONE with experience. The most typical path to becoming a disciplemaker is to learn from an individual who trains disciplemakers. I have observed that this is not only the most typical path, it’s also the path that’s most likely to lead to reproducing generations of disciples.
Which path is God leading you toward? Regardless of the path, consider taking part in this year’s National Disciplemaking Forum
in Nashville, Tennessee. On November 9-10, more than a thousand like-hearted individuals will come together to support, learn, and grow together in disciplemaking. Whether you are being called to be ONE, partner with ONE other, or seek to learn from someONE with experience, this event will help you move decisively in that direction.
Navigator Church Ministries
will lead one of the tracks, and we invite you to join us. When you sign up
please use the code “Navigators” for 20 percent off your registration fee, then introduce yourself to us at the Forum so that we can help fan the flame of disciplemaking in your life.
Whether or not you can come to the forum, start now. Allow God to work in and through you to build a chain of disciples that will reach into eternity!
Interested in the workshops we’ll lead at the Forum? Here they are:
Cultures of Disciplemaking in the Local Church
. What are the marks of a disciplemaking culture, and how can you develop them in your own church? Roy and Margaret Fitzwater
will lead this workshop that explores these questions by looking at proven principles and a roadmap for developing such a culture.
Disciplemaking in a Culture of Consumerism
. A deep understanding of how growing and living in a culture of consumerism impacts us and those we disciple is a vital step to developing disciples who don’t conform to the world. Join Justin Gravitt
to learn how the “water we swim in” can negatively affect our disciplemaking methods.
Assessing Disciplemaking Cultures and Charting a Path Forward
. We measure what matters. So how do we measure spiritual growth? Cally Parkinson
, noted author and team leader of REVEAL
Spiritual Life Survey, will share key insights from assessing over 2,500 churches who were working to develop a disciplemaking culture.
The Silver Bullet
. Did you know there’s one practice that drives spiritual growth more than any other? Regardless of age, race, gender, or spiritual maturity there’s a silver bullet to help you and those you lead grow. Don’t miss your chance to join Cedric Brown
and learn this truly transformational practice.
The Ways of the Alongsider
. Disciplemakers intentionally develop heart, vision, and skill to effectively disciple others. Join noted author Bill Mowry
for a look at how to walk alongside others in life-to-life relationships and how to equip others to do the same.
Justin Gravitt is Dayton (Ohio) Area Director for Navigator Church Ministries. Read more from at his blog, "One Disciple to Another" here. Crafted together with Dean Ridings, read more of his blog posts here.