How to create a culture of discipling
– Mark Dever, #9MarksSE, September 30, 2016
– Book Discipling: How To Help Others Follow Jesus
1. Make the Word central. Formal (preaching, teaching, ministry, etc.), and Informally (conversations in/beyond church, accountability, etc.).
2. Make the gospel clear. Preaching, membership entries, conversations, etc.
3. Align and do not separate repentance and faith. True saving faith is always personal but not private. Corporate implications for repentance and faith is biblical accountability.
4. Draw clear lines between members and non-members. Holiness distinguishes Christianity. Similarity is identified with worldliness. Christianity is about “strangeness” (1Peter) not “sameness”. Further, members have responsibility to the Lord through the church and to the Lord with each other.
5. Have elders who are discipling members. Encourage and expect members to be discipled and discipling others.
6. Provide shared examples of God’s activity in lives. Testifying amongst the body, gossiping the gospel and grace of God. When we share transparently, celebrations and struggles, we create authentic community and provide an example for conversations.
7. Pray publicly and regularly about the culture of discipling within the body.
8. Make applications in teachings about caring for each other biblically as the shape of love and discipling. Mutual upbuilding and edifying one another (Heb 10:24-26).
9. Teach a course on discipling. Equip disciplers and inspire others to be discipled.
10. Delegate responsibility to others. Don’t just disciple disciples, but disciple disciplers; multiplication should be the expectation according to the Great Commission (2Tim 2:2 – note 4 generations: Timothy – Paul – entrust – others to teach).
11. Pray for humility. Model the example of learning from others.
12. Promote good resources (books, sermons, etc.). Pass along books, share what you are reading.
13. Make and keep normal conversations spiritual. Discipleship is the deliberate and open friendship centered on Christ and His Word.
14. Encourage friendships with those outside the church.
15. Discourage rigidity of method. Relationships are organic and various levels of closeness and discipling should be taking place in all our lives.
16. Beware of a wrong dependency developing in discipling relationships.
17. Build discipling relationships with the same gender, but with other boundaries intentionally crossed (race, economic, generational, experiential, etc.).
18. Hire staff not to take away ministry from members but who will facilitate and equip members to multiply ministry.
19. Be aware of instituting particular programs, which may have a divergent result of creating a culture of discipling. Programs are only tools, when they grow beyond that they are idols.
20. Realize the importance of the regular gathering together for worship and fellowship.
21. Understand public worship gatherings are equally important [Dever suggests they are more important] as the small group discipling relationships.
22. Be aware how multiple public worship gatherings may detract from a culture of discipling. When members attending different services they know each other less and distract a culture of discipling.
(Note: These are essentially Mark Dever’s 22 points with my note-taking and adaptations from hearing/understanding his talk. These may need future editing.)
Full conference sessions with panels with 9Marks: Discipleship can be found here (click!).
- Session 1 with Danny Akin
- Session 2 with Mark Vroegop
- Session 3 with Mark Dever (above)
- Session 4 with Trip Lee
- Session 5 with Thabiti Anyabwhile