Discipleship.Network

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In advance - sorry this is long ...

Here's the back ground:

article link:  http://blog.meettheneed.org/2015/10/why-small-groups-arent-making-d...

Not too long ago I received this article from Discipleship.Network and It struck me as timely ... my church is firmly in the camp of using small groups as a way of discipling.  As a church we make a fairly concerted effort to promote leadership training - from both secular and church sources and regularly send several dozen to Willow Creek's annual Leadership Summit ... but there is no similar effort regarding discipleship.

While I do believe that small groups can be very helpful towards growing a mature faith - it is not the same as discipleship - and not all group leaders are equal adept/concerned with creating a small group environment in which attendees participate authentically.

And - I get it - very few adults (at least in the places I've lived) have had discipleship experiences that extended beyond highschool/college ministries ... and seem resistent to the idea of "baring their souls" with other adults - whether they're like-minded or not.

Here's my question:

Do you know of any churches that really ROCK discipleship? How'd they get this going?  How do they sustain it?  I'm interested in any helpful information at all on this matter.  

thank you so much!

Peace & blessings!

Amy Jo

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Hi Amy Jo, 

I join you in finding churches that really embrace and execute the final command to make disciples who make disciples. Here are those churches and pastors that I am aware of but all do it differently. By the way, most churches intentionally focus on discipling the saved. Makes sense. However, there is a growing interest and practice of inviting lost people to discovery groups using an inductive Bible study method using scripture and scripture alone that will lead them to conversion. You will find a couple of churches here, too, that do that. I'll designate each of the churches for you...

  • Jim Putman, Pastor of Real Life Ministries, Post Falls, ID www.reallifeministries.com (focus: discipleship from conversion)
  • Bobby Harrington, Pastor of Warpath Christian Church, Franklin, TN www.harpethcc.com (focus: discipleship from conversion)
  • Roy Moran, Pastor of Shoal Creek Community Church, Pleasant Valley, MO www.shoalcreek.org and www.roymoran.com (focus: discovery groups)
  • Robby Gallaty, former pastor of Brainerd Baptist Church, Chattanooga, TN www.brainerdbaptist.org (focus: discipleship from conversion)
  • Robby Gallaty, pastor of Long Hollow Baptist Church, Hendersonville, TN www.longhollow.com (focus: discipleship from conversion and discovery groups)

Obviously, there are many more churches. I'm sure others who read this will add to this list.  These churches I've listed are doing very good with their disciple making processes. The question always is whatever process you would use, does it fulfill the final command to make disciples that make disciples? I hope this helps you and your church to ignite an environment of intentional disciple making and that it would grow into a movement of God to get the Gospel out in an Acts 1:8 way. 

Sharing the Hope!

Gary B. Jennings

Global Cities Project

Hi Amy Jo,

I just returned from Joinville, Brazil where I was invited to participate in their 3rd Annual National Discipleship Conference. It was heartwarming to see a group of churches who seemed to have grasped the idea of making disciples, instead of being focused on the number of church attenders.

I was given a quick overview of their discipleship process. Each person who fills out a visitors card is contacted within 24 hours. An appointment is made to visit them, and at that first appointment their needs are addressed. Do they need food? Do they need shelter? Do they need medical help? Do they need transportation? Once the needs are addressed,  then the people are told of the various ministries the church has to help them. A discipler  is assigned to continue following up with the family needs and to help them. In the process they are presented the gospel, given a Bible, and invited to participate in a discipleship time. Get this: The discipler meets with them in their home for the discipleship teaching time. Not a class. Not a church building with a bunch of strangers. No! One discipler meeting with them in their home one on one. They build a relationship with the dad, the mom, and the kids. They earned the right to do this by first meeting their physical needs. Then their addressed the spiritual needs.

That group of churches baptized, I believe the number was, over 700 new believers in the past two months.

Where did they get this model? Right out of the Bible! Time and again they told me, "We follow the example that Jesus gave His disciples."

Yes, they ROCK discipleship!

Hope that helps.

For God's glory,

Jim

Hello Jim!

Thank you so much for sharing the awesome discipleship practice at the church in Joinville Brazil!  What an inspiration!  Clearly - this is a place where discipleship is LOVED.  Pity I don't know Portuguese!  I feel like the crowds who followed Jesus around were attracted to how purely and simply do-able He made walking with God. 

peace!

aj

Hello Gary!

Thank you for the awesome response!  I will definitely get on-line and check these churches out!  Thank you thank you!  

aj

Gary B. Jennings said:

Hi Amy Jo, 

I join you in finding churches that really embrace and execute the final command to make disciples who make disciples. Here are those churches and pastors that I am aware of but all do it differently. By the way, most churches intentionally focus on discipling the saved. Makes sense. However, there is a growing interest and practice of inviting lost people to discovery groups using an inductive Bible study method using scripture and scripture alone that will lead them to conversion. You will find a couple of churches here, too, that do that. I'll designate each of the churches for you...

  • Jim Putman, Pastor of Real Life Ministries, Post Falls, ID www.reallifeministries.com (focus: discipleship from conversion)
  • Bobby Harrington, Pastor of Warpath Christian Church, Franklin, TN www.harpethcc.com (focus: discipleship from conversion)
  • Roy Moran, Pastor of Shoal Creek Community Church, Pleasant Valley, MO www.shoalcreek.org and www.roymoran.com (focus: discovery groups)
  • Robby Gallaty, former pastor of Brainerd Baptist Church, Chattanooga, TN www.brainerdbaptist.org (focus: discipleship from conversion)
  • Robby Gallaty, pastor of Long Hollow Baptist Church, Hendersonville, TN www.longhollow.com (focus: discipleship from conversion and discovery groups)

Obviously, there are many more churches. I'm sure others who read this will add to this list.  These churches I've listed are doing very good with their disciple making processes. The question always is whatever process you would use, does it fulfill the final command to make disciples that make disciples? I hope this helps you and your church to ignite an environment of intentional disciple making and that it would grow into a movement of God to get the Gospel out in an Acts 1:8 way. 

Sharing the Hope!

Gary B. Jennings

Global Cities Project

In the church is often found four types of soil. In a group like Jesus led is one type of soil. Jesus picked specific men who would "carry the ball". While it is easy to get people in a small group as a fellowship group or Bible study few will discipline themselves and be accountable so they can learn and grow in both knowledge and application.

Paul wrote that we are to entrust ourselves to faithful men who are taught well enough who van teach others to follow Jesus. That number of people is one among the four types of soil. In Mt. 28:19, 20 Jesus said we are to teach them all he commanded.

When I take a look at what Jesus did he spent time with the men and taught them to make disciples by making them to be disciples. The gospel spread and churches sprang up because one person discipled another who discipled another. Each person who discipled another took responsibility to disciple the person they reached. I have met with men who started meeting with a man the next day of that same week. I do not have them wait until they were mature in 2-6 years.

About two years ago I started meeting with a man who had been in a home group for eight months. He had helped his parents smuggle Bibles into China when he was 14. He did not become a Christian until I started meeting with him. 1-1/2 years later he started meeting with a man to help him grow. He had been in church, was in a small group but was not a Christian.

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