Re-Commission your congregation to increase the church commitment to make disciple-makers!

Simple Discipleship Blog

What is the intent of The Great Commission given by Jesus Christ in Matthew 28:18-20? Many Christians in the 21st century fail to see themselves as disciples of Christ and some may not comprehend the meaning of being “followers of Christ.” It is obvious to most Christian leaders whether they serve in volunteer or vocational ministry that Jesus intended for all Christians to be disciples and more than that, he intended for all Christians to be disciple-making disciple-makers. His desire is that immediately upon receiving Christ and being filled and empowered by the Holy Spirit, every Christian is to make disciples.


For many Christian leaders The Great Commission is a two-step process—baptism (conversion/evangelism) and teaching all that Jesus Christ commanded (discipleship). In a sense, Jesus never intended for making disciples to be a two-stage process. Even so, it is tragic that so…

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Are you making disciple-makers?

Simple Discipleship Blog

19364327_sAfter over twenty years serving as a pastor of churches, my “tent-making” job is that of working as a leadership trainer and executive sales coach for a training company. The experience has been enlightening and challenging. In every class or coaching session I ask the client, “What do you want to do after the class or session that you not currently doing?” This is a great question for pastors preparing for preaching and teaching but it is also a question we need to ask of every Christian and church.

Consider the following passage:

Matthew 4:18-22

18Jesus, walking by the Sea of Galilee, saw two brothers, Simon called Peter, and Andrew his brother, casting a net into the sea; for they were fishermen. 19Then He said to them, “Follow Me, and I will make you fishers of men.” 20They immediately left their nets and followed Him. 21Going…

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Start a Christian Coaching Ministry

A Christian Life-Coaching ministry may be an innovative church growth element.

Simple Discipleship Blog

This is THE most popular post for the last two years. Now I am ready to help your church start a Christian coaching ministry. We also provide Executive Ministry Coaching. The parent company for Simple Discipleship is RENOVA Coaching and Consulting LLC. We are partnering with a coach training organization to provide certified coach training at three levels…1) Certified Christian Coach, 2) Certified Disciple Coach, and 3) Certified Wellness Coach. Go to for more information.

Churches have been slow to use coaching as a method of equipping in various areas such as life, leadership, marriage, career, wellness, and yes, spiritual formation and growth. In 2001 Gary Collins expressed concern that while coaching was the “hottest” new profession in America, virtually no churches were using it (Christian Coaching, 15). In 2003 Reggie McNeal recommended that churches provide life coaching for spiritual formation (The Present Future, 77). It…

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SBC leaders are calling for a new emphasis on PRACTICAL disciple-making. That’s what I said years ago!

Simple Discipleship Blog

Transformational DiscipleshipIn June 2010 I wrote a review of Transformational Church which may interest readers. The follow-up book, Transformational Discipleship was recently released with great fanfare and high hopes, two years after its forerunner.  People interested in church leadership and discipleship will want to read Transformational Discipleship. The three authors, Eric Geiger, Michael Kelley, and Phillip Nation traded off writing throughout the book with seamless expertise. As with many books on discipleship, the authors layout their convincing case of why churches are ineffective at making disciples.  They aptly point out that “not all discipleship is transformational” (Kindle Location 159).  They further pointed out that transformational discipleship is the primary job of the church and to be deficient in making disciples means that the church is deficient in her “reason for existence (Kindle Location 173). They stated more clearly and succinctly that discipleship is not disseminating information nor is it behavioral…

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Not THE 10 questions but some you haven’t thought of. Viewed 14k times.

Simple Discipleship Blog

Copyright: dedmazay / 123RF Stock Photo Copyright: dedmazay / 123RF Stock Photo

Most pastors and church staff I know say that one of their least favorite things to do is to go through the process of seeking a new place of ministry. Each staff or pastor search committee is different as they reflect the personalities of the committee and the culture of the church. The committee places candidates “on trial” in a time consuming rigorous process in order to call the right person to serve their church. Here are six insights into how your search committee can improve the process:

1.       Should the interim pastor be a candidate for the position?

Question 1 presents a dilemma and there are strong differences of opinion. Some denominational leaders favor excluding the interim pastor from consideration from the start and have sometimes set themselves up as the de facto human resources department for churches in their association. This writer…

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Reposting some SD articles since relaunching the new site.

Simple Discipleship Blog

STRONGSDSince my book, Simple Discipleship, published in 2009 I have talked with many pastors who read the book and wanted to rush back to their church and start their new disciple-making process the next week. However, remaking and shaping a disciple-making culture takes prayer, preparation, and…time. It has taken years for many churches to devolve from effectively making disciples so changing the current inertia will require hard work and time implementing simple discipleship principles. The process as outlined in the book includes proven methods of initiating change in a church. The rest of this article outlines a four-year plan for establishing and solidifying a disciple-making process.

A few churches using the Simple Discipleship process were successful at implementing but within a couple of years they were struggling to maintain momentum. In some cases the resistance to the new process came from some who refused to allow the church to change…

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52 WEEKS OF DISCIPLESHIP- Week 3: Holiness

52 Weeks of Discipleship is based on works by Tom Cocklereece, Simple Discipleship (2009) and The Laws of Discipleship (yet to be published).

13075243_sThe making of a disciple may be compared to a jeweler shaping a raw diamond. After a raw diamond is cut in two halves, the jeweler determines the shape and cut based on the shape and size of the raw gem. Nothing is wasted in the cutting and grinding process as even the diamond dust is saved for use in the making of drill bits and saw blades.

Likewise, God is the master jeweler and disciple-maker who determine the size and shape of each finished disciple. Disciples are cut and ground through the difficulties of life. Nothing is wasted in the production of a disciple.

  • Your financial struggles and giving of tithes and offerings shape your faith and determine your loyalties. Matthew 6:24
  • Your loyalty to Jesus in difficult times proclaims to people whom you really serve. John 18:15-26
  • How and to whom you pray is an indicator of your allegiance to Jesus. Luke 18:9-14
  • Your willingness to submit to God as he allows difficulty and suffering is directly proportional to the amount of Jesus-light you will eventually reflect. John 9:1-3; Romans 12:1-2

An ideal brilliant round cut diamond reflects the most light of any other comparable gem and has 58 facets. Almost half or 43% of the facets are on the underside part of a diamond called the pavilion.

The same is true of a disciple of Jesus. Each facet is cut so that the completed disciple reflects the most light of Jesus and many of the facets are never seen by other people. These unseen facets represent the qualities of character-shaping and the degree to which the disciple reflects the character of Christ.

Best illustrated with a diamond, the largest single surface or facet of a diamond is the table. The table is on top of the gem and is the shape of an octagon having 8 angles. The table collects the most light of any facet on the diamond which is refracted and reflected back out of all of the facets. If the table facet is covered or marred, the diamond will reflect little light. Nobody would buy a diamond like that. Likewise, a disciple of Jesus collects the most light through holiness and living the eight character traits represented by each angle of the octagonal facet of diamond discipleship.

There are 8 elements of holiness that make up one’s character:

  1. Obedience– behaving and living according to God’s Word
  2. Loyalty– a commitment to devotion and duty to the Lord
  3. Truth– Committed to God’s Word and seeking truth
  4. Honesty– Committed to the consistency of truth-telling without retelling, nuance, and reframing the truth
  5. Justness– fairness and impartial treatment of all people
  6. Love/Respect/Fear of the Lord– 1) FoL- respecting and reverencing the Lord; 2) loving & respecting others even if different race, belief, or religion, i.e. enemies
  7. Compassion/Courage– Compassion and Courage work in tandem to lead one to act in one of two ways:
    1. Reactive Courage is when one acts impulsively to assist another person from danger
    2. Moral Courage is when one acts intentionally on the basis of intrinsic moral values to assist another person under threat or danger
  8. Integrity– Honesty with self about one’s sin & weakness

What points of character do you need to work on so your life reflects the most light of Jesus?


Dr. Tom Cocklereece is CEO of RENOVA Coaching and Consulting, LLC. He has 20 years of experience as a pastor, and is an author, certified professional coach and coach trainer, leadership specialist, and an independent Coach/Teacher/Speaker for the John Maxwell Team

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