As with anything all this discipleship emphasize has vision that is being clarified over time. I want to explain the main building blocks and their purposes as well as the process that has happened to get things where they are right now. It is time to let you know what is going on and offer a better explanation of things. Clarity is very important and this is getting clearer as we go!
Step 1: Mattdabbs.com vs Wineskins.org – Differentiating the Sites
I realized that I was writing equally at Wineskins.org and Mattdabbs.com and that the platforms weren’t well differentiated. They were serving the same purposes. Wineskins was always meant to be a collaborative site but I wasn’t doing a very good job running the site (if I am being completely transparent). Why would someone to go one or the other if they would both just hear me at both places?
So I started knocking on doors. I contacted my Wineskins.org writers and asked for their help. We set up a deadline system, which I had resisted for the last 4 years. I set the themes a year in advance instead of a month in advance to give people time to plan. The result was over 100 article commitments in a week. That number is growing.
This allows me to still write some at Wineskins.org but get it back to its original intention as a collaborative writing project.
Step 2 – Refocus Mattdabbs.com on discipleship
The next step was further defining the purpose of this blog. Was this to be a blog of random theological posts? Could we have more focus?
The answer is yes and the specific answer and conviction is discipleship. Why discipleship? It is the most biblical thing we do the least of. It is our biggest need as a fellowship (Churches of Christ) moving forward.
Step 3 – Differentiate things on social media
I realized I was posting links to the same article on my personal Facebook page and the Wineskins facebook page and twitter. I wasn’t doing this well. It wasn’t engaging. It wasn’t appealing, in my opinion. It wasn’t growing as I hoped it would.
I started a new Facebook page for this site (mattdabbs.com) to focus on discipleship so that these discipleship posts wouldn’t flood the Wineskins Facebook page. If people want one, the other, or both they know where to get them. But no more mass linking of all the same content to all of my platforms. It was too much noise. This also allows me to post some links on my personal Facebook page but I will be posting more personal things there and having other discussions there to keep things clear.
Step 4 – The new Matt Dabbs Discipleship Facebook page was born.
What is its purpose? It is a place for me to listen. I am not an expert in discipleship but I am convicted it is what I need to be doing and learning how to do better. As I am writing resources on discipleship at this site the links will go to that page. I am also asking questions and putting other thoughts on that page that you won’t find on this site. This is place for me to have a sounding board and conversation with those interested specifically in discipleship and where people can follow the resources I am producing, out of that conversation, on this blog.
Step 5 – Instagram on discipleship was born
I started an instagram account to post some discipleship tips and encouragement. This is accountability for me as I get my heart, mind and body disciplined. You can follow that here – https://www.instagram.com/dabbs.matt/
Step 6 – Engage ministers and churches in this conversation
I haven’t taken this step yet but once we get enough content and conversation to add value to someone looking to get into this with their congregation I plan on reaching out to other ministers and asking for their buy in, to help start more discipling movements in our churches. This will require me to get more resources produced, based on our conversations that people can walk through – to create a clear path that people can pick up and run with. That is in the works!
Step 7 – Here is where I need your input
I am considering one more platform to further our conversation – a Facebook group on discipleship. What makes this different than Matt Dabbs Discipleship is this would be a group, not a page. That means anyone in the group could post. I believe this would help our discussion. I would like to limit the group to people who are either already discipling someone or have a strong desire to do so but don’t feel ready yet and want to learn.
What do all of you think about that?
Thanks for listening…there are good things ahead. I have had several messages from congregations and ministers who are very interested in getting their churches involved in this conversation! Praise God for that.
The facebook group page could give an opportunity, I think at least, to give individuals so inclined to post more detail. That being said, you would have an administrative task of monitoring it very close or making it a closed group. Too many groups that I have been part of have been blasted by various ads made to look like posts. Not to mention other less than virtuous hacks. Just my thoughts.
Thank you Michael. I see it as being a closed group with the criteria for being involved in it as: either currently discipling someone or being discipled by someone (I left that out in the post) or having a desire to be in a discipling relationship in the near future and needing equipped. I see this as a group of encouragement and resource sharing. Not a place for debates and doctrinal squabbles!