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What does the future of your ministry look like? Is it focused on the good news (Gospel) of Jesus AND design? Why should it?

The premise of this article is all about being intentional about the experiences Jesus’ disciples are having. Jesus had an end game in mind. The way he discipled wasn’t random. It didn’t “just happen”.Intentional Discipleship

How many programs and services do you have? How many channels (Web, Social, Mobile, Call Center, Direct Mail, etc.) are you focused on? Do they all have a unified design and experience?

Good News (Gospel) + Design = Intentional disciple experiences

We are clear about the Good News (Gospel) of Jesus. Are we clear about our design? So you are thinking, what does Jesus care about “design” for? I am thinking Jesus spent a lot of time on “intentional design”. Why did he create so many parables? Why did he want a donkey to ride into Jerusalem on? Jesus is intentional.

If not, we aren’t ready to be the digital ministry of the future. If we aren’t ready to be a digital ministry, we aren’t ready for the future. If we aren’t ready for the future, will we be relevant 5 to 10 years from now? Tough questions I know but worth considering.

This may be very new for you. God is intentional that we need to be open. Consider this:

Forget the former things; do not dwell on the past. See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it?” ~God

Source: Isaiah 43:18-21 TNIV Bible

So here are a couple more of intriguing questions:

  • How do we ensure that Jesus’ disciples are having an amazing experience with Jesus?
  • Why make disciples cope with the ordinary? Isn’t Jesus all about the extraordinary?
  • Why aren’t disciples more engaged with both our mission and revenue opportunities?

Our focus and day to day work should be about creating “discipleship experiences” in this new age of the connected disciple. What is going on in the rest of the digital world isn’t lost on Jesus’ disciples. They are evaluating our ministry based on those experiences. We can bury our head in the sand. That will only get the message of Jesus left behind.

Disciples expect more from ministries than ever before. So our mission, programs and services have a level of expectation that our ministry may not be aware of. The support of Jesus’ disciples, contributors, members and volunteers have is not necessarily drive by our mission. It is driven by their experience of the ministry and the relationships they have with us. Does God expect us to reach the world? Has He given us the tools (think digital) to do it? Are they being fully utilized in our ministry?

Here is the harsh reality. Jesus’ disciples not only expect better experiences with your ministry, they believe that God wants them to have them. Will we be intentional in delivering on those expectations? Are we ready to get left behind with stagnant growth if we don’t deliver those disciple experiences? We may not be ready for that but it may already be happening. I encourage you to please think about it. It is a good question to ponder.

There is a unique opportunity to create amazing and positive experiences at our services, on the web, on the phone (do you have a call center?), on smart phones and in our direct mail pieces. Are all of those unified? Is the experience amazing?

That amazing or ordinary (or perhaps even bad) experience will be how our ministry is measured in terms of engagement or even our fundraising success. Do we know how Jesus’ disciples feel about the experience they are having with your ministry? If we don’t know, why don’t we? Are we being intentional about that experience they just had with at the service? Is it consistent with the experience they want on your web site?

Here are the key ideas:

  • Design intentional discipleship experiences
  • Listen to disciples to hear what kind of experience they are having
  • Serve others by delivering the amazing