Whole-Life Discipleship in Action

Disciple all of Life

Our lives as humans are made of up faith (what we believe), work (what we do), and economics (the relationships we maintain). In the following videos produced by the Made to Flourish Network, Tom Nelson highlights the transformation he's seen as a pastor when he engaged in holistic discipleship. God's people can serve Him and glorify Him best when ever sphere of their lives is brought into submission to His will. In this first video, Tom, the Senior Pastor of Christ Community Church in Leawood, Kansas, surfaces the value that work has in Christian development.

We grow as disciples of Christ best in the place we spend most of our time. As a pastor, you have the privilege of teaching your congregation on Sunday, but they apply what they learned Monday through Friday. If you disciple your people to view their work as the location of their worship and spiritual growth, they will bring a renewed passion back with them on Sunday.

Your people are spiritually formed where they spend most of their time. How do you equip your people for spiritual growth throughout the week? How does that affect their work?
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The purpose of the Christian life is worship, formation, and mission. As you look at your congregation, how do you equip each of your people to succeed in those three areas throughout the week?
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What can you do (through your preaching and teaching, or through church programs) to challenge people to both grow in holiness at work as well as serve and glorify God in their work?
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It may seem like a lofty goal—equipping a congregation to engage in worship, formation, and mission in their workplaces and at home. As pastors, we typically think of those three areas as things exclusive to church. But if we apply what Tom has argued, our people can grow as servants of Jesus.

It Really Works

The endeavor of whole-life discipleship isn't easy. In this next video, Tom shares his experiences as he came to realize the importance of growing a whole Christian. 

Tom saw his ministry, his church, and their combined spiritual growth as impoverished because he didn't work to disciple his congregation in whole-life Christianity. A significant portion of their lives—the work week—went unaddressed. That began to change when Tom and his church decided to focus on growth as whole people: both Sunday and Monday. 

What weakness, if any, does your church have in developing whole-life disciples of Jesus? Where could you improve? What do you do well already?
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In this last video, Tom encourages pastors. Intentionally working to connect a congregation's understanding of how their faith influences their work creates an environment of flourishing life. 

When the congregation realized that the gospel could fill every nook and cranny of their lives, they began to grow and flourish. Tom's example shows the importance of discipling the whole life of a  believer. 

What would your church look like if everyone were growing both on Sunday and the rest of the week?
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What stands out about Tom's experiences? What encourages you? What challenges you?
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How can you begin to work toward (or improve) whole-life discipleship in your church this week?
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Believers are called to worship God, grow in Christ-likeness, and carry His mission forward. As a pastor, you can equip the Christians in your church to worship, develop, and go on mission in the context of their jobs. Disciple the whole person—church, work, and play—and teach your congregation to do everything for the glory of God.

Don't embark on the process of helping your church integrate faith and work alone. You have help. To find out more about the ministry of Made to Flourish or to find out to become a part of the pastors' network, click here.