Like a series of dominoes, there is a basic sequence of ministry when aiming for a discipleship movement. Each step needs to be in touching distance of the next step for the movement to run:
I find it helpful to keep each step in mind, and to have at least 1 default plan for each step. I am listing 7 steps here, but you can make it more or less detailed. The point is to be aware of how each thing you intentionally do affects the other elements of living out your faith through ministry.
1. Be a disciple – Personally living as a growing disciple
2. Aim to make more disciples – Intentionally connecting with others
3. Connect with people – Finding appropriate ways to move from general conversation to a spiritual point with an invitation for more.
4. Evangelize – For those open to hear and process, give a culturally coherent gospel message with an invitation to trust Jesus.
5. Follow up – For those who do trust Jesus, have a plan on how to help them grow in understanding and confidence right away.
6. Group – Have plans for connecting growing believers with other believers.
7. Equip – Train and equip all believers to contribute to the work of repeating steps 1-7.
It is easier to adapt a default plan than to try and scramble for what to do next when people actually start responding.
I use CrownHeartWorld for each of the 7 steps:
1. Be a disciple: Column 4 is all about a rooted identity in Christ.
2. Aim to make more disciples: Column 2 shows people without Christ and an eclipsed view of God.
3. Connect with people – Sharing in life, either in simple Column 1 goodness, or in Column 2 hardship, allows us to be peers.
4. Evangelize – Showing the 5 columns in one quick sketch, and then with dialogue, makes sharing with an invitation personal.
5. Follow up – Early discipleship is learning the truths shown in the 5 columns and regularly practicing them as a way to process life.
6. Group – Column 4 heart has an arrow pointing back to our faith, looking forward to our hope, and looking outward to love in the present. This is the essence of gathering as the church.
7. Equip – The difference between column 1 and 5 is a couple in a garden becomes a multitude in a garden city. Keep expanding the domino effect!
*Also see “Heart and 4 Fields” in T4T