Tag: Disciple making churches

22: Will Mancini – Stop Faking Disciples & Real Church Growth

22: Will Mancini – Stop Faking Disciples & Real Church Growth

Breakthrough ideas with Will:

  • Will Mancini thinks that the Program-Church Paradigm must soon come to an end.
  • Will Mancini unpacks the “Functional Great Commission” and involvement in church stuff rather than disciple-making.
  • Does your church activity lead people to life on life disciple-making?
  • The local church is not only a community of belief; it must be a community of practice as well.
  • Program Church was a viable model for a long time, creating an illusion of fluency around disciple-making through attendance in worship or groups. Probably not much longer.
  • Every church is both making and faking disciples to some degree.
  • Our best churches are beginning to experience a significant decline in attendance, even with what would have been considered relevant, engaging services ten years ago.
  • Does counting engagement instead of attendance address the more significant problem of not making disciples at our church?
  • What is real church growth? It is the idea that we can be vital and influential in our community through a commitment to both the organization and individual disciple-making.
  • Does your programming exist to support and nurture disciple-making?
  • What if the most important crowd in your church was the sphere of influence Monday-Saturday of those who show up on Sunday morning?
  • The people connected to the people of your church could be your most important crowd. Your church has a more significant footprint of influence for the gospel than you know.
  • What if you shifted your focus to impact the “cloud crowd” not the Sunday crowd?
  • Real church growth starts first with a culture of mission, not with a culture of worship.
  • Mission always precedes worship. Before we respond to the worship of God, we must respond to the mission of God.
  • What connects your people emotionally to the church? Most churches would revolve around one of four, temporal connections. Will Mancini shares the four.
  • You only have a church to the degree that there are people who are more connected to the mission of Jesus than they are to the building, to a class or group, to a particular program, or the personality of a leader.
  • There is a difference in the size of your ministry and the size of your church. You don’t have a church if people are not connected first to the mission of Christ at your church.
  • Content has now become a cultural commodity… there has to be more to your church than teaching because better teaching exists in abundance online.
  • What if your church moved from a teaching center to a training center?
  • Real church growth can happen, but it will not happen fast or without investment.
  • The more willing you are to pause and reflect on life, the abler you are to experience progress.


15: Doug Paul – East End Fellowship, Richmond VA

15: Doug Paul – East End Fellowship, Richmond VA

Breakthrough ideas with Doug:

  • How does a church begin as an accidental church plant?
  • If the Kingdom of God were to come to your town, would it look like your church?
  • Is a church a church until they hold their first worship service?
  • How does a church formalize a public witness as the body of Christ gathered?
  • What is our discipleship model? Does it work? – Core questions for every church according to Dallas Willard.
  • What are the character and competencies of Jesus that are transferrable to every member of your church? Here is one church’s approach.
  • The Five Fold Skills of East End Fellowship – the core things that every church leader should know and do.
  • Everybody says we need to make disciples, but in the end, are they just promoting another class or programmatic event? We must move into the marks of a growing disciple.
  • We signed up for the revolution of the Kingdom of God, and somewhere along the way ended up running a church. Just ask Doug.
  • Very few people have experienced life on life disciple-making, much less most of our church leaders. Here’s why.
  • What prompted your pastoral calling to begin with? Was it running more programs or reaching and discipling more people?
  • Are your people taking spiritual responsibility for being and making disciples? These are.
  • What if your church “normal” was everyone growing in a disciple-making relationship?
  • How do leaders move out of a programmatic cycle of ministry administration and into a disciple-making rhythm of growth?
  • What would happen if your church members did what Jesus said to do?
  • As it turns out, Jesus is the best disciple maker who ever lived.
  • If a church is thriving and flourishing, it is always through a team more than one leader.
  • What happens when the mission of your church moves from being run as an organization to being owned by every member?
  • Are we about the image of God in everyone or just in those who are most comfortable for us to reach?
  • Saying no to a lot of what you used to say yes to improves missional effectiveness and fights volunteer burnout.
  • How do you contextualize the mission of God in your neighborhood? Here’s how one church does it.
  • What is the most natural next step for your community to become a part of the body of Christ? Is it necessarily attending a service on Sunday morning?
  • What are the most effective ministry vehicles to carry your vision?
  • Do you care more about Justice or Jesus? How the missional movement can seem to be sidetracked.
  • How do you live in the tension of the whole of the Gospel?
  • Fight for being as passionate about personal holiness as we are communal holiness. Be as moved about your sins as you are societies ills.
  • Are we as moved to comment about our sin as much as we do government and community?
  • Are you a church in reaction to something or conviction of something? Here’s the difference.
  • If we are looking at what the next generation will wrestle with in the gospel… it will be between social justice and personal conviction.
  • What does a diverse, urban church ministry to reaching the millennial generation look like?
  • What if everything that you do in ministry up until age 55 was training for ministry from ages 55 to 75?
  • Stop leading ministry as if you have something to prove and instead becoming living proof of the gospel.
  • Are you sharing the good news of Jesus or the good behavior of a church member?
  • Discipleship is not an option… it is central to the good news of Jesus.


Breakthrough resources in this episode:

EastEndFellowship Kickstart Resources    Password: NoPlanB

Master Plan of Evangelism by Robert Coleman

The Divine Conspiracy by Dallas Willard

The Best Christmas Pageant Ever by Barbara Robinson


Doug currently helps pastor a team-led church in the inner city of Richmond, VA. He’s the former Global Strategy Director for 3DM, has planted a multiplying missional church, transitioned a mega-church, and was a Teaching Pastor and Multi-Site Director at a multi-site mega church.

Additionally, he has come alongside a myriad of businesses, non-profits, and churches. Doug specializes in re-brands, creating savvy marketing execution and bringing strategic business innovation to increase disciple-making effectiveness. He’s married to Elizabeth, a C-Suite advertising & brand executive for MullenLowe US. They have three precocious and joy-filled kids: Avery, Jude and Sam. And quite recently, they brought a Great Dane puppy into the family!