Episode 051:

We Have a Disciple-Making Problem

January 22, 2019

Maybe we should call this episode,

Houston, we have a problem.


In Episode 051 of LeaderCast, Transforming Mission's podcast, we talk about the current reality of many local congregations, determining the outcomes you're seeking, and defining a pathway for achieving your goals. Filled with stories and examples we'll help you lead a movement of Jesus followers. #transformingmission #disciple #leader #faith #podcast Transforming Mission

Episode Overview

We talk a lot about what we don’t have in the church. We don’t have enough money. We don’t have enough children. We don’t have youth. We don’t have young families. We don’t have people who want to do anything.

We get it. Without people who want to engage in the mission, leading a church is difficult. Perhaps that’s why we encourage you to think about leading a movement of Jesus followers.

More importantly, if you think we have a scarcity problem, and more money and more people will fix it. Let’s go back to the 1970s and 1980s and project forward to today. There were plenty of people in church. How has that turned out for us?

Read what follows carefully. We’re not being negative. We’re naming reality: 

We don’t have a scarcity problem.

We have a disciple-making problem.

Disciple-Making 101

Disciples make disciples by reaching out to new people and helping people encounter the love of God we know in Jesus. And yes, that requires courage and one of the acts of courage building is vulnerability.

And just in case you didn’t listen to Episode 050, vulnerability is “the emotion we experience during times of uncertainty, risk, or emotional exposure.”¹

We cannot limit disciple-making to attending a class. To be a follower of Jesus goes beyond having knowledge about Jesus. Being a disciple of Jesus is a way of life.

Listen on iTunes.

In this episode we talk about:

1) Naming Current Reality

2) Determining Outcomes

3) Deciding on a Pathway to Disciple-Making

Reflect & Respond


  1. Sara gave the example of building relationships through Engagement (the E in HOPE). Where do you begin? H, O, P, E. What does it look like?
  2. What fears, excuses, ideologies get in the way of you engaging in disciple-making (H.O.P.E.)?
  3. What’s the one thing you need to feel safe to risk HOPE (disciple-making)?


If you did last week’s experiment, congratulations, you’re already on your way. If you did, remember, you’re now inviting another person to join you.

If you didn’t do last week’s homework, start this week. Start now by downloading the Sqaure Squad Experiment.Here’s what to do:

Time Stamp

1:02 Reframing an Experiment

3:30 A Story of Friendship that Led to an Inwardly-Focused Church


6:30 We have a disciple-making problem, not a scarcity problem

8:30 Penalty Flag

10:00 Disciple Making Begins with one other person

12:00 Circle Up: This is a Long-term Adventure with Jesus


15:20 Possible ways to measure disciple-making

19:05 Baseline measurements

23:15 Don’t Count, Measure


25:00 What transformation needs to happen?

27:00 Engagement and the journey of H.O.P.E.

38:00 We are growing as disciples

47:10 Questions and this week’s Experiment


If you’re not familiar with the HOPE acronym it stands for

H: Hospitality – Reaching out and receiving new people

O: Offer Christ – Inviting people to make a commitment to Jesus

P: Practices – Practicing the faith through the spiritual disciplines of worship, prayer, scripture reading, etc.

E: Engage – Engaging in service with others beyond the walls of the church


  1.  Brene Brown, Dare to Lead.