OUR DISCIPLESHIP STRATEGY
We have a very specific vision and mission. Our vision is what we want to become as a church, and our mission is what we must do to realize our vision.
So, if we are going to realize this vision, then we must do our mission well - and this is where strategy comes in. It can best be summarized this way:
We gather weekly for worship as a church, but we recognize that very few unbelievers even think of "going to church" anymore - and more and more believers who once did, don't anymore either. The "traditional" front door (Sunday worship) is being entered into less and less these days. So, while our strategy continues to offer the traditional front door, we realize the need to open another front door - and we're doing this by equipping those who are entering through our traditional front door (Sunday worship) to be disciples who make disciples.
We recognize that disciple-making (Matthew 28:19-20) is something that people need to be equipped to do, and the way we do this is by inviting everyone who enters our traditional front door to join what we call a "Huddle."
The reason why Huddles are so important to us is because they work! People in our church who are in Huddles have experienced growth as disciples and fruit in disciple-making. Huddles are designed to foster spiritual growth in community and support and encouragement in disciple-making and are led by people who have already been "huddled" for some time and have learned how to lead people in being disciples who make disciples.
Our experience is that as people in Huddles listen to the Lord and discern who God is calling them to disciple, they sense God calling them to at least one of these four kinds of people.
Other Believers God impresses on the hearts of some who are in Huddles to invite other believers to experience what they have experienced. They desire to share the disciple-making equipping and support that they have received in their Huddle, so they invite other believers into a new Huddle so they can experience the same thing.
People of Peace In Luke 9 and 10, Jesus calls His disciples to look for people who don't know Him but who welcome them, listen to them as they share the Good News, and serve them. He says that these people are people "of peace," and He tells His disciples to "stay" with them. God impresses on the hearts of some who are in Huddles to "stay" with (or invest in) their unbelieving People of Peace. If this is the case, their Huddle provides them with the prayer, support, and tools they need to do this.
Family God impresses on the hearts of some who are in Huddles to focus their disciple-making efforts on those in either their immediate or extended family. We believe that the family is fertile ground for disciple-making, so if some sense God calling them to focus their efforts here, their Huddle provides them with the prayer, support, and tools they need to do this.
Ministry (Church or Para-Church) There are many ministries inside and outside the church that God calls people to participate in where they can make disciples. We support this, and if someone senses God calling them to focus their disciple-making efforts in one of them, their Huddle provides them with the prayer, support, and tools they need to do this.
When people in Huddles begin to follow God in His call on them to make disciples with one or more of these kinds of people, THAT'S how the second front door is opened. We call this the "relational front door," and the people we invite to come through this door are people from our neighborhoods and network of family and friends. Some of these people may eventually join us for our Sunday morning worship, but some may not - and we're fine with this. The relational front door is just as important as the traditional front door, because it is through this door that people who are hesitant to "come to church" will be reached with the Gospel message and will grow as disciples of Jesus.
This graphic shows how we view the ministry of Foothills Fellowship as we seek to accomplish our mission of equipping disciples of Jesus to make disciples who make disciples: