A healthy church is one who makes disciples. Jesus calls us to partner with him and follow his example and model in making disciples who are following Jesus, being formed by Jesus and on mission with Jesus. Discipleship groups are where we put our most concentrated efforts in helping people grow spiritually.
Why do we have Discipleship Groups?
The command to make disciples (Mat 28:18-20) is given to all Christians. The goal in the Christian life is to glorify God by making disciples. Making disciples means that we are reproducing the life of Christ in another person for the sake of the mission, making disciples. Thus, discipleship is the means of making other disciples. That is the goal of Discipleship Groups: making disciples who make disciples! The process is designed specifically to encourage you in your own personal discipleship so that you become more like Christ and, secondly, to equip you to reproduce this process in others. Here is a description of Discipleship Groups, our process for making disciples.
What are Discipleship Groups?
Discipleship Groups are gender specific groups of three to five individuals. The groups are closed, participation is by invitation and includes a Disciple Covenant Agreement that lays out the expectations for each member of the group. The group meets weekly for one and a half hours over a twelve to eighteen month time period. The group focuses on encouraging one another to become like Jesus (Rom 8:29), and equipping one another to live like Jesus (Mat 4:17).
What are the key elements in a Discipleship Group?
Group have four elements to develop a culture for discipleship.
1. The first is missional living. The group participants will be held accountable for building intentional friendships with non-Christians and engaging in sharing the gospel with others. The group will pray for each other concerning this endeavor and for individuals group members are reaching out to with the gospel.
2. The second element is personal accountability. The group will typically ask questions weekly that focus on the particular area of growth each individual needs.
3. The third element is reproduction. Group members are equipped to reproduce themselves as the discipleship process is complete when group members make disciples themselves. Disciples make disciples. After twelve months, group members think and pray about individuals they will invite to start their own Discipleship Group.
4. The last element is community. Community develops through relational investment with each other, accountability, honesty, and openness among group members. By the end of the process, each participant will be equipped and expected to form their own Discipleship Group for making disciples.
We have seen incredible growth and transformation in our people as we pursue Christ together, spurring one another on toward the goal of becoming like Jesus.
If you would like more information about how to join a discipleship group please contact pastor David Taylor for the men or Karen Taylor for the women. Our first discipleship groups (D-groups) began 5 years ago at a grass roots level. We use a replication model. Therefore, because our groups last 18 months, and must be led by someone who has completed a discipleship group, we look forward to making D-groups available to all our members in the coming years.
David Taylor email@example.com
Karen Taylor firstname.lastname@example.org