Chair 4 of 4 Chair Discipleship: Guest blogger Laird Crump

Posted by donna on February 1, 2018

grapes.jpgOK, … let’s do a quick review.  When we study the life of Jesus, we observe four challenges that outline His discipleship process.

  1. Come and see
  2. Follow me
  3. Fish for men
  4. Go and bear much fruit.

Although there are many nuances in the discipleship process, (and certainly the process is rarely completely linear), the discipleship journey can be seen in these four steps, or, for the sake of our illustration, these four chairs.

As leaders, our role is to create an environment conducive to making disciples. We do that by using relationships and programs to help people move through the discipling process. These four chairs correspond to the kind of people who may be in our ministries.

4 chair chart.PNG

As those committed to disciple-making, we desire to have everything in place in our ministry to reach the lost, build believers, equip workers and multiply disciple-makers. We want to do so in a balanced way. Most churches do almost all their programing for believers only, and then wonder why we aren’t seeing conversions and why we don’t have enough workers. As leaders, our role is to create a balanced discipling environment that helps people move through the process, enabling them to move from chair to chair.

Every chair (or step of the discipling process) has challenges. This is certainly true for chair four. In most of our ministries our top leaders spend most of their time managing church stuff, rather than being catalysts and mobilizers for mission. People in this leadership chair should be able to readily identify their own disciple-making ministry. They should be able to identify lost people they are actively reaching for Christ, believers they are helping to grow, and workers they are equipping for outreach. The equipping is not to do church administration, but rather equipping for a life of making disciples … who can make disciples … who can make disciples. Many church leaders may be effective in management, but cannot point to their own personal ministry of being a disciple-maker. In fact, it is quite possible that an elder has not led anyone to Christ in years. This is obviously problematic. If leaders are managing, but not making disciples, then … well, you get the picture.

Chair four people need to be able to point to their personal example of disciple-making, as well as consider how to multiply their efforts and the efforts of others. This requires training, coaching and support. As pastors, our role for chair four people is to help them go and bear much fruit, in ministry and beyond. In the last 18 months of His ministry, Jesus got away 6 times with the 12 for training. Personally, I know of very few ministries that do leadership development with that kind of intensity and intentionality. It is challenging. It may require a group of pastors getting together to share best practices on how to minister to chair four people. To get the ball rolling, one can examine how Jesus dealt with His chair four people. Luke 10 is a key passage that speaks of Jesus using a “deploy and debrief” model for leaders. It is worth careful investigation. I would encourage you to connect with other pastors to explore how we can help our leaders bear much fruit. Then, perhaps we will indeed see a movement of healthy reproducing churches across our country.

Your fellow pastor,

Rev. Dr. Laird Crump
Lead Pastor
The Campus, Aurora, ON


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