Note: We recently revealed our vision for the direction of First Baptist Church, Conroe in the next few years. If you’d like to read more, click here. That’s a big vision, and it’s exciting! But there aren’t many specifics. Like explorers and pioneers of the past, we know where we’re going, but we’ve never been this way before, so we don’t yet know all that we will face along the way to our goal. The details will come as we go.
One of the key details is our process for making disciples. Here is the process we will follow in the years to come:
FBC Discipleship Process
We are calling on God to renovate the heart of First Baptist Church, so that we become a church in which ordinary people are transformed into world-changing disciplemakers.
That is our vision. But how does an ordinary person become a disciplemaker? And what part can our church play in that process? We believe there are three steps in the journey from where we are to where God wants us to be.
Connecting with God in Worship.
The journey begins as we connect with God for the first time through His grace. Jesus said you must be born again. Then He died on a cross to make it possible. But that is only the beginning of the journey. As followers of Christ, we never get over the Gospel. We constantly renew ourselves by connecting with Him in worship. A true disciple worships in Spirit and in Truth. That means we aren’t primarily concerned with whether the worship style fits our preference, and we aren’t motivated by a desire to appear holier than we are. We aren’t the audience in a worship service; God is, and we want to offer Him something authentic and holy.
As a church, our responsibility is to provide engaging, excellent, Spirit-led, Christ-centered, Biblically based worship services every Sunday. We also educate and equip our members to connect with God on their own. Our members will be renewed daily, and will also be prepared to participate in public worship.
Growing into the character of Jesus.
The journey continues as God’s Spirit changes us internally, producing qualities like love, joy, peace, patience, goodness, kindness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control (Galatians 5:22-23), humility (Mark 9:35), generosity (Matthew 6:21), and wisdom (Proverbs 3:13-14). Only God can produce these characteristics in us, but He requires us to work alongside Him in the process of growth (Philippians 2:12-13).
The church’s part in this process of inward growth consists of two things. First, we offer regular instruction in spiritual disciplines, so that our members become self-feeders who bear fruit for God (Psalm 1:1-3, John 15:5). Second, we speak the truth in love (Ephesians 4:11-16), which includes making real Christian fellowship the goal of all our Life Groups, and facilitating and encouraging mentoring relationships in our church and community.
Reaching others with His love.
We can’t journey with God without also bringing others along with us. As we connect with God, we gain His heart for His lost children. As we are transformed internally into the character of Jesus, we begin to attract people as He did. So the third step in the process of discipleship is when we begin to reach out to others, being used by God to make new followers of Him.
As a church, we help our members reach others with His love by training them to share the Gospel; offering strategic mission and ministry opportunities; helping them identify their spiritual gifts; facilitating frequent prayer for the lost; equipping them to be intentional in all their relationships; training them to invite friends to worship services and special events of the church; and publicly celebrating stories of members who reach out.
So that’s it. Are you connecting with God in worship? Are you growing inwardly into the character of Jesus? Are you effectively reaching others with His love?