Are you discipling the people who work alongside you?
In ministry, we can focus so much on caring for our congregation that we overlook the people we work alongside every day. But ministry leaders, especially pastors, must be intentional with those who serve under them, just as Jesus was.
Why Disciple Staff?
Why did Jesus walk with twelve men more closely than the masses? Why did he choose to walk even closer with three? Jesus wanted to have a long-lasting impact on a few men who would go on to replicate the process.
Every Christ-follower since is a result of what Jesus began with his disciples. Multiplication is certainly a key result of making disciples, but so is spiritual growth. While church staff should grow personally and consistently, leaders can undergird that spiritual growth by providing community and accountability.
How Do We Disciple Staff?
While discipling staff takes a somewhat different approach than discipling a new believer or a group of acquaintances, the principles of basic disciple making still apply: (1) reading Scripture, (2) sharing what God is teaching, (3) memorizing God’s Word, and (4) praying with and for one another.
Here is a practical plan applying these principles to disciple a staff of any size and church context.
1. Meet weekly. If possible, try not to add another meeting to the schedule. Instead, maximize the time you already spend together by focusing on discipling. Use the first half of a staff meeting or plan to meet over lunch or breakfast weekly. Plan your meeting so that it is refreshing and helpful rather than a drain on already busy schedules.
2. Plan what you will read, share, and memorize each week. Pick something that coincides with the sermon or Bible study to maximize the study time each week. Likewise, choose a passage or passages to memorize together and have one or two recite the selection each time you meet.
3. Be accountable. Ensure that your staff understands the importance of this time together. Make it a priority on your calendar and encourage the staff to hold it in high regard.
4. Challenge the staff to replicate what happens in your group. Encourage each staff member to disciple their own staff or group of volunteers, whether they follow the same plan or make one that best fits their group.
5. Take breaks. Summer can be a difficult time for schedules to align. Don’t be afraid to take a few weeks or even a month or two off from meeting. Encourage your staff to continue to read and memorize Scripture even when you aren’t meeting.
The Fruit of Discipling Staff
A discipled staff grows closer to one another and to the ministry leader. With accountability and community, team members find a greater sense of sharing one another’s burdens and celebrating one another’s victories.
As team members replicate this process with their own staffs or volunteers, whole ministries can grow together. Differences among believers can be divisive, but a discipleship relationship can forge an authentic unity within a staff as each member is increasingly conformed to the image of Christ.
As you engage with your staff walking through God’s Word, sharing how God is working, and memorizing Scripture, you will find yourselves growing in incredible strength and unity.
Find more discipleship resources—articles, discipleship-focused study notes, the F260 Reading Plan, H.E.A.R. journaling spaces, and more—in the CSB Disciple’s Study Bible. The CSB Disciple’s Study Bible will help you apply God’s Word to your daily life as a disciple of Jesus and to your discipleship of others. This post originally appeared at ericgeiger.com.