Doug Nuenke has been the U.S. president of The Navigators for 10 years, though he has been with the ministry since the mid 90s. In his early years at The Navigators, he helped create and direct EDGE Corps, the Navigator’s campus leadership program. Prior to The Navigators, he served as pastor of student ministries at Cherry Hills Community Church in Denver, Colorado, and director of Doulas Ministries. He received a bachelor’s degree from Texas Christian University, and an M.Div. and D.Min. from Denver Seminary.
Doug Nuenke leads an organization devoted to making disciples, writes and speaks on discipleship, and practices making disciples in his own life. He joins Leith Anderson in Today’s Conversation podcast to share about making disciples in the 21st century.
In this podcast, you’ll hear two seasoned ministry leaders discuss:
- How to start a discipleship relationship and keep it going;
- What the barriers and opportunities are for discipleship today;
- How smartphones and social media have changed the way we disciple; and
- How to promote discipleship in churches.
Read a Portion of the Transcript
Leith: I want to hear your advice to churches and pastors on how to go about discipleship. What kind of tools should they use? Should it be a program? Is it like growth groups or the Navigators 2:7 program? What’s the appropriate advice that you want to give to the average person and the average church — especially the leaders of the churches — on how to go about celebrating and experiencing discipleship within a congregation?
Doug: I’m a seminary guy and have worked at a church too, Leith. If it’s my teaching gifts or my preaching — my platform gifts — that end up being the only thing that I bring in my ministry or my church, I miss the opportunity of mobilizing the everyday people. One of the main things I think about is the “Sleeping Giant” — this idea that there are hundreds of thousands — even millions of people — that sit in our churches that are ready to be mobilized as disciple-makers. That’s the key thing: to help them.
Billy Graham is quoted saying that the first Reformation put the Bible in the hands of people, but it failed to put the ministry in the hands of the people. I think we still have time for a new Reformation where we put the ministry in the hands of the people. Curriculum and resources are important. The Navigators 2:7 series and the tested and true Design for Discipleship books are helpful. There are a lot of tools that we can use. But those tools need to be put in the hands of everyday people in our congregations, and they need to be equipped to be able to utilize them.
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Today’s Conversation is brought to you by Belhaven University.