Go therefore and make disciples of all nations...  -Matthew 28:19

The term 'disciple' is often used to describe a follower of Jesus as in the quote above. However, that same term can be used to describe the role of each member of your wellness committee or team. In this verse from Matthew 28, Jesus is speaking to his own disciples and telling them to go and make disciples while at that the same time, they are learning to be disciples themselves.

When you take this discipleship approach to building and expanding your wellness team, you'll start to see a few key benefits.

First, you are setting up a process for exponential growth. Exponential growth occurs when the source of growth expands. If you have done the math on the rising cost of health care premiums you probably already know the rule of 72. If your annual increase in premiums is around 10%, the rule of 72 tells you that your premiums will double in about 7 years. The more positive example is how your wellness team can grow exponentially just by having each member work to add one new member per quarter. For example, if your current wellness team starts with 12 employees and each recruits a new member of the team once per quarter, by the end of the year your wellness team of employees committed to a healthy lifestyle will grow to 192. That's called participation!

Another great benefit of taking the discipleship approach is the speed and clarity with which your mission and vision can be communicated throughout your organization.

When the mission starts with, and is continually reinforced through your wellness team meetings, the members of your team will have a very good understanding of that mission and vision. So when they talk with other employees, their message will match your team message. This will avoid confusion in your organization from using hearsay to transmit your important message.

Finally, taking the discipleship approach will strengthen your current team's ability to live a healthy lifestyle.

In order to disciple another employee, your current team members will require a good grasp for themselves what they are encouraging others to take part in. For example, to encourage employees in making positive behavior changes, your wellness team members will have to first learn the process themselves and then experience it so they can relate well with others.

If your company has a wellness team and you are not seeing the kind of participation and engagement in your wellness initiatives that you would like, perhaps it is time to turn your team members into wellness disciples.

It will provide an effective and meaningful way for you to grow engagement and belief in your organization's wellness mission.