When you gonna be a REAL pastor? On empowering volunteers

This week I had the privilege of hanging out with Zach Hummer and Ryan Baker of the When you gonna be a real Pastor? podcast, along with my friend Betty, to chat about empowering volunteers in your ministry.

You can listen to our conversation here!

While you’re at it, subscribe to keep up with their weekly podcasts covering all kinds of youth ministry-related topics, with lots of great guests, like this one.

Don’t Mi$$ Giving Tuesday


It’s the last thing Jesus told us to live and do.

It’s the gigantic “E” on the eye examination chart.

But how are we doing when it comes to disciplemaking?

Sometimes it seems like we’re doing every but disciplemaking.

As missionaries with Cadre Ministries, our passion is proliferating Jesus-like disciplemaking. It’s what we aspire to live and do. This Giving Tuesday, you can strategically invest in disciplemaking which—when done like Jesus—changes the world forever.

Would you please prayerfully consider blessing a Cadre missionary this Giving Tuesday?

Click here to give and encourage any Cadre missionary

Trust us when we say that no $ gift is too small and will be deeply appreciated.

From our hearts to yours, thank you for investing in disciplemaking!

Bill & Stacy Allison, Dave & Rennie Garda, Craig & Laura Slezak and Mark & Rachel O’Brien

The intentionality of disciplemaking “as you go”

Jesus said, “go and make disciples.” But what did he mean by “go”? Many scholars and theologians believe the best translation of “go” is “having gone” or “as you go.”

Think about the implications of that for your life.

Could it be as simple as this: “As you go about life, make disciples”?

  • Are you a stay-at-home mom? “As you go about mothering today, intentionally seek to make disciples like Jesus.”
  • Are you a student? “As you go to school today, intentionally seek to make disciples like Jesus.”
  • Are you in business? “As you go about your business today, intentionally seek to make disciples like Jesus.”
  • Are you on staff at a church or ministry? “As you go about your ministry today, intentionally seek to make disciples like Jesus.”
  • Are you a construction worker? “As you go about constructing today, intentionally seek to make disciples like Jesus.”
  • Are you a farmer? “As you go about farming today, intentionally seek to make disciples like Jesus.”
  • Are you a _________ ? “As you go about ________ today, intentionally seek to make disciples like Jesus.”

Living out disciplemaking “as you go”

Sounds simple, doesn’t it? But let’s be honest. Most of us are not living with this kind of disciplemaking intentionality. This must change. Jesus wants us to bring his disciplemaking intentionality and proactivity to every nook and cranny of our lives. Disciplemaking like Jesus isn’t something you add on to your life, it’s a way of life. “As you go about life today, make disciples.”

Here’s some good news: Jesus isn’t asking you to form so many different circles of relationships that you’ll never be able to manage them all.

Here’s the challenge: As you go about your life today—whatever that—Jesus wants you to bring his disciplemaking intentionality and proactivity to those relationships.

Will you?

How Jesus launched a disciplemaking movement

Sometimes leaders try to start movements of discipleship by casting vision to the masses.

However, Jesus did not follow this leadership practice when he started his disciplemaking movement that is changing the world to this day. When it came to making disciples who would make more disciples who would make more disciples, Jesus didn’t cast a discipleship vision to the masses.

How Jesus began his movement

He prayed. Luke 6:12

He chose a small cadre of people. Mark 3:13-15

He invested lots of time with them. John 3:22

He considered them friends. John 15:15

He gave them his disciplemaking way of life and showed them how to give it to others in the same way he gave it to them—and they did. Matthew 28:18-20

A different approach

Jesus didn’t change the world by growing a tree and then trying to putting a root system under it. Jesus changed the world—and continues to change the world today—through disciplemakers. Ones who prayerfully choose a cadre of people for the purpose of helping them help others to follow Jesus.

We think of Jesus’ roots-first approach as “D3” disciplemaking friendships. Of course, Jesus’ roots-first approach takes much more time and work. It doesn’t feel leadership-sexy. But stop and think about it.

Never before have we had so much ministry activity and so little Jesus-like disciplemaking.

Isn’t it time to make Jesus our model for life and ministry?

We tend to overestimate what preaching can do and underestimate what living like Jesus can do. You can’t vision-cast the masses into a disciplemaking way of life.

Do our definitions matter?

A few years ago I was having fun with disciplemaking friends and family by playing Draw Something. It’s pictionary on steroids. You have a set of letters to choose from and a set of blanks to fill in the word that describes the picture. Each picture has only one right answer: just one definition.

Let’s try it together. What five-letter word matches this picture?


Having a little trouble with this one? It turns out that my grandson Tyler (then in kindergarten) had hijacked his dad’s iPad and played his turn of Draw Something. He chose a five-letter word, BLIMP,  but drew whatever he wanted…a Koala bear in a tree, a dog with a stick, a monkey on a branch…What do you see? He drew his own definition of blimp…one that had nothing to do with the actual picture.

Have you experienced a BLIMP moment lately?

We are often guilty of doing the same thing with God. We write our own definition of his identity, his plan and his purposes. But we’re missing knowing him by his own definition.

When it comes to understanding disciplemaking, does it matter how we define things? Is your definition of what God intends for you, your family and your friends as disciplemakers close to the one we find in Scripture?

One of my favorite passages for drawing a well-defined picture of disciplemaking is Deuteronomy 6. I invite you to study & share this chapter together with a friend or family member. Based on this passage, how do you define disciplemaking? How might you be drawing your picture differently than the one you discover here?