I was reminded recently of a timeless principle, “first discipleship, then leadership.” This was reinforced while I was with one of our church plants last Sunday, The Well Community Church, started and led by Matt Klingler.
While at The Well, I sat with founding members Blaise and his wife Mabilia, and met their friends they invited who don’t know Jesus yet. Blaise is one of just a few men nominated and preparing for the first elder team to shepherd and oversee The Well together with Matt. He exemplifies love for people both inside and outside their church family.
During Sunday’s worship service, Eric and Lisa, another couple in leadership at The Well, gave an inspiring update about their Community Group. Their Group selflessly loves and reaches out to a very diverse refugee community in the Silver Spring area, many who are from countries overtly opposed to the Christian faith. In addition to leading their Community Group, Eric has recently become one of the pastors serving on Matt’s staff team at The Well.
What do Blaise and Eric have in common? Both are obviously engaged in significant leadership at The Well. However, what may not be as obvious is that Matt poured himself into these men to become faithful disciples of Jesus. A few years back, when The Well was just a handful of people, Matt invested significant time in Blaise and Eric in a disciple formation group. They connected relationally to share life together, they discussed how they were personally applying Scripture, and they also asked each other probing character formation questions in an environment of grace. Not only did they discuss their growth as disciples, they also prayed for others and discussed how they were moving toward not yet believers in their relational networks. This little discipleship band wasn’t highly visible to many at the time. However, it was like the ministry of Jesus when he discipled a few, who later became key leaders in his disciple-making movement and church. Being with Blaise and Eric last Sunday reminded me that Matt got it right, “first discipleship, then leadership.”
Thank you for partnering with SENT Network as we seek to reproduce gospel-centered disciples of Jesus who love their neighbors!
Executive Director | Equipper