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What Can Discipleship Training Look Like?

Last fall I was in Appleton, WI. The pastors there had gathered a group of young adults…not married, married, married with little kids, etc. to invite them to join 1,000 Young Leaders.

Phil, our 1,000 Young Leaders director, asked each person to introduce themselves and share why they had come.

What happened next caught me off guard.

It was almost as if they had compared notes or written the script on cards to repeat.

Each one said something like this:

  1. The world is a dark place!
  1. I think God wants to use me.
  1. But… I don’t know what!
  1. And… I don’t know how!
  1. So… I don’t do anything.

I was impressed by their sensitivity to the fallen world in which we live. The consequence of sin. The pain of broken relationships. Satan’s destructive force exercised.

And, even though they wanted to do something, they didn’t do anything because of uncertainty…or lack of training!

One of the others present was just finishing 1,000 Young Leaders. Here’s an excerpt of what she shared:

Here’s the interesting thing! Jesus spent 3 years “training” the disciples. Today, we too often translate the transfer of information as “training.”

According to Barna Institute, 96% of pastors believe that the future for the church rests in the people of God stepping into the callings that God has for them every day.

BUT… only 9% believed they or their church was good at training them!

Where would you place yourself?

Where does your lack of training hold you back from boldly stepping forward in an uncertain world?

Where are the young adults at your place that might echo a similar reply as those gifted young women and men in Wisconsin? And, should you be talking with them about 1,000 Young Leaders?

Here’s the problem:

We simply don’t have enough leaders who are discipled and trained for the path forward in every one of our congregations.

Go to any major metropolitan area in the United States and you’ll find that a young adult absolutely does not know a peer that is a Christian that they would respect!

What can we do about it?

We have experienced that discipling others who can in turn disciple others happens best at the relational level. It’s not a program or a Discipleship 101 class. It happens when the people of God walk side by side with individuals, training and discipling them on a regular, on-going basis as they share life and experiences together. 1,000 Young Leaders provides that training to young adults. Genesis Leader provides it to not-so-young adults. And Discipleship to Missional Community provides a place for pastors and church leaders to walk together as they learn these rhythms.

These are not easy times to be a leader! PLI is privileged to walk with you as a partner and friend!

One Response

  1. NICIMPAYE Pierre Claver says:

    i agree with you many people want to serve God but they do not know how to start and where to start and what to do . It is up to the leaders to help them . By doing so , they prepare the future leaders.

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