Sometimes the hardest place to make disciples is in your hometown. But Pastor Cliff is training and equipping generations of new disciplemakers in the community where he was born and raised—Brooklyn, New York. He has served as senior pastor of a Church of God congregation there for the last 38 years. He’s also a partner in Navigators Church Ministries (NCM).
“The Navigators Intentional Church Discipleship really was a good fit for me, for this congregation,” Pastor Cliff says. “The 2:7 Series® gives us some practical tools to equip our folks for walking with Christ and serving Him. In 2017, we introduced the book The Ways of the Alongsider. It used terms that folks would not be afraid of. Everybody can walk alongside somebody. You don’t have to be an expert.”
Pastor Cliff says these Navigator tools have helped reduce people’s fears regarding evangelism and discipleship.
“Marilyn attends our church and has been a Christian for more than 12 years,” Pastor Cliff says. “In her own words, she would attend church services and participate in activities but had not shared the gospel with anyone outside the church. As she has participated in our 2:7 discipleship track and The Ways of the Alongsider study, she realized she needed to share her testimony and the gospel with others. Her fear is slowly dissipating because she knows Who is in control of the results.”
New York City NCM Regional Director Steve Tice watches what God is doing in Pastor Cliff’s church with awe and excitement.
“It’s great to see Cliff’s heart, vision, and understanding of what an intentional disciplemaking culture looks like and how to build that culture in a setting that he knows from growing up as an insider there,” Steve says. “It’s also gratifying to meet the fruit of his ministry and hear that same heart in his people.”
Pastor Cliff sees God’s sovereign hand in the way his church connected with The Navigators.
“We believe that discipling is the mandate,” Pastor Cliff says. “It’s not another program. It’s a lifestyle. A lifestyle of receiving and giving. When you see the changes in the culture, you hear the language changing, you see the values changing, you highlight it. You celebrate it. My goal is that when I’m no longer the pastor, I want this mandate of making disciples who make disciples to be in the DNA of this church. No matter who comes, who goes, that’s who we are. That’s our identity because that’s what Christ has called us to do.”
As Jesus said in Matthew 28:19,20a (NIV), “Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you.”
Pray for more people “To know Christ, make Him known, and help others do the same®.”
Church USA needs to change the mirrors that it has for so many years into windows that we might see the lost world that awaits us outside our walls just hoping that someone would bring hope…The hope in the person of Jesus Christ and His saving grace!
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