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Why Can’t I Disciple Leaders Like Jesus and Paul?

If the church is going to recapture the mission zeal of the New Testament or the mission zeal demonstrated in much of our own history, it will need to be able to navigate a significant shift from…

recruiting volunteers to serve


discipling leaders for mission.

Simple enough, right?  More and more the Mission of God will happen in…

… the “every day” not just on Sunday.

… a relationship and not just a program.

… neighborhoods and workplaces and not just in church buildings.

Not that Sundays and programs and church buildings are bad, or dead; they’re just not the “end all,” nor are they as fruitful in the average congregation as they once were. So, what’s your congregation’s process of making disciples who become leaders for the mission? And how’s it working?


I understand the pressure that every pastor and every leader and sometimes every spouse is under. “Jock, that’s all good but I’ve got deadlines, challenges, budgets, programs that need volunteers NOW.” “I don’t know that I have time right now to invest in disciples who can listen for the prompting of God and can demonstrate the faith to act on that prompting.” “…maybe some day!” And some day never comes! You’d think I’ve practiced those words myself over some years of ministry!

Here’s where I get convicted:  As a pastor, I got so busy and had so many demands that I didn’t seem to know how to or have time to do what Jesus seemed to have plenty of time to do with 12 and Paul seemed to have plenty of time to do with a bunch of discipled missionaries throughout Acts. How did my way of serving and leading in ministry crowd out the fundamental way that Jesus and Paul multiplied themselves and their mission reach?

Here’s my guess for you…because I’ve already navigated the “guess” for myself.  Slowly start to shift from only…

Recruiting volunteers to serve 

to including

discipling leaders for mission.

It’s easier and closer and you already have more to build on than you think!  AND… you don’t have to have it all together to start the journey for yourself/yourselves and begin to invite some folks to start to following along.

If I could be so bold…

Discipleship to Missional Community learning community is uniquely designed for leaders like you who:

  • Surprisingly believe that the next days could be the best days for the church.
  • Would like to experience a level of fulfillment they haven’t experienced in a while.
  • Want to return to some of the reasons they first went into ministry … seeing lives bearing fruit and lost people being found.

So, if that describes you, and…

  • You’re up for the challenge,
  • You’d like a simple, reproducible pattern for investing in disciples who can invest in others, and
  • You’d like to see this chaotic world that’s lurching forward taste more and more of the love of Jesus in everyday places…

Then, could I ask you to take a next step today and not wait for a better day (that never comes)?

  • Take a closer look at our Learning Communities, especially D2MC.
  • Tell your spouse today or a friend you trust what’s stirring in your heart, before you put it off for a better day.
  • Pray… Simply pray today and ask God if it’s time to stop talking and start acting–in spite of, or because of–the ever increasing pressures or demands.


Jock Ficken
Rev. Dr. Jock Ficken

One Response

  1. Jeff Meyer says:

    Amen, Jock! Thank you for this post. It’s why I wrote this post:

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