Discipleship is Critical

Great Commission: Mat 28:19-20 Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit,[20] and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.” (niv)

Jesus commanded his followers to share the gospel with all nations. This verse implies that evangelism is a key responsibility of the followers of Christ (the church). However to share the Gospel we must be discipled (taught). We call this process discipleship. Realizing discipleship is critical to the development of a Christian to church health is much like the growth and development of a human is critical to physical health.

Initially a newborn can do nothing for themselves. Everything must be done for them, fed, diapers changed, dressed, etc. As they grow their food is changed from liquid to solids, they are taught how to dress, exercise, etc. We call this maturity.

The Bible compares Christian immaturity to physical immaturity in a number of places.


1Co 3:2 I gave you milk, not solid food, for you were not yet ready for it. Indeed, you are still not ready.

Heb 5:14 But solid food is for the mature, who by constant use have trained themselves to distinguish good from evil

Just as a human cannot function properly with out maturity, neither can a follower of Christ. It is the church’s responsibility to “make disciples”. A disciple is not a professor, but a processor, a hearer and doer of the Word.

Jas 1:22 Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says.

A critical element of making disciples is teaching the whole Gospel of Mat 28:19-20 above which includes “teaching them to obey”, which is an element of maturity.

A “planned, progressive” Bible Study program in the local church is critical to Spiritual health and vitality in a church. Without it the local congregation will die a slow and painful death.


Your Church’s Health?


In America today about eighty percent of protestant churches are unhealthy, sick and dying. This is the most critical issue facing Christianity in the United States today. This problem can be solved. Local pastors must step-up and take the ownership. Read the post”Pastor is Key“.


There are a number of areas a local congregation needs to evaluate, but a quick look at the following three will let you know if you are in the critical phase.

1. Attendance – Has your average attendance been increasing, decreasing for past 3-5 years?
2. Giving – Has your offering been increasing, decreasing, or staying the same for last 3-5 years?
3. New Members– Has church membership for past 3-5 years been increasing,decreasing or staying the same?

If these three areas have not been increasing, It would be wise to do a more self analysis of your church and initiate a change of direction. This starts with church leadership. Read the post “Body of Christ“.


The pastor and church leadership that initiate some simple but important changes immediately!  Acknowledge there is a problem and implement the physical (strategy) and spiritual (prayer, Bible focus, and rely on Holy Spirit)focus.

This is first in a number of Posts on a “simple process” to restore your congregation to renewed health.

Link to “next post” on church as the body of Christ

Prayer Unlocks God’s Power

In many places the Bible tells us the importance of prayer. In Acts chapter 2 after the coming of Holy Spirit on Pentecost, we see after about 3000 people were added to the church the Bible says:

Act 2:42 And they continued steadfastly in the apostles’ doctrine and fellowship, and in breaking of bread, and in prayers.

In John 17:20-23 (NIV) Jesus Prays for All Believers.

20 “My prayer is not for them alone. I pray also for those who will believe in me through their message, 21 that all of them may be one, Father, just as you are in me and I am in you. May they also be in us so that the world may believe that you have sent me. 22 I have given them the glory that you gave me, that they may be one as we are one— 23 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.

In that prayer you see Jesus praying for fellowship, discipleship, evangelism, and Church unity  (love for one another & love of God) !

In Acts chapter 2 we see picture of the first group of believers being unified in praying and in John chapter 17 we see Jesus that his followers being unified. We later see that two areas of unity is “love of God” and “love of each other”.

In chapter one of Philippians, Paul uses a prayer to cast a vision of what he was going to communicate and his desire for them to be transformed by the Gospel, fellowship, and doctrine (Biblical teaching).

Phl 1:9 And this I pray, that your love may abound yet more and more in knowledge and in all judgment;[10] That ye may approve (do) things that are excellent; that ye may be sincere and without offence till the day of Christ;[11] Being filled with the fruits of righteousness, which are by Jesus Christ, unto the glory and praise of God.

These references, plus many more show the importance of prayer for both a believer and the church as a whole.  Paul’s Prayer in Philippians above and also in other Epistles is that his prayers are that the message of the specific Epistle will be accomplished.

In other words Paul’s prayer is that his goal in writing (content of epistle) will cast a vision (enabled by Holy Spirit) in the minds and lives  of the hearer/reader.

After Paul’s prayer In Philippians , he immediately teaches the Philippian church about how to develop the mind of Christ. 

After the prayers of Jesus, Peter, and Paul,  they ask that the hearer put what they have heard into practice (do/obey).

We are to practice/do (walk in Christ). This leads to a testimony  of a healthy church.

This web site contains a number of resources on prayer and its importance.

Link to importance of prayer in the local church :  Prayer in Church

Link to simple test of Church Prayer Life: Prayer Test

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Growing Churches

[slider] Below is list of churches that I have visited in the past 24 months that are experiencing tremendous growth? I believe the mainline denominations need to evaluate these churches to see what the common elements are and possible incorporate some of them in their churches.


City Hope Church – Mobile AL

Church of Highlands – Birmingham AL

The Rock – Huntsville AL

River Ridge  – Charleston West Virginia

Summit Crossing – Huntsville AL


Some common elements:

1) All of the above churches have a plan/vision for growth. They focus on visitors, that is they plan for them starting at the parking lot (attendants), greeters at door, visitor center, coffee (can take into church), people to point you to a seat, theater seating, free to come late while everyone is standing for music. – majority of church buys in!
2) Staffed and resources for all age group children
3) A significant number of musicians & singers at age of targeted audience (under age 40)
4) Large use of technology , cameras, big screen, video, etc
5) Have a Christ centered gospel of acceptance (part of a team) with a concept of growth/involvement/service through a “next step” concept.(freedom to grow at own pace)
6) One of the church’s actually never mention giving/offering but have offering drop boxes at exits.


My burden

For the past few years God has placed a reorcurring question in my mind and heart, “Why are so many protestant churches in America closing their doors each year?”

This website and my ministry is dedicated not only to answering this question, but also to point individuals and churches to the solution. Recent research indicates that about 3,700 churches in America dissolve every year. Research also indicates that there are about 300,000 other churches struggling with declining attendance, few or no new converts, and aging membership and inadequate resources to continue.

I am no expert, but a burdened servant willing to be a tool to help identify problem areas and encourage local congregations to focus on this issue. Before I became a pastor, I was moved a large number of times by the company where I worked and therefore was an active member of both small and mega churches. After being called into the ministry 25 years ago I have been exposed to even more churches through associations of churches and association with pastors. For the past 14 years I have tested many of the ideas on church revitalization in my local church with success.

During this time period we have dropped the average age of our membership by almost 20 years while greatly increasing our attendance and building a new family life center. Not only has our membership and attendance increased drastically also ministries and offerings.

This personal experience and extensive research is discussed or linked too from this website

Church revitalization is a Biblical burden. Jesus made this a priority in Jesus’ comments to the seven churches in Revelation 2 and 3, Jesus sought to set right what was broken and give new life to what was dying. Addressing each church, He placed the spotlight on the particular reasons for their failing community testimony: lackluster love (Ephesus—2:2-7), false teaching (Pergamum and Thyatira—2:13–17; 20–23), lukewarm devotion (Laodicia—3:15–19). To the church at Sardis, Jesus said, “You have the reputation of being alive, but you are dead. Wake up, and strengthen what remains and is about to die, for I have not found your works complete in the sight of my God” (3:1–3, ESV).

Some see Revelation 3:2 as a proof text for church revitalization: “Strengthen what remains and is about to die” (ESV). Shouldn’t we be as concerned for congregations today with little or no gospel witness as Christ was for Sardis?

Jesus solution to the seven churches was REPENT!

The resources on this website are FREE resources to help a church identify if they are in need of revitalization. I am a FREE resource to be a coach, accountability, and encourager. I am also available to lead a seminar or revival service to help shine Biblical light on the subject.