I helped a community daycare triple their profits a few years ago. I listened as the board shared stories of the daycare’s past success. I also heard their frustration at shrinking enrollments despite their community growing. They were down eighty kids over five years, and the mounting deficits were crippling them. The great people who began the project had long since left taking with them the passion and the plan to provide low-cost, quality daycare to the community. The new board had no ownership. Neither the director, staff, nor board had a clear plan to market, manage, or measure their success. There was no control over cash and finances. There were no accountability or reward plans for employees. Worse, there was no marketing—there was not even a sign in front of their new building!

We worked together to develop a simple, three year, no-frills business plan detailing specific goals for marketing, operations, pricing, and management. The chairman began to get involved. He hired an experienced director and pushed the staff to carry out the plan. The daycare moved back towards its original passion and began intentionally providing daycare to the community. They got excited. Teachers and parents talked. They even put a sign out front. And, you guessed it, enrollment grew, deficits turned into profits, and the board sensed a reason for existing.

We all know that we are supposed to make disciples. We want to make fully devoted followers of Christ, but so often we are just doing daycare. We are making disciples, but we are operating at a deficit. We do not have enough disciple-makers. We do not have enough people who want to be discipled. And, most often, we do not have a clear plan for what we will do to “make disciples.”

Everything changed for us when we got a plan. Discipleship began to have a measurable impact in people’s lives. People became interested in becoming disciples and making disciples. Disciples and disciple-makers talked discipleship up. We even began to advertise that we disciple. And, you guessed it, involvement grew, and we rediscovered our reason for being. It all started with a clear, simple, measurable plan.

There is no greater privilege than making disciples–that is, people who are prepared, confident, and skilled at following God. People who are thriving because they are living out his plan to have abundant life.

  • Do you have a documented step by step plan to help people discover God’s truths and apply them?
  • How would you define discipleship if you could not use the words discipleship, disciple, education, or making disciples?
  • What is the end goal of your disciple-making—like what should they look like when they are done with discipleship?
  • If 200 people showed up at your door demanding to be made disciples, what would you do?

We need to be ready before they show up!