Huh? What in the world is a DDP you may be wondering. A DDP is a Description of a Discipled Person. I mentioned in an earlier article, Back to Basics, that this was something I learned about in my youth pastoring days under the tutelage of Son Life Youth Ministry training.
Let me fill you in. I'm blogging about this today because I don't think we consider what a discipled person looks like in our churches. Piggy-backing off of last week's blog, we tend to think discipleship will just happen if we have all the traditional programs in place. Not so.
But sitting down and discussing with your leadership and congregation what a discipled person looks like can be an valuable resource for planning and organizing the ministries of the church. Once you have what you believe to be a biblical picture of a disciple you can begin to look at the ministries of the church and get an idea of what may need to be changed, tweaked or completely dismantled. You may even find that a number of ministries are not functioning as disciple-making ministries and are not valuable to achieving the mission and vision of the church. As tough as it may be, you may have to give them a proper funeral service and burial. In turn you could be freeing up other leaders toward more specific identified disciple-making ministries.
Here's a way to start considering what a DDP looks like in your setting:
- Find key character qualities of a disciple in scripture. Realize that some will overlap each other.
- Outline a maximum of eight character qualities supported by scripture.
- Consider the people in your church and do a general evaluation of where you know people are at. Of course your leadership should be in on this. You don't need to be specific with names, but just a general sense of where people are at. Some folks may be just new to the faith, some on the fringe, some seeking, some growing, some ready for leadership. What do they need to get to the next step in their journey of spiritual formation?
- Evaluate where your ministries are at in relation to where the people in your church need to be in their journey.
- Adjust accordingly: scrap what needs to be scrapped, start fresh where needed, and tweak what's tweakable.
When you have a clear picture of where you believe people need to be as disciples on their journey, you'll have a better handle on ministry needs and an evaluation tool for your leadership.
Having said that, in our church we have come to realize that much of this can be done through our small groups especially for youth and adults. All the components for growing disciples; education, mission and ministry, can be done through small groups. We can gather, equip and send through them.
I'd love to know your thoughts on this.
'til next time.