Foundation #1: The Portal Priority

Discipleship IS The Portal Priority

“To build a sustainable ministry to men, you’ll need a solid foundation. Start with your focus. Yes, men need to be godly fathers, caring husbands, good stewards, and servant leaders. But what is the core issue? And how can we communicate it to men so they feel valued and inspired? Laying the right foundation can help disengaged men to connect with the ministry of your church.” – No Man Left Behind, Chapter 5

  • “Discipleship is the Portal Priority – the Foundation for the church.”
  • “Discipleship should be the focus of all our efforts – to build disciples.”
  • “Discipleship is the portal priority through which all other priorities of a church can be achieved.”
  • “Making discipleship the portal priority of our churches is the answer to what ails us.”
  • “Discipleship is Job One for the church.”

The above quotes all show just how important discipleship is – to the church, for individuals, and especially for us to carry out the directive from God: Go, therefore, and make disciples of all nations (Matthew 28:19).

By making Discipleship the Portal Priority of your Men’s Leadership Team (and your church), we can focus on helping men love God with all their heart, mind, soul, and strength and even love their neighbors as themselves. As men grow closer in their relationship with Christ, then the behaviors will follow.

In making Discipleship the Portal Priority, we can focus on making disciples and not on the work to be done. When we focus on “making disciples” rather than “making workers,” the incidence of  ministry “burn-out” is greatly reduced! Disciples become workers out of the overflow of their growing relationship with Jesus Christ.

Making discipleship the portal priority of our churches is the answer to what ails us. Consider our many systemic problems: divorce, fatherlessness, unwed mothers, drugs, alcoholism, abortion, crime, suicide, poverty, truancy, cheating, and disrespect for authority. They all need attention. Beneath everything, though, is the need for a discipleship reformation of the Christian church. What single activity would have the greatest impact on all of these problems twenty years from now? Discipling men now!

As a Leadership Team it can be easy to get distracted and focus on what “new and innovative” program will attract the most men to a one-time event. It can be easy to focus on the need to fill the different slots for workers and then pray that somehow, someway, one of the men might become a disciple.

Leadership Teams who keep Discipleship as their Portal Priority have found that it is the way to achieve the other priorities of the church. By moving their men through the discipleship gateway, they can truly affect their church and community.

As a Leadership Team remember, Discipleship is Job One for your church. Making disciples is the “portal priority” through which all the other priorities of your church are met.


For more information on developing Discipleship as the Portal Priority for your ministry to men, check out the Leadership Webinar titled “Planning Your Men’s Discipleship Strategy,” at