"Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations,
baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit,
teaching them to observe all that I commanded you;
and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age." NASU
WHAT IS A DISCIPLESHIP GROUP?
A discipleship group is a simple way to release the most essential elements of a spiritual walk to people who need Jesus to change their lives from the inside out. It’s a grassroots tool for growth which encourages and supports people to follow Christ by fueling internal motivation. It empowers common Christian's to accomplish the uncommon work of reproducing disciples who can in turn, make disciples.
Groups meet once a week for an hour at a time, any day and place they choose.
Groups are 2 or 3 people. The addition of a 4th person is the beginning of a second group as it splits in two.
Groups are not co-ed
No curriculum, workbook or training because there is no leader.
3 Tasks to accomplish:
1.Sin is confessed
2.Scripture read in context and community
3.Souls prayed for specifically
Discipleship Groups are made up of two or three people of the same gender, who meet weekly for personal accountability for their spiritual growth and development. It is recommended that a group not grow past three, but rather multiply into two groups of two once a fourth participant has been faithful to the process.
THE STRENGTH OF 2 OR 3
Life change does not occur in a vacuum; it happens in relationship with others. From the beginning God has said that it is not good to be alone. We need each other for strength and support. (Prov 27:17)
Few things would get done in life without some degree of accountability. The New Testament lists at least 28 “one another” commands. There is no doubt we need one another to live the life Christ intends for us.
It is easier to maintain confidentiality in a group of 2 or 3 rather than 10 or 12. The Lord mentions 2 or 3 for confession in Matthew 18
It is much easier to coordinate calendars of 2 or 3 to be able to meet
It is easier to reproduce a smaller group than a large one. Transformed disciples in community are the base unit for the kingdom of God Matthew 28:19-20
3 Tasks to Complete in a Discipleship Group:
1. SIN TO BE CONFESSED IN MUTUAL ACCOUNTABILITY. Christians need one another. There is a strength in relationships that are built around supporting one another. The first thing the group does together is ask each other Conversation Questions listed on the card. The meetings start here because it’s easy to lose time talking about other things. It is also helpful as it tends to ‘sanctify’ the rest of the meeting. Each person take turns answering the same question. The group is to be a safe place to be honest. Confession prepares the soil of our heart for God’s word begin read each week.
2. SCRIPTURE IS READ REPETITIVELY – IN CONTEXT AND IN COMMUNITY. The power of this is saturating our lives and minds with God’s word. Lives cannot be changed without planting the seed of His word. Each group decides on a book of the Bible to read that week and develop an appetite for God’s word. The group can decide on 10 – 25 chapters per week. If you select a small book such as Ephesians or Jonah, you would read that several times that week. If you choose a moderate book like romans or 1 Corinthians, you would read it a couple of times. If it’s a lengthy book, like Acts or Proverbs, you would read it once or in portions. When the group gathers, you ask if the reading was completed, and if not, you re-read that same section the next week. Reading in repetition and in context yields rich rewards. Once a book is complete, the group agrees on the next book to read, or individuals can alternate choosing the book.
3. SOULS ARE PRAYED FOR SPECIFICALLY AND REGULARLY. The card on the right functions as a Bible bookmark, has the Conversation Questions on one side and Prayer Focus on the other. This reminds us to pray specifically for the people on the card as we read our Bible during the week. Each member identifies 2 people who need to know Jesus, each member writes those names on their card.
These questions are to be asked of one another in a weekly meeting of accountability. They are to stimulate conversations of character and confession of sin in a safe environment which values honesty, vulnerability, confidentiality and grace.
1. Have you been a testimony for Christ this week in your words or actions? How?
2. Have you allowed your mind to dwell on inappropriate material or thoughts this week?
3. Have you lacked integrity in financial dealings this week, or been coveting things you don’t have?
4. Have you been honoring, understanding and servant-minded in your important relationships this week?
5. Have you damaged another by your words to them or about them?
6. Have you given into bad behavior patterns this week? In what ways?
7. Have you continued to hold anger or unforgiveness toward another?
(personal accountability question)
9. Did you finish your Bible Reading this week? Summarize it.
10. What did you learn:
a) about God/Jesus/Holy Spirit?
b) about people?
c) What did it teach you personally?
d) Is there something you need to act on?
Each person in the group chooses 2 people that the group will pray for, for salvation.
List each member’s 2 names on your card so that you all pray for the whole list weekly.
Pray that God would draw them, that they would hear the gospel,
that God would open their eyes and that they would know and follow Him.