On average, it takes 50 church members a year to lead one person to Jesus.
Thom Rainer suggests that an evangelistically healthy “church conversion ratio” (CCR) is about 20:1 (that is, 20 church members leading one person to Jesus per year).
Less than 5% of churches in the U.S. hit this particular target.
But is it possible to move closer to, say, a 3:1 church conversion ratio? Or (and this is really going to blow your mind), what about a 1:3 church conversion ratio?
Imagine every member in your church making at least one disciple each year!
What would it take to get there?
Most churches in the United States are declining or dying. While there are a variety of reasons, the simple explanation is that many churches are not proclaiming the gospel or making disciples.
Thankfully, the Bible gives us ample instruction and encouragement to become powerful witnesses and grow our churches once again. In fact, there’s one verse that sums up what it will take to become a disciple-making church:
Not everyone is a super-Christian!
We don’t all have stories of how we glanced at the stranger seated next to us on the plane and led them to Jesus right there on the spot.
Most of us are probably missing like 9 out of every 10 opportunities we have to share the Truth. (Wait! What opportunities?!)
Worse, in the unlikely event that we ever did
accidentally unintentionally luckily lead someone to Jesus, we wouldn’t have the first clue what to do next. Maybe the pastor knows what to do? Sadly, maybe not.
Or, maybe you know how to “lead people to Christ” but you have never considered how to lead them toward Christ-likeness.
We may not all be super-Christians, but every-Christian has been tasked with making disciples of all nations.
A Collaborative Writing Project
I’m writing an eBook to help the every-Christian make and multiply followers of Jesus.
But I’m not writing from a super-Christian’s perspective. I’m writing from an every-Christian perspective.
I actually believe that if Jesus has given us a mission to make disciples of all nations he can empower every-Christian to fulfill that mission. And if we’re not intentionally making disciples who make disciples then we are pursuing the wrong mission.
I was having a conversation yesterday with someone about the lack of disciple making in new churches and in established churches. It seems that many church leaders know how to implement small groups and preach sermons but few know how to make and model disciple making on a personal level.
The reason I was talking about this is because I am beginning work on an eBook about the path to making disciples. I want to encourage Christians that they can make a disciple in the next 12 months who will make a new disciple in the next 24 months. I’ll share more details soon on the blog (I’ve already share the details to my newsletter contacts).
But in the meantime, my friend J.D. Payne has written an eBook on discipleship and church planting that is a great resource.
J. D. is a National Missionary with the North American Mission Board of the Southern Baptist Convention and an Associate Professor of Church Planting and Evangelism in the Billy Graham School of Missions and Evangelism at The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Louisville, Kentucky, U.S.A. where he directs the Center for North American Missions and Church Planting.
I love J. D.’s definition of church planting: “Biblical church planting is evangelism that results in new churches”. (For my particular focus, I might modify the definition to “Biblical church planting is intentional disciple making that results in new churches”.)