Leadership in Context with Keith Tucci
Discipleship, part 3
In the past few weeks, we’ve been discussing discipleship—bringing definition and structure to a word that is loaded with vision and purpose.
This starts at the top. If you want a culture of discipline in your leaders and in your church, it starts at the top. When it comes to discipleship, discipline means effective planning, clear executing, and making what you say is a priority really a priority. These are visionary tools. You can’t have vision without these things. Many discipleship efforts fail because the discipline doesn’t start at the top.
Let’s go over a few common questions I get asked about discipleship:
How often do you meet?
If you are really trying to disciple someone, you should be meeting once a week. In a regular church narrative, we are meeting once a week with the congregation just to encourage them and hopefully equip them. How much more should we be meeting with the leaders we want to see leading the next generation and eventually leading the ministries we are now leading? Meet every week with the whole group, and then rotate meeting individually with the different members. There should be a regular rotation of purposing to meet with everyone individually. Meeting less than that may actually be self-defeating and not really discipleship.
You don’t have to meet for 52 weeks in a row. Schedule some breaks. You can meet for 6 weeks consecutively and then take a week off. Or meet every Sunday and take the 5thSunday off.
When did you meet?
I developed a culture of meeting early on Sunday mornings. Our service started at 10am, and I met with my leaders from 8:15am to 9:15am. It was the hour of power. We had a very clear agenda. We had 15-20 minutes of teaching, and then I spent time inquiring what was going on in their lives and the daily function of their ministries. When we met one-on-one or in small groups, we would dive into more personal things.
What are some other things you can do in a meeting context with your leaders?
I would have any 5-fold guys who were in town to share on a Sunday join our meetings. I’d ask them to download a life-giving message to the team. I wanted my team to be around these guys, be connected to them, be familiar with them. I was connected to these 5-fold guys and, I was connected to my team. I wanted my team connected to them. A healthy relational team can be formed when you model these connected relationships. I wanted my team to be able to reach out to the people I was connected to. The more people are connected to the guys you run with, the more connected they become to you and your vision.
This also models the principle of venting up. If your chimney clogs and you vent sideways, you die from carbon monoxide poisoning. But if it vents up, no one dies, no one gets hurt, no damage is done, and it is dispelled in the air. We teach our team to vent up during these meetings. I would challenge my team to ask these guys the hard questions.
Another way you are able to connect your team to their vision and purpose (and your vision and purpose) is by including them in extra-local church meetings. The BOB conference is a great example of this. If I was discipling someone, I would do whatever I could to get them to that conference—help arrange babysitting, teach them how to ask their boss for time off, help them financially to get there. Of course they would benefit from the teaching, but also from the connection and vision. That connection and vision is critical.
Come up with creative ways to include the wives. My wife would meet with the wives often. It wasn’t weekly, but it was regular. Invite the wives to join the weekly meetings sometimes. Invite the couples over to your house once in awhile. Provide a babysitter at the church to allow both husband and wife to attend. Include some times that are just relationally-focused.
Discipline starts at the top. You’ve got to be the person that orchestrates that and brings order and clarity into this discipleship process.
Join us next week as Keith Tucci continues to put leadership truth in the context of the local church. And as always, please like, share, rate/review, and invite others to listen. See you next week!