I believe that discipleship begins prior to conversion. Some may call this pre-evangelism. Yes, to a point. However, a non-Christian can observe those who are born again and begin counting the cost of following Jesus; discipleship. Yes, believers need to be discipled (trained) to share their faith (evangelization), but Jesus said to make disciples through obedience. Jesus wanted a transformed reality, not just the right behaviors, the right values, and the right beliefs. A biblical worldview is a bigger process than assembling stories in an Evangelism Track.
Small groups that are relational, supportive, transparent, and accountable are sending many messages to the non-Christian in their circle of influence. The lost notice how a Christian makes decisions. They listen to how a follower of Jesus talks and walks their talk. They absorb the kind of lifestyle one who is born-again lives out in a lost world. And these are the messages (verbal and non-verbal; oral and literate) that we communicate to those who are not yet believers.
Phil Kotler described a process called LEARN-FEEL-DO in most of his books including Marketing for Non-Profit Organizations. The DO is the endvision with its loyalty and replication underway because a person is delighted with their choice. The FEEL is the emotive trigger that directs the will in a specific pattern: delight, disgust, or dysfunction. LEARN counts and evaluates the cost of FEEL and DO. The clearer the delineation, the quicker the FEEL-DO can take place in every circumstance. When the choice is not clear, then a “trial loop” gets underway. That cycle results in no FEEL-DO, just more and more LEARN.
It is little wonder we have a saying, “If at first you don’t succeed, try, try, again.” Jesus was more direct: “No one who puts his hand to the plow and looks back is fit for the kingdom of God” (Luke 9:62 HCSB). If evangelizing in your Bible Storying efforts isn’t bringing new people to faith in Christ, step back and take a hard look at your discipleship efforts. You can’t separate them, but you can intentionally address them as the Holy Spirit leads.