Are You Ready for a Fresh Encounter with Jesus?

“Many of Christ’s initial disciples were teenagers.”

That one simple statement from a college professor, along with a study of the Harmony of the Gospels and Jesus’ leadership methods, sparked the supernatural movement of Sonlife. In September of 1979, the first Sonlife Strategy Conference convened with 22 youth pastors in Wheaton, Illinois.

We’re as committed today as we were then to training next generation leaders in developing disciple-making ministries. Over 750,000 leaders have been through some aspect of Sonlife training. Over 50 organizations globally have identified Sonlife as their training partner. Generations of disciple-makers have been multiplied and sent out into the harvest field.

After years of careful study of the Life of Christ, we’ve become convinced that Matthew 28:18-20 is the most concise summary of Christ’s life on earth. Our charge is to study Christ’s life and to perpetuate His life mission. Everything we have learned about Christ’s life has taught us that His purpose was about creating a movement of multiplication that would result in the fulfillment of the Great Commission.

Imagine if… 30,000 ministries in North America would commit to being disciple-multiplying ministries focused on personal and corporate multiplication.

Imagine if… because of their love for Christ and the desire to “bear much fruit” and “glorify the Father” (John 5:18), these ministries set a prayer and faith goal to see 10 new converts become a part of their ministry for every 100 believers (10% new conversion growth).

Imagine if… because of their desire to multiply corporately, these ministries set a prayer and faith goal of planting a new church or sending out a new missionary every third year.

The impact would be staggering!

In one year, we could double the number of converts and almost triple the number of church plants and missionaries being sent out. Just by the church being the church.

Jesus invited all who would follow Him into this life-changing adventure of making disciples. Passionate Christ-followers who live out the Great Commandment and the Great Commission should be the norm in the church, not the exception. But are they? Would you be surprised to learn that…

  • 80% or more of Churches in North America are in decline.
  • We are losing ground culturally as the percentage of evangelicals in the U.S. has dropped from 17% to 12%.
  • It takes one hundred church attendees, a pastor, and $100,000 a year to bring one person to Christ.

Have we settled for a discipleship, as Bill Hull writes in Jesus Christ, Disciplemaker, that is only “in house and non-reproductive?”

One definition of insanity is to keep doing the same things but expect different results. Do we expect our ministries to produce disciples who make disciples? Can we afford to keep doing ministry the same way we’ve always done it?

This blog reflects our desire to provide ministry leaders with a fresh encounter with Jesus as our model for making and multiplying disciples.

In Psalm 78:72 we read, “And David shepherded them with integrity of heart; with skillful hands he led them.”

Being an effective leader is about both the heart AND the hands. Sometimes, this blog will focus on the heart. Let’s seek Jesus together, see who He is, connect with His heart and let Him shape ours for the people He’s called us to serve. Other times, this blog will focus on the hands. You don’t just need theory, theology, or principles. You need more than that. You need the practical skills, insights from those who have been in the trenches making disciples in the real world, encouragement from a leader who has faced the same challenges you are facing.

Together, let’s make and multiply disciples as we follow Jesus, modeling His character and His priorities!