“I really appreciate all the time and effort that you invested into the Alongsider group over the past few months,” Jason wrote in a recent email. “I’ve benefited greatly from being in the presence of godly men like yourself at our church.
“And I’ve certainly been personally challenged to look for opportunities to invest in other men,” he continued. “Thank you again for your inspiration, and I look forward to serving and fellowshipping with you in the future.”
It’s always encouraging to receive such a gracious note. It’s always a privilege when a pastor invites me in to help grow a disciplemaking culture at a church. This one in particular has been extra special, because it’s Calvary Worship Center (CWC), our family’s home church here in Colorado Springs, and Pastor Mark Bofill entrusted me to guide the Radical Men’s Ministry Leadership Team through the process.
Jason is one of more than a dozen leaders on the team (some of them are pictured here). We just completed The Ways of the Alongsider, an equipping tool written by my friend and Navigator colleague Bill Mowry. We use the Alongsider to train core leaders, who then model intentional disciplemaking and see it grow in a church.
In the first phase of the Growing intentional Disciplemaking Cultures (GiDC) process, we conclude with a lesson titled “The Way of Mission,” in which we talk about three key strategies for reaching the community, drawing people into the culture, and ultimately raising up additional core leaders. I call this “The Big Picture” of what we’re asking God to accomplish in our midst.
As we’ve worked through the equipping process over these last several months, on Saturday mornings from 7:00 to 9:00, I challenged the men with three key questions: “What is the Holy Spirit saying to my spirit—
- in light of my own spiritual journey?”
- concerning my own personal ministry?”
- about an intentional disciplemaking culture here at CWC?”
In addition, we began each session with “alongsider moments,” instances over the previous week where the men have seen God use the material in their lives and ministries. On a recent Saturday, I was blown away as they shared stories that touched upon four key areas of life we talk about:
Where I live . . . A man said his wife confronted him at the dinner table: “Okay, there’s something different about you, but I can’t quite put my finger on it.” He started talking about how God has been using the material to challenge him in his own personal life.
Where I work . . . Another man, a college professor, said more students are seeking him out for counsel these days, especially in light of tragic campus shootings recently in the news. “I’m better able to come alongside them, as we’re talking about in this study.”
Where I play . . . Yet another man shared how a former “cruddy buddy” of his suddenly showed up at his door, wanting to rekindle the friendship and do the things they used to do before he trusted Christ. “I knew just what to say to him. We talked for a long time.”
Where I worship . . . Pastor Mark pointed to a huge sign at the entryway of the church that says, We Do Life Together. “Actually, it’s more accurate to say we do ministry together. But I’m going to change that!” He committed to getting more one-to-one time with the men on the team.
While the first phase of the process is now complete, our work has just begun. I’m eager to continue the journey with these men toward enhancing the intentional disciplemaking culture at CWC. I’m encouraged that pastors from two additional churches in the area are talking to me about starting the process with their core leadership teams in the near future.
If you’re a friend or financial supporter of the ministry of The Navigators, may Jason’s words and these stories encourage you as well. It’s the support of people like you that makes stories like this possible. To God be the glory, great things He has done!
Perhaps this has whetted your appetite for the Growing intentional Disciplemaking Process to take place in your church or group. Check here to see if there’s an NCM Representative in your area. Or you may contact us here!
Dean Ridings is a Representative of Navigator Church Ministries. To contact Dean or to learn more about the Ridings’ Navigator ministry in the Rocky Mountain Region, please click here.
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