In this post, we will look at the “leadership square,” a graphic way to describe discipling.
Discipling is so simple you’ll wonder why so many Christians don’t get it, never heard of it, don’t do it, think it’s the pastor’s job, and ironically, many pastors don’t do it themselves!
Here is an example: Today, in the United States, around 190,000 will visit someone in a hospital and minister to them. Of all these pastors, 99% will take no one with them to disciple in hospital ministry!
Before the leadership square begins, there is a preemptive step: invite someone to come along side you. You can say it in many ways. Jesus said, “Come follow me.”
It’s not rocket science.
Step #1: I do/You watch.
“Hey, Joe, we’ve been friends for 40 years. You know I teach Sunday school, right? Will you hang out with me next week when I teach? You don’t have to do anything. Maybe you can take a kid down to the restroom if he needs it while I teach the class. I can’t leave the class. What do you say?”
- I asked someone with whom I have a relationship. Not a stranger.
- I didn’t make a plea for a Sunday school teacher in front of the congregation.
- I never used the non-Christian word/concept “volunteer.”
- I didn’t ask Joe to do anything he couldn’t do.
Step #2: I do/You help
After some time, I ask Joe to take a small part of the lesson. Notice:
- Joe’s still coming to the Sunday school class and he’s still my friend.
- Joe has seen me do this Sunday school teaching for a while.
- I ask him in advance, so he can think and pray about it…and prepare.
- I’m there by his side if he panics. I’m his “safety net.”
Step #3: You do/I help
As time goes on, Joe becomes more familiar with teaching Sunday school. Notice:
- I’m in no hurry. I wait until Joe is ready.
- He shows interest, or he wouldn’t still be around.
- I’m there, again, as a safety net.
Step #4: You do/I watch
Joe has confidence and experience. I have given numerous opportunities to help.
- I’m still there as a safety net, but Joe’s ready.
After the Square:
“Joe, you can do this. I am going to start another class. So you take over this one. I’ll get someone to equip while I’m teaching another class. While you teach this class, you do the same. Look for someone you can develop to be a Sunday school teacher.”
Yep, it’s not rocket science!