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The Law of Investment says: A disciple-making church provides an
intentional process that releases disciples to invest themselves
in the global mission of Christ and the Church and to fulfill God's
purpose for their lives. The passion of God's heart is making and
developing disciples who in turn make and develop disciples.
This law is the local church's fourth commitment to help believers
commit to mission. The church expresses its commitment to reproduce
and fulfill the Great Commission through the development of disciples
and the unleashing of their God-given gifts, resources, and energies.
Fundamentally the law of investing is not just missions but helping
people fulfill God's highest purpose and mission for their lives.
A commitment to invest means empowering people and ministries,
releasing them for ministry based upon their spiritual development.
This is enhanced by three supporting principles: (1) Every believer
is commissioned by God to make disciples (Mark 16:15,16); (2) Spirit
baptism is a priority for Great Commission service (Acts 1:4,5);
(3) An awareness of need is the primary motivation for Great Commission
service (John 4:35--38).
The Law of Investment Modeled
Jesus called His disciples to a life of investment. They were to:
- Remain in Him and to "go and make disciples" (Matthew 28:19).
- Continue to develop in their character and relationship with
- Invest themselves----time, energies, and talents----in His highest
purpose: making disciples.
- Be released for leadership and ministry to reproduce in others
what He had done in their lives.
Jesus invested himself in His 12 disciples. The ultimate act of
commitment came as He invested the Church's future to them. His
influence will continue as we invest in and release people for ministry.
We are not true disciples of Christ if we are not giving ourselves
to His mission. Individual purposes are linked to His greater purpose.
Success is defined by purpose and measured by obedience.
Four Habits of Disciple-Making Churches
Provide Cross-Cultural Experiences
Cross-cultural ministry experiences have the power to open people's
hearts and eyes to the needs of the world. Lives and commitments
are significantly changed by understanding people's needs and experiencing
God's power working through them in ministry to those needs. A church
can provide opportunities for cross-cultural experiences in their
own country. Extend opportunities for ministry in the inner city
or other less-privileged communities from several days to a few
weeks. Some churches take groups to the inner city and become homeless
for a night. These experiences prove life changing.
The size of a leader is determined by the depth of his
convictions, the height of his ambitions, the breadth of
his vision, and the reach of his love.
----D. N. Jackson
Provide Leadership Experiences
The habit of providing leadership experiences can be developed
by providing a healthy team environment where people feel included,
valued, encouraged, and supported.
- Strive to create a climate promoting trust, openness, honesty,
shared feelings, and mutual respect.
- Develop a system of communication that provides for the sharing
of relevant, helpful, timely information.
- Encourage problem-solving and decision-making opportunities
by those responsible for the ministry.
- Give authority and responsibility in ministry roles based on
knowledge and ability.
- Work together as leaders and workers in the development of plans,
creating a sense of ownership for the goals and results.
- Encourage workers to participate in ministry-related problem
solving and decision making, to develop self-direction and self-control.
- Emphasize the necessity of conflict resolution, collaboration,
and win-win approaches to disagreements.
- Provide a reward system that recognizes both the ministry's
achievement of goals and the development of its members.
Provide Opportunities To Disciple Others
Determine to invest people in discipling opportunities. Involve
them in levels of ministry appropriate to their training and spiritual
development. A discipling mentality can be developed with four steps.
- Challenge people with the vision of the church, the opportunities
for ministry, and the benefits to them and others.
- Orient people to the ministry opportunities, focusing on their
- Involve people in discipling opportunities such as crisis hot
line, recovery/support groups, disability ministries, foster homes,
new convert follow-up, altar workers, etc.
- Coach people. As people minister through sharing their faith,
nurturing a new believer, or counseling someone, they are motivated
to learn by realizing what they need to know.
Provide Continued Leadership Training
Leadership development is a lifetime process that occurs through
interaction between one's spiritual life, natural abilities, experiences,
and opportunities. Several principles for ongoing leadership training
- Give freedom to fail. Disciples learn by trial and error. We
must not be afraid of failure, which can be mistakes or sins or
both. Recognize a mistake quickly and correct the perceptions,
conditions, and actions that led to it. If we sin, we repent quickly
and apply 1 John 1:9 and James 5:16, not forgetting the role of
- Leadership development requires empowering. The goal of ministry
leaders/trainers/mentors should be to equip the disciple to do
the ministry and to supervise as it is done.
- Releasing leaders in ministry encourages growth. Training must
be hands-on. Because people learn by doing ministry, we shouldn't
make it too easy for them or rescue them from potential learning
experiences. Help them understand the goal and then model or teach
some possible methods, letting them work out their own methodology
for achieving the goal.
Providing ongoing leadership training can be done through a variety
of methods. The best approach is what is right for the person at
- Mentoring. Team members should understand their responsibility
to be both apprentice and mentor; every person should be actively
involved in two training relationships simultaneously.
- Storytelling. An important role of the mentor is as teacher.
Christ taught the crowds, but His parables were aimed at His listening
disciples. He sought to link spiritual truths with real-life metaphors.
- Modeling. Christ modeled appropriate behaviors before
His disciples, took them aside and explained the significance,
and exhorted them to do likewise.
- Celebrating. Landmarks are victories and accomplishments
which provide opportunities to evaluate progress and design the
next phase of growth. A disciple graduates to a certain level
after proving that he can do "task A" effectively on his own.
As leaders we must celebrate and affirm that graduation.1
Profile of Disciples Committed to Mission
What is the profile of people committed to mission? They demonstrate
characteristics of a committed leader. They are empowered by the
Holy Spirit in life and service and have been used of God to help
those committed to maturity become committed to ministry (2 Timothy
2:2). They are uniting and leading workers in evangelizing the lost
and establishing believers (Mark 1:38). They display faithfulness
and integrity in their lives and ministry (2 Timothy 2:19--21).
The church's commitment to invest in people, then releasing them
to invest themselves in others, will be evident in people's lives
and ministry. If you recognize this profile in the people to whom
you minister, you know your commitment to invest is being effective.
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