Skip to main content

The More Disciples Podcast | Episode 16

In today’s world, where diverse church models are arising, Ron Johnson is pioneering a sweet spot at the intersection of leadership and discipleship. As an innovative approach to impactful ministry, Ron shares his journey through the hybrid model in his conversation on the More Disciples podcast.

Navigating the Balance of Hybrid Church Models

The hybrid church model balances the traditional church approach and the More Disciples movement’s approach. Johnson elaborates that this model maintains the customary church events like Sunday services while also integrating disciple-making techniques and practices from the More Disciples initiative. His church handles this balance by focusing on continuous training at all levels.

The More Disciples Model

Ron Johnson’s decision to incorporate the More Disciples initiative into his church came from recognizing the need for a shift from church growth to kingdom growth and from knowledge-based discipleship to obedience-based discipleship. This integrative approach created a dual focus on reaching out as many people as possible, yet focusing on disciples’ quality. This move did not demote the traditional church model but merged it with a more expansive and multiplication-focused approach.

Making the Shift Happen

Moving from one model to another isn’t easy. Johnson explains that the shift was less of a radical, explosive alteration and more of subtle changes over time. The COVID-19 pandemic was an accelerator for this shift, as it offered a disruption to the typical church service and a space to experiment with new strategies. Johnson and his team prudently decided to retain elements of their existing model which they loved and found effective, while also incorporating new approaches inspired by the More Disciples movement.

In his church, the transformed church experience retained many elements of the traditional church, such as Sunday services, but infused church activities with a movement-minded focus on disciple-making and community impact.

The Fruit of the Hybrid Model

Johnson emphasizes that the fruit of this model is what gives his team hope. They are seeing tangible results and growth, even while recognizing that development in a western context, particularly among post-Christian Denverites, can often be slower and harder. Despite the challenges, they are witnessing baptisms each week and continuous growth in their church’s reach.

The hybrid church model demonstrates that you don’t have to abandon your existing model entirely to incorporate new techniques into your ministry. By blending traditional practices with disciple-making techniques, you can strike a balance that fosters a vibrant, impactful church community.

Prayer as a Pillar of a Hybrid Model

Apart from the recognized strategies, Johnson also emphasizes the role of prayer as being paramount to the success of the hybrid model. He affirms that continuous communion with God anchors their activities, providing guidance and strength required to navigate and sustain such a complex church model.

Multiplication As An Objective

The aim of the hybrid model is not just about growth but multiplication. Churches are encouraged to invest in local leadership development to spur the local replication of their models. By empowering leaders at different levels, Johnson hopes to create a healthy chain of leadership succession and multiplication.

This model creates a path for simultaneous growth, both within the traditional church setting and in the More Disciples movement, creating a broader impact. Even though this journey requires careful negotiation of time, energy, and resources, the fruit is undeniably enriching.

The Hope For More Hybrid Models

The future is ripe for more hybrid models in different churches. Johnson is positive that as more church leaders become discontent with prevalent models and desire change, more hybrid churches will arise. Thus, the power of hybrid church models lies in their adaptability, flexibility, and obedience to God’s direction, inspiring a new era of leadership and discipleship intersection.

JC Williams

Author JC Williams

More posts by JC Williams