A Different Family Tree

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A Different Family Tree: From Drafting Free-Agents to Developing Disciple-Makers

In this article, Tammy Dunahoo, Vice President of The Foursquare Church, unpacks some of the ideas behind a FREE Exponential webinar designed to help us develop disciple-makers. Click here to register.

The leadership development strategy in many denominations involved finding and recruiting disciples who are ready to lead. But fifty years and a generation into the Church Growth Movement, this strategy has run its course and is failing. As the daughter of farmers, I would liken this strategy to harvesting without planting. Eventually the crop and the soil will fail. As a denominational leader, the fall out of this strategy keeps me up at night.

In my experience, the Church Growth Movement of the last fifty years has created a consumeristic mindset, causing church leaders to focus their attention on organizational increase and personal branding. Success has been determined by growing attendance numbers, staff size, facility footprint, and additional campuses. As a result, pastors are often competing for platforms, notoriety, and social media presence.

Jesus said to his followers, “Go, make disciples of all nations,” and also, “I will build my Church.”  Through fifty years of emphasis on church growth, it would seem these roles have been reversed. Pastors have become focused on building big churches through recruitment, rather than making disciples and equipping “the saints for the work of the ministry.” It begs the question, “Do we use people to grow the church instead of the church to grow the people?”

Do we use people to grow the church instead of the church to grow the people?

We have been negligent to grow our own disciple-makers and leaders. Many denominations have been hobbled by the church growth mindset and as a result they now face an aging ministerium and fewer potential young leaders for the future. The opportunity before us is to realign our organizations to a missiology of people centricity and develop growth cultures. Then we will reclaim our responsibility of seed, water, and harvest leaders and develop pathways of growth from cradle to grave.

Don’t miss the FREE Exponential webinar A Different Family Tree to learn more about developing disciple-makers.

We are better together!

“I have given them the glory that you gave me, that they may be one as we are one—I in them and you in me—so that they may be brought to complete unity. Then the world will know that you sent me and have loved them even as you have loved me.”
John 17:22-23

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