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My pastor has called in an independent ministry which performs a church evaluation service. Part of this involves interviews with the people, and my wife and I met with this man for an hour and a half yesterday. We were thoroughly quizzed on our views on many areas of the church, and asked to rate the church's key personnel. It was pretty interesting, and kind of fun too. I wonder if we'll be allowed to see the final report? I'd sure like to.

After finishing we realized one of our church's strengths, and weaknesses is in discipleship. We have a powerful ministry in place that stabilizes a Christian's walk, and moves them from fringe attenders to pillars of the church. It is a general purpose ministry which prepares people to serve in all areas of the church. No one can serve in leadership until they have completed membership class and this 12 week course.

Beyond that a church needs to look at how it trains its workers in each ministry area. There's the nursery, and the usher program (it's more than just handing out programs and shaking hands), kids ministries, home groups, visitation, music, etc. These areas don't need to teach people so much as train them. I see teaching as passing on ideas in a class, and training as hands-on learning of technique.

We found some of our departments have very little training for their workers, while others are EXTREMELY strong. One in particular trains people to perform deliverance from the demonic. The deliverance teams have positions the members fill, and each person is groomed to fill the role they're training for. As they become qualified on more tasks they'll be moved into other positions according to the worker's calling. It has a timetable, and each person can see where they are in learning, trying, and becoming qualified for each task.

It alternates classroom teaching with hands-on training sessions where real demonic powers are confronted...and beaten through the authority of the believer. From there they are assigned to a team which ministers to people referred by the pastors for private sessions. It's the most powerful thing I've ever seen - thoroughly supernatural.

We also found a large weak area is in our raising up leaders. We have high standards for those in leadership, and we've been allowing people to find their way on their own. As a result we don't have enough, and our leaders are overloaded right now. Others are in position to help, but they need to be mentored. Most are just about ready for leadership, having the necessary giftings and talents, but they need to have some adjustments made in their lives. They need to start tithing, or they need to get their families in order. Maybe they need to get their marriage relations lined up, or they need to rearrange their job schedules.

I think Pastor will soon be seeking God on how we can mentor more leaders if he's not already. We've talked about it.

So how is your church doing in the area of discipling?

-- Anonymous, May 22, 2004

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