Watershed Discipleship: During COVID-19 and Beyond

“As believers engage in multiple layers of ministry, you will see a higher rate of connection, stronger commitment, and deeper levels of spiritual maturity. Providing a balanced framework of ministry opportunities is crucial to grow and sustain a healthy church.”

Discipleship Perseverance in COVID-19

To have James 1:3 perseverance from testing our faith, we need to address our mindset of discipleship. For more on a discipleship mindset, read this blog gabaptist.org/shifting-the-mindset-of-discipleship. How leaders address discipleship during this current crisis of faith is being tested to produce perseverance. Will we live in the struggle of COVID-19 to let perseverance finish its work to produce mature and complete disciples of Christ?

The Key to Balance is Options

Balance in the Watershed principle looks at the layers of discipleship. Large groups to small groups and every size in between. Mentoring to personal devotion of discipleship needs all these layers to mature into a world-impacting disciple. If we hold this value to be true, why do our strategies and programs lean towards one layer over another? In this season of change, maybe it is time to realign your discipleship strategy to a balanced approach that offers all options of large, small, closed, open, online, in-person, in-home, at church, in a coffee shop, gender-specific, life stage-specific, affinity-based, mentoring, and more.

Instead of only advertising Sunday school or small groups, let’s give people several paths to join your discipleship strategy. On the way to becoming a world-impacting disciple, let’s give them opportunities that intersect where they are and their personal walk with the Lord. During COVID-19, why would we not offer a group or class as in person or online or both each week? If our mindset changes, our possibilities change too. We will find innovative ways to connect people to Christ. Paul did just this in 1 Corinthians 9:22 by becoming all things to all people that some may be saved.

The Foundation of Balance is to be Complete in Christ

A disciple’s personal daily walk with the Lord is the foundation to balance. Without this layer, a disciple needs a program or person other than Christ to be complete. Being complete in Christ is to trust, know, and reflect his love. Spending time with the living God can not be replaced by a bible study or in person Sunday morning discipleship. Covid-19 can never stop a personal relationship with the Lord. For a balanced discipleship plan to work in any situation, mask or no mask, pandemic or not, it needs to equip believers to be their own world-impacting disciple. Reach out to a Discipleship Consultant on gabaptist.org/discipleship and get connected to a custom solution and find balance in your discipleship strategies in 2021.

For more information, please contact the Discipleship team of the Georgia Baptist Mission Board and schedule a consultation. You can also join the conversation on Facebook!

Published January 19, 2021