Episode 142 – Ministry boredom and how to get adults to engage in discipleship

Today we talk with Adrian Schoonmaker about the practical and philosophical realities that make adult discipleship tick. We’ll explore the effects of COVID as well as online church on the world of adult discipleship and share some tips and resources along the way.


  • One of the simplest definitions of discipleship is to simply follow Jesus. It has motion involved. It requires walking along with someone and putting things into practice rather than just teaching.
  • True growth and discipleship happens in community. It takes a life-on-life, incarnational and impartational activity.
  • One of the best ways to get people to engage with something is to be very clear and upfront about helping them to count the cost. Rather than trying to make it sound easy, be clear about how much it will cost as far as time and money goes.
  • People in our churches are often bored and hungry for something big and challenging.
  • We need to make the effort to help people overcome their barriers to discipleship, many of which are cultural. We are missionaries to our cultures even if we grew up in them.
  • Often, our church models make it more difficult for churches to make disciples. We often make it normal for people to see their walk with Jesus as an add-on to our lives rather than our entire life.
  • We tend to think people won’t go all in with something, when we see them do it all the time with their sports and hobbies. We simply have not built the expectations properly. This can be difficult to overcome, but not impossible.
  • It’s possible that churches that emphasize being attractional or seeker sensitive have a harder road to walk when it comes to calling people into being totally committed to their faith because people get used to a comfortable, easygoing church experience.
  • Coming out of COVID, people are hungry for the kind of life-on-life discipleship we’re talking about.
  • The Rooted discipleship experience.
  • Cleansing Stream discipleship material.
  • Some basic, practical steps to increase the level of discipleship in your church or ministry:
    1. Decide what you’re going for: what do you want people to look like?
    2. Go to a church or ministry that’s brimming with the kind of person you’re looking to develop and observe and ask questions to see what they’re doing.
    3. Go catch fire! You will reproduce whatever you are. You need to become the person that you are trying to produce.
  • Connect with Adrian: northcoastleadership.comadrian@northcoastleadership.com
  • Connect with Brandon: brandoncollins.orgbrandon.collins@ministryarchitects.com
  • Connect with Trabelus: trabelus.whitfield@ministryarchitects.com