Should We Become a Disciple-Making Church? 7 Reasons to Say YES


Why would I want to lead my church to become a disciple-making church when the people I lead are happy with the status quo?

Churches across the globe have begun to realize the importance of the biblical mandate to make disciples (Matt. 28:19–20) and are imagining the transformation of the lives and culture where their church exists.

Church leaders are dreaming of a congregation and community saturated with mature followers of Christ willing to do whatever it takes to further God’s Kingdom.

Some have asked, “Why would I want to lead my church to become a disciple-making church when the people I lead are happy with the status quo?”

There are many undeniable and essential reasons.

1. The western church is declining due to a lack of disciple making.

Only 9 percent of people who call themselves born again believe absolute moral truth exists (Barna survey, 2009). Biblical illiteracy is at an all-time high. Being a witness for Christ has diminished to simply hanging out with someone who is an unbeliever. Spiritual babes are not only the average believers in the average church, because the church has been slow to make disciples, many churches are led by spiritual babes.

Making disciples is the only way the church in the post-Christian era is going to be the church Jesus envisioned when He told us to “go and make disciples” (Matthew 28:19).

2. Jesus expected His church to make disciples.

Jesus never anticipated that His bride would become a people who simply hosted church events and held weekend worship experiences.

He declared that we should, “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, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age” (Matt. 28:19–20).

3. Mature disciples evangelize.

Every biblical church is passionate about making the gospel known to the world, allowing those who are in the world to start an eternal relationship with Christ. Mature disciples intuitively tell others about the Jesus who has transformed their own lives.

4. A disciple-making church is never void of leaders.

One of the most tragic realities in the present day church is that she is void of the leaders necessary to accomplish the vision the senior pastor has been given. A disciple-making church produces leaders who produce leaders.

Rick Howerton Rick has one passion... To see “a biblical small group within walking distance of every person on the planet making disciples that make disciples.” He is presently the Small Group and Discipleship Specialist at LifeWay Church Resources. Rick has authored or co-authored multiple books, studies, and leader training resources. Rick’s varied ministry experiences as a collegiate pastor, small group pastor, teaching pastor, full-time trainer and church consultant, as well as having been a successful church planter gives him a perspective of church life that is all-encompassing and multi-dimensional. Rick is a highly sought after speaker and trainer speaking at or leading training in about forty settings annually.

More from Rick Howerton or visit Rick at

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