I had a great time in San Juan Capistrano yesterday with the key leaders of Hope Christian Fellowship. Jeff Bassette, the senior pastor HCF, wanted me to talk to his key leaders about making disciples and raising up leaders. I’ve had the great privilege of coaching Jeff and his church for the past year.
I shared with the group my PowerPoints on disciple-making through cell ministry. I shared how that cells are leader breeders and that the main task of the cell leader is to find another disciple–not just to fill the cell with members.
During the discussion a couple of the leaders questioned me in the area of motivation. One said, “I find it difficult to talk about making disciples of people. People can often feel “used,” like they are my “agenda.” I find it much better just to become friends with people.” I wholeheartedly agreed with her that we have to watch the motivation. But I also challenged her with the fact that Jesus had a clear agenda of making disciples. He even said to his disciples, “You are my friends if you do what I command” (John 15: 14).
Pastor Jeff chimed in, “one of the most difficult aspects of ministry is finding the balance between taking people to the next step without making people feel they are being used.”
I told the group that I’ve seen this very clearly in the cell church world. Some cell churches are multiplication machines but many people feel used and spit out of the system. On the far left are those churches that have “love boat” groups. Everybody is a great friend but few disciples are made.
Cell groups are perfectly suited to make future disciples who lead cell groups. Yet, we have to skillfully, gracefully plant the vision, so that people truly understand the movitation behind what we’re doing.
What has you been your experience in this area? How do you keep moving people forward in discipleship without causing them to feel “used”?