By Rodney Cox
In a recent podcast interview with CEO and author of The Disciple Dilemma, Dennis Allen, I asked him to get to the root of why ministries can fall short in the area of discipleship. His response focused not on programs, but on mission and leadership’s role in promoting the ministry’s mission. Dennis said, “This is not a book about discipleship even though we call it The Disciple Dilemma. What we’re talking about is the dilemma of leadership that doesn’t understand mission. Most of the seminaries that we’ve talked to, the pastors get no training in this territory.”
Staying focused on a well-crafted mission enables your ministry to strategically allocate resources and efforts towards maximizing your impact. It enables you to prioritize initiatives, like discipleship, that align with your purpose and avoid distractions that could dilute your effectiveness. Make no mistake, leadership’s relentless pursuit of mission creates a lasting impact on the teams that you serve.
Dennis went on to say, “Everything that I do from picking out the donuts on a Friday morning meeting, to the strategic planning that I’m doing in a corporate office has to be pulled through the keyhole of what the mission is all about. If we don’t use the mission as a reflexive foundation for everything that we do, eventually metrics, budgets and management will eat your mission for lunch and leave it in the ditch. And then you’re into that great parabolic trajectory of nothingness that will take your corporation or your disciples down.”
Is your ministry prioritizing it’s mission and “disciplining” leaders to use it as true north? ? Is missional discipleship part of your organizational mission that you amplify regularly? A discipleship-focused mission serves as a guiding light that propels ministries forward, and inspires followers to reach the world for Christ. If your team expresses a lack of clarity related to your discipleship strategy, then it may be time for you to lean in. Strong discipleship teams are built by strong leaders.