As we dive deeper into what discipleship is about in the “Go Viral” series, I was given this article by Tim Clark, one of our Elders at Grace Point. The information and guidance that he shared with his team is instrumental in understanding the Discipleship Movement.
What Jesus Said:
In Matthew 28:19 Jesus said to go and make disciples throughout the world. He clearly said that to his disciples (those he was teaching and were following him)
What is a disciple?:
Unlike the word Christian (only mentioned 3 times in the Bible), a disciple is clearly defined throughout the bible. It is someone who follows Jesus, lives a life as Jesus instructed, and teaches others to do the same. Matthew 13:23 states: But the seed falling on good soil refers to someone who hears the word and understands it. This is the one who produces a crop, yielding a hundred, sixty or thirty times what was sown
What does this mean to you?
Are you replicating your walk with Jesus to others? Are you pursuing others? If the Kingdom of God were dependent on the disciples you made what would happen to the Kingdom of God? Those are some pretty tough questions from yesterday’s sermon. You may feel a need to disciple others. You may feel a need to be discipled yourself. I cannot answer that question for you. I would say that even if you have not been formally discipled, the fact that you are leading people today into a growing relationship with Jesus Christ as a life group leader would seem to prepare you to disciple others. You have to judge for yourself whether you are mature enough in your walk with Christ to disciple others.
Is this a study?
NO! This is not a study. This is a way of walking with Christ. Yes, Grace Point has identified a tool to assist each one of us, but this is not a study or a curriculum. This is not intended as a life group study. The tool that we will use to disciple others is “Discipleship Essentials” from Greg Ogden. It is a 25 week walk that is intended to be shared deeply in groups of 3-4 (including the leader). These groups will be referred to as D2 groups so if you see that term in the future it will refer to a group of 3-4 people who are purposely going through discipleship together with the intent of each replicating again to another group of 3-4 after the 25 weeks. The current thinking is that the groups are gender-based although there is some questions as to whether that is a hard fast guideline.
How does this impact life groups?
This is the grey area. There are several options here. Just depends on your current life group and what God is calling you to do. D2 groups are NOT intended as a replacement for life groups and the discipleship focus is not intended to cannibalize life groups. You could:
- Start up a D2 group in addition to your current life group
- Everyone in your life group may naturally divide into D2 groups with enough leaders and disciples and meet during your current day/time. You would split into different areas of the place you meet so you aren’t doing it as one big group with one leader. You may do this for a “season” and then as you replicate start your normal life group rhythm again.
When does “this” start?:
You can really start at any time. I would encourage you to seek God’s guidance. He will clearly speak to you. There are already several D2 groups operating within the church. I am ready now so I will be speaking to the 3 people who God placed on my heart and will be speaking to my life group this week to see what they want to do. I introduced this concept to them last week and they are seeking God’s guidance during the past week before we meet this week. Personally I will start-up a D2 group in addition to life group if 100% of our group doesn’t naturally fit into a D2 group. Some people may not be ready now. Don’t force this.
I think I have covered what I know at this point. I just wanted to share with you as much as possible to help you figure this out. Just remember, this is not a study. This is not a curriculum that we will do once and be done. This is what Jesus called us to do. Yes, he wanted us to know scripture but it has been said that his 3 greatest “commands” were:
1. Matthew 22:37 – “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’
2. Matthew 22:39 – ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’
3. Great Commission – Matthew 28:19-20 – 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, 20 and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”