Transforming Your Church’s Discipleship Culture


So last Thursday we had Jake Dukes begin a free webinar series on disciple-making called:

Transforming Your Church’s Discipleship Culture

Part 1 explored “Why Discipleship has been Exiled from the Church.”

Here are some highlights you missed if you weren’t a part of the workshop.

1) Many churches have misplaced their priorities

2) Some have even redefined success (from what it should be)

3) Most do have not made a plan

4) Why we have settled for superficial change

Since Jake believes that disciple-making is the highest aim of the church, he offered up these points of instruction to church leaders who want to transform their discipleship culture.

  • People are the program
  • As the pastor or leader, focus on discipling a group of leaders who can invest in others
  • Communicate with your group leaders and give them training
  • Train your leaders using an apprentice model
  • Decide the best format for you to make disciples at your church
  • Replace your leaders (18-24 months)

This was one of the most engaging workshops we’ve ever hosted at Rocket. And the good news is, even if you MISSED it, you can jump in at any point and gets tons of value.

We’ll give you another chance to register for the series Transforming Your Church’s Discipleship Culture right here.

BONUS! Interview with Jake Dukes:

So Jake Dukes is a good friend of The Rocket Company. And he’s been where you are.

Jake served on staff and with churches for the past 17 years, including some of the most successful churches in south Atlanta.

His most recent gig is with an organization called Dream Hunters. There he gets to exercise his passion in a way that helps local churches everywhere.

And just what is his passion?

Jake Dukes has a passion to help the church grow. He spends as much time as he can investing in church leaders and church teams.

His passion is coaching leaders to become Disciple Makers who can reproduce the character of Jesus into others by helping them connect with God in their own way.

We’re glad we found Jake when we did. As you know, at Rocket, our purpose to help pastors and churches fulfill their God-given vision.

And what Jake is currently doing falls in line with that purpose.

So I asked Jake recently if he would do a free webinar series for us.

He said yes.

Here’s how that Q&A that led to the scheduling of this webinar series went.

Me: Jake, is there anything that you’re currently working on that would be a huge benefit to our audience of church leaders and pastors that would help them grow their church and make more disciples? Anything that you could share in a webinar?

Jake: Absolutely. Whether it was on staff at a handful of churches I’ve helped lead the last decade plus, or it’s the churches I’m helping now in my work with Dream Hunters, some common themes arise. And it all has to do with church growth.

Me: Be more specific. What things are churches thinking about, or perhaps a better question is, needing to think about if they want to grow their church, both in numbers and in the spiritual maturity of their people?

Jake: Here are some common themes I hear emerging from my conversations with about a dozen churches right now:

  • What’s wrong with my current discipleship model and how do I fix it?
  • What is not making disciples costing my church right now?
  • Help me transform my church’s discipleship culture.
  • How do I make “rows to circles” a reality in my church?
  • How do we make disciples and grow our church?
  • Help me figure out a new approach to discipleship that actually works.

Those are just a few of the common pain points that church leaders bring up with me over and over again. And there all very valid points. When a pastor asks me “What am I not doing that I should be doing with discipleship to ensure growth?” I have to tell them that the answer is simple, but difficult.

Me: What is simple, yet difficult about it?

Jake: Well the answer is that the discipleship mission that Jesus describes in the New Testament is pretty straightforward. We’re to “make disciples and teach them to observe” everything Jesus taught his disciples. Pretty simple, right. The difficulty is in the how. Most church leaders have read books on the answer to how to make disciples and have some go away more discouraged than when they started.

Me: Why is that?

Jake: Because most books on the subject offer a one-size-fits-all method of discipleship. It’s usually a blueprint that worked really well for exactly one local church in a very specific context. And that book’s author never took into consideration all the nuances that went into making that particular method work for his church. And pastors of very different churches tried that method and then end up wondering why it flopped.

Me: Is that the main reason?

Jake: Oh certainly not. That’s just one cause of the frustration churches have with a failure to build discipleship in their church. Not meaning to pick on books on this subject let alone their authors. In fact, if anything, I think the sheer number of published books on the subject of discipleship in churches points to the felt need and tells us there are a lot of churches in need of a solution.

Me: Would you be willing to host a webinar for our audience of church leaders and pastors and help us explore what’s working and better yet, how churches can discover their own specific path to disciple-making success?

Jake: Absolutely. I have a lot of good stuff to share. I think the best thing to do would be to break it apart into a webinar series. Maybe one a week for about 3 weeks. It will allow me to do a deep-dive for your audience and take time for questions and meaningful interaction.

Me: Sounds good. Let’s do it.