Modeling as a profession was first established in 1853 by Charles Frederick Worth, the “father of haute couture,” when he asked his wife, Marie Vernet Worth, to model the clothes he designed.1 The profession has evolved quite a bit from its humble beginnings, but the definition remains the same:
A model is a person with a role to promote, display or advertise commercial products (notably fashion clothing in fashion shows), or to serve as a visual aid for people who are creating works of art or posing for photography. 2
Models help us see the product in action. They show us how those clothes would look in real life on a real person. Well, we say, “Real” but most of us do not look anything like those beautiful models. Much of modeling is getting us to hope or believe that maybe we can look that great.
Business models are the same. They provide a simplified version of complicated (having numerous parts) and complex (those parts have dense interconnections) concepts so that we can comprehend and apply those concepts.3 Beautiful business models contain only those features that are primarily important for our understanding and success. In essence, business models show us how to wear the concept in real life. They give us hope that we will be able to explain, control, and predict events based on past observations.
The Sustainable Discipleship Model™ embodies both types of modeling. It provides a clear example of how to make disciples, and it allows us to understand, explain, control, and predict discipleship. It is a summary of the primary features of successful disciple-making. Twelve years of research and development later,
- It rediscovers God’s simple methods for making disciples.
- It provides a simple definition of the work and the goals of discipleship.
- It reveals an absolutely predictable path that every would-be follower of God will travel as they move toward maturity.
- It documents the four foundational elements of His models.
- It provides seven core practices found in every successful discipleship process.
Sustainable Discipleship works in real life because it is a model. It is adaptable to any church in any culture. You could say it is a universal, stripped-down approach to making disciples. It includes only the most essential elements of disciple-making. You do not have to use specific workbooks or videos. You can use it in any size church.
And, these are not just claims from a beautiful model. This dress looks good on everyone who wears it! It succeeds every time it is applied.
Would you like to understand discipleship better? Would you like to exponentially increase the number of people you help become prepared, confident, and skilled at living the Christian life? Sustainable Discipleship provides an answer.