As a child, I remember flipping through the human anatomy section in the Encyclopedia Britannica.
As a curious child with an insatiable love for learning—I remember times when I would just open up the encyclopedia and read. My favorite section was the human anatomy, since I wanted to be a doctor. In fact, I vividly remember looking through and being amazed by the layers of complexity that the human body presented.
This section was always several pages long.
In fact, it always stuck out from the other pages in the encyclopedia, since each system in the human body was printed on its own plastic, transparent page.
If you had one of these old-school encyclopedias in front of you, the first system you’d see would be the integumentary system—the body’s outer covering. In other words, you’d see a naked human body with skin, hair, and nails. If you flipped that transparent page over to the next—I apologize for the graphic nature of this next phrase—it would almost be like you were peeling the skin off of a human. You’d be left with the muscular system. If you flipped that page over again, you would see the circulatory system.
With every progressive page turn, you would uncover another system that makes up the human body. The nervous system, the lymphatic system, the skeletal system, and so on.
Just like there are different layers of systems in the human body, so it is with the church.
The systems in your church are designed to work together, like they do in the human body, to help your church function as God intends it to. After all, “God has arranged each one of the parts in the body just as he wanted” (1 Cor. 12:18).
So what exactly are those systems for your church?
While there are many more than just these two, your discipleship pathway and leadership pipeline are what makes up the two core systems that drive everything in your church.
Here’s a quick comparison of the two and how they relate with one another:
- Your discipleship pathway will form your church into missionary disciples, while your leadership pipeline will equip your church to live as missionary disciples
- Your discipleship pathway will shape your people’s character, while your leadership pipeline will develop their competencies
- Your discipleship pathway will transform hearts, while your leadership pipeline will train transforming agents
- Your discipleship pathway will develop, while your leadership pipeline will deploy.
Using an analogy, if your church were a car that had to get to a particular endpoint, which would be the vision, the discipleship pathway would be the fuel, and the leadership pipeline would be the engine.
Both are equally important and have to rely on each other if the car is going to experience any movement.
My book, No Silver Bullets, will help you build and develop a discipleship pathway from scratch.
Now if the necessary systems are already set up in your church, but you aren’t quite sure they are the right ones or if they’re performing at full capacity, then I will help you clarify and tweak them, so that your ministry is unleashed toward greater Kingdom impact.
Learn more by watching the video below and picking up a copy of the book today.
*This was a modified excerpt from my book, No Silver Bullets: Five Small Shifts that will Transform Your Ministry.