The one word that will change your disciple making

The summer in any church is a time of different rhythms. This is particularly true for campus churches. We send students to leadership training programs, have smaller cookouts and lower key worship times, and some of us (the Hables(!) are raising financial support. This season allows for those of us in leadership to hone our craft through conferences, time with the Lord, and lots of reading.

Through my (Alan) reading, I’ve had one word rise to the top that causes me to think better about the way I do discipleship. It shows me how my marriage is a tool for discipleship. It shows me how I take care of my house is a tool for discipleship. It’s a concept that I’ve gotten as I’ve tried to live closer to students, but the word gives me language to talk about it. So what is this magic word?


By giving those I lead access to my life, they get to see what somebody walking with God further down the road goes through. And that idea has sat in my heart for many years, but the word, access, gives it some teeth. I’ve seen it all over in my life this summer, but particularly in a book that our staff team has been reading together called Building a Discipling Culture by Mike Breen (Amazon).

The whole book is about disciple making, but something about how it described access struck me. It has me asking a few questions that I would encourage you to ask yourself:

Who has total access to my life? Who are the people that can call, can stop by, can watch in and listen and learn from the way I do life? It’s important to invite this, because our culture doesn’t lean anywhere close to this direction. More fences, more closed doors, and more personal space mean it’s not normal to swing by unannounced.

What’s keeping me back from giving access? This is a big call to being a disciple of Christ myself. I have to be willing to let people see my flaws and be called towards Jesus’ character.

How can I encourage access throughout the church? “The light shines in the darkness and the darkness has not overcome it.” (John 1:5) By encouraging access to our own lives, we shine light on any sin that may be trying to hide. We have to be the leaders in this. The hope is to see it trickle down to others. It’s not about programs or initiatives. It’s about culture. It takes time. Keep fighting for it, though, it’s worth it.

What are your thoughts on access?

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