A Note from Darryl
Although I’ve written How to Grow for individual Christians who want to grow, I want to talk about how you, as a Christian pastor or leader, can use this book within the church.
- Go first. Before we can make disciples, we must be disciples. Engage in the practices we’ve talked about in this book. Practice the core and supporting habits. Pour your life into others. Refuse to coast. Set an example for others of what it looks like to pursue God.
- Cover the basics. The ordinary ministry of the local church is essential for Christian growth and discipleship. Never underestimate the importance of clear biblical preaching, godly leadership, and small group ministries within the church. Teach the gospel and how it applies to life. Raise up godly leaders in your church who will help you shepherd the church. Create opportunities for people to practice the one-another commands of Scripture within church. Getting and keeping the basics in place is far more important than launching a discipleship program or following a curriculum.
- Help people understand their Stage and how to take the next step. Use the Growth Stages diagram mentioned in chapter 4 so that people know their stage and what they need to do to progress. Speak to the stages in your preaching and teaching. Regularly think through the ways to help people take the next steps (chapter 7), both in church-wide and individual ministries. You can download a copy of the Stages diagram with and without descriptions.
- Conduct a series. Use the resources below for a sermon series, or use the questions at the end of each chapter for a small group discussion.
- Help people build the core and supporting habits. One of the best things we can do is to help people build core habits. Teach people how to build these habits, and give them tools to help. Make Bible reading normative in your church. Challenge people to attend worship regularly and to participate in public worship and in one-another ministry like small groups. Regularly teach and foster the core habits found in chapter 7 and the supporting habits in chapter 8.
The result will be a culture of discipleship. When the pastor and leaders are growing and mentoring, the Word is being taught, people are practicing the one-another commands, habits are being formed, and people are progressing through the stages, then we can know that we’ve established a culture of discipleship.
It’s not complicated, but it takes a lot of intentionality.
I hope this book helps you build a structure and culture of discipleship within your church. Encourage people to work through the entire book. I’ve designed the questions and the applications at the end for both personal use and for small group study.
I’d love to hear from you. Contact me with your questions and comments.
You and your ministry are important. May God encourage and strengthen you!
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Sermon Series Resources
- ZIP file with all resources
- Sample Chapter
- Sermon Outlines PDF
- Presentation Slide
- Print-Ready Flyer
- Bulletin Insert
- Shareable Image — Find Out This Sunday
- Shareable Image — Coming This Sunday
- Growth Stages Diagram (with descriptions) — color and black and white
- Growth Stages Diagram (without descriptions) — color and black and white
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