Disciple Makers Network

Rick Hill

7.9.2017 | Congregational Life, Discipleship

Last year a brand-new initiative called Disciple Makers Network was launched, with the aim to help congregations consider how to develop a culture of discipleship in their context.

In his latest blog Rick Hill tells us how those gatherings went, as five people who took part in Disciple Makers Network last year share their own insights and perspectives.

The four gatherings were well received, with a huge amount of good feedback coming back from congregations, teams and individuals as to how helpful the process was for them.

This year, Disciple Makers Network is back on the road to two brand new locations for a six-month journey of four gatherings to envision, equip and enable ministers, elders, leaders, individuals and ultimately congregations to be disciples who make disciples. However, rather than spend lots of time sharing what Disciple Makers Network is, I want to instead simply share the insights and perspectives of five people who participated in the network last year. They told us how it impacted elders, refreshed and revitalized leaders, inspired and equipped others, while some found it reflective and a means of deepening their understanding of discipleship.

Disciple Makers Network can impact a group of elders

“We had eight from our church attend Disciple Makers Network. It really helped give focus, provide ideas and generate discussion about how we make disciples who make disciples. During a recent session meeting I was struck by how a number of elders raised ideas and thoughts throughout the meeting about things they had discussed and learned at the Network. It was great to see things being learned working their way into shaping how we do church.”

Rev. Stephen Richmond, Donegal Presbyterian Church

Disciple Makers Network can refocus and revitalise some leaders in your congregations

“Disciple Makers Network (DMN) was a great opportunity to look at the potential impact of letting Jesus’ final words serve as a benchmark for all we do. A great balance during each gathering between varying styles of teaching input and time to reflect, either individually or with others, meant we could cover an awful lot, without ever feeling overwhelmed. Highly recommend that anyone feeling exhausted, or swamped by activity, replace some of the busyness with attendance of the first DMN gathering. You’re likely to leave energised and hooked for the series.”

Jill Kennedy, Trinity Bangor Presbyterian Church

Disciple Makers Network can inspire and equip individuals to make disciples

“I've always tried to make disciples. If you're interested in doing this work that Jesus calls us to then you'll find that the Disciple Makers Network will inspire you for that work and equip you to do it better.”

Rev. Christoph Ebbinghaus, Kirkpatrick Memorial Presbyterian Church

Disciple Makers Network gives space for congregations to reflect on how they do things

“I found that the Disciple Makers Network provided opportunity to pause and reflect on what we do currently. It helped us focus on the positives and to be encouraged. Too often we may become discouraged by what we perceive as our lack of success. It helped us to remember that God is looking at hearts and service and not at numbers as we so often do.”

Audrey Hodge, 1st Omagh Presbyterian Church

Disciple Makers Network will take you deeper in your understanding of discipleship

"Our group found this course to be a good mechanism for thinking about discipleship within our church context. It offered us the opportunity to reflect on what we are doing and what we could do more effectively to help make disciples of Jesus Christ."

Rev. Jonathan Cowan, Mountjoy Presbyterian Church

The details

Perhaps the recent conversations within our denomination have helped you consider ‘the why’ and ‘the what’ of discipleship, and now you’re trying to work out ‘the how’.

Perhaps we have focused so much on buildings, budgets and big names to impact our church and missed how Jesus invested in a small group of people who went on to impact the world.

Perhaps we have taught so much on the personal inward process of discipleship that we’ve missed emphasising the intentional relational investment of disciple-making.

Let us help you with ‘the how’ of disciple-making by signing up for Disciple Makers Network and bringing a group from your congregation along with you. The process kicks off in just a few weeks’ time on Tuesday, 26th September in First Ballymoney Presbyterian Church and Thursday, 28th September in Ballydown. You can find out more information and register here – but be quick because the closing date for registrations is Monday, 18th September.

Rick Hill is the Presbyterian Church in Ireland’s Discipleship Development Officer.


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