To make disciples effectively, Steve Lutz, author, digital discipler, speaker, says we have to know which of the five groups we are trying to engage and their unique needs.
He explains that we could slice up the groups of people we’re addressing in a variety of ways, but for simplicity’s sake, he list five:
- The Apatheists. Whether or not they say they believe in God, they don’t know and they don’t particularly care (Romans 1:21). They may or may not be aware of your church or ministry, but getting them to show any interest is a challenge. Depending on which surveys you read, a significant number of professing Christians are functionally in this group.
- The Curious. They are not believers. They have questions — lots of them. They have doubts, and fears, and probably some baggage. But they hang around on the edges, dipping their toes in, wanting to know more about this Jesus guy and the people who follow him. Jesus had many people like this following him, lingering at the edge of the crowd (Luke 9:11). Today, the first place they linger is online.
- The Converts. They moved from dipping the toe to immersing the whole body — they’re in! But as Christ-followers, they haven’t done much yet. There’s a lot they don’t know. As spiritual babies, they need to be fed and nurtured into maturity, or they could end up stunted (1 Peter 2:2).
- The Disciples. They are no longer spiritual infants, (Ephesians 4:14). They possess the spiritual maturity to be self-feeders. They display various marks of being disciples. However, there’s one more way to grow.
- The Disciple-Makers. Their spiritual maturity is in full bloom as they reproduce listen to them as they say “Follow me as I follow Christ,” (1 Corinthians 11:1).
For more information on Stephen Lutz, and his website: https://stephenlutz.medium.com, and for the full article see https://stephenlutz.medium.com/do-yo-know-who-youre-talking-to-59af56fe10.
Steve has published two books related to campus ministry: College Ministry in a Post-Christian Culture, 2011, and King on the Campus, 2013. I give the books both 5 stars ⭐︎⭐︎⭐︎⭐︎⭐︎