Our mission is to help others increase their capacity so they can increasingly love God and others more deeply and serve more effectively. We build capacity in individuals, teams, and churches through training events, coaching relationships, and a variety of ministry resources. 

8 Characteristics of Disciple-Making Relationships

  • Posted on: 20 March 2017
  • By: Randy Wollf

3 women laughing togetherGrowing relationships are an essential component of discipleship in the church. Without relational depth, discipleship suffers.

In this blog, I will describe eight characteristics of effective disciple-making relationships within a larger community.

1. Transparency

In a transparent community, people are open and real with one another. They share successes and struggles. They’re not afraid to deal with tough questions. In fact, when this kind of transparency exists in a church, young people are much more likely to stick with the church as they move into adulthood (see blog on the Hemorrhaging Faith Study).

2. Investment

Developing deep relationships requires a significant investment of time and energy. Are we willing to carve out this space in our busy lives? Of course, maintaining meaningful relationships takes time and effort, as well. When we get close to people, we enter their world—a complex and sometimes messy place. Living in those spaces requires commitment!

For several years, my family participated in missional communities that met in homes. Some people called them “simple church.” Yet, we discovered that even though the structure was simple, the life-on-life discipleship that took place was far from simple. However, the Jesus-followers in effective disciple-making communities are willing to invest deeply in one another’s lives.

3. Levity

When we laugh and enjoy one another, we are in a much better position to go deeper with one another. Levity is the gateway to and moderator of the intensity that is often required for deep discipleship.

4. Intensity

We want to have fun together, but we also need a certain amount of intensity that will position us to press more deeply into one another’s lives. For example, if someone is struggling with a particular temptation, we would want to provide the necessary support and accountability.

5. Prayerfulness

9 Ways to Strengthen Prayer in Your Church

  • Posted on: 14 March 2017
  • By: Randy Wollf

man looking at horizonIt’s five years from now. Amazingly, your church has grown incredibly in the area of prayer. People are setting aside time each day to pray. They’re worshipping Him throughout the day. You see life groups and ministry groups making prayer a central part of their group time. You see a church where God is doing amazing things as He responds to the prayers of His people.

Sound exciting? How do we realize this kind of vision? Here are nine ways to strengthen prayer in your church:

#1 – Enlarge People’s Vision for Prayer

How do we challenge people to grow deeper in prayer? Preaching and teaching on prayer can definitely help. In addition, here is an idea that can blow away people’s conceptions about how God can respond to prayer today. Tell people about some of the spiritual revivals that have happened over the past 300 years (for starters, see The Role of Prayer in Spiritual Awakening video or text version). Knowing how God has responded to concerted, extraordinary prayer in the recent past can inspire us to pray in focused and persistent ways today.

#2 – Equip People to Pray

Most Christians know how to ask God for stuff. Yet, do we truly practice thankfulness, confession, and adoration of God? Do we realize deep down that the goal is not just to pray for a set period each day (as good as that is), but to develop a lifestyle of prayer?

We can teach about prayer through sermons and workshops, but there is nothing quite like combining training with practice. One of the most powerful equipping times for my church leadership team was when we went on a two-day prayer retreat (see 5 Reasons to go on a Prayer Retreat for more on prayer retreats). We all read a book on prayer prior to the retreat, had some training sessions, and then spent time in prayer. It was powerful!

#3 – Build on What is Already Happening

5 Tips for Effective Staff Evaluations

  • Posted on: 6 March 2017
  • By: Randy Wollf

men listening and talkingEffective staff evaluations do not focus on critiquing past performance, but rather supporting, encouraging, and guiding staff members into even greater ministry effectiveness in the future. Taking time to assess past performance can translate into future growth for both the staff person and the organization. Growing leaders grow healthy organizations. 

Here are five tips to help you make the staff evaluation process as beneficial as possible:

Tip #1 - Focus on Strengths

How many staff evaluations end up focusing on weaknesses? We identify a key weakness and then expect the staff member to devote considerable time and energy to strengthening that “growth area.” Of course, we all need to shore up areas of weakness that may be hindering us from really moving a ministry forward. However, this can be very discouraging for a staff member if taken too far (not too many people like to focus on their weaknesses for prolonged periods of time). It also doesn’t account for the role of team members who may be able to offset the staff member’s weaker areas. In my blog, Four Reasons Why You Should Invest in Your Strengths, I argue that focusing on strengths often results in much higher returns within a ministry while helping staff members feel engaged in their work.

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