The perennial problem for almost every church is the revolving back door. This problem stems in large part from a failure to establish a clear discipleship process. The goal of the church ought to be not only to share the gospel and see conversions but also to make disciples of those whose lives are impacted by the ministry of the church. Only by keeping the people involved and committed will true Christian discipleship be accomplished. A revolving back door leads to many problems: shutting it solves many of them. There is strong indication that many individuals in America are searching for commitment to something larger than themselves. The church can and should fill this desire with service to Christ. Only as people meet Christ, connect with a church, and begin to live for Him, will they ever be truly fulfilled. However, most people do not know that this is what they desire. Instead, they need to be brought to this place of understanding through a simple and systematic assimilation process that not only introduces them to Christ and His church, but also teaches them how to live the Christian life in maturity and to serve going forward with a kingdom mindset. It is with this background understanding that the following outline for assimilation is put forward. Each step is a defined point in a progression of involvement in a local church and development in Christian maturity and service. This process is intended to incorporate components that many churches already have in place and give structure to the process so the church leadership can think critically about new ventures and service. The key to a discipleship process is that it must be flexible enough to accommodate many different contexts and many different individual giftings and temperaments. The following elements/links explain this particular model in detail, but it should always be implemented with a context-first approach.
ENCOUNTER Jesus and His People
ENGAGE through Small Groups and Discipleship
ENCOURAGE others through Service
EXPAND the Kingdom
Discipleship Process EVALUATION