Yesterday my blog post told you how the Disciples Path series came to be. In case you didn’t catch yesterday’s post, it described how we had 14 disciple making church leaders who came to LifeWay and joined us in the creation of this amazing series. There were four principles that came out of our conversations with them, principles that should be remembered by any disciple making church or group leader.
Check them out and ask yourself… Is this how my church views disciple making?
Discipleship is relational. Jesus’ disciples are noted in Scripture as being His followers. This is both figurative and literal. In order for a person to become a mature disciple he or she must journey alongside the person discipling them. As this journey toward spiritual maturity is experienced the disciple sees the lifestyle and practices of the person discipling them, asks perplexing questions of the person discipling them, and is taught specific skills, truths, and principles that will be exercised for the lifetime of the disciple.
Curriculum is a tool in the toolbox of a disciple maker, not the disciple maker. While curriculum is an essential tool in the disciple making process, the most important necessities in the process is the work of the Holy Spirit, the Word of God taught, embraced, and lived out, the relationship between the disciple and the disciple maker, and the synergy that occurs when believers live out the life of a disciple together. The Disciples Path series was created to make so that all of these essentials are part of the disciple making process.
What happens between meetings is more important than what happens during meetings. When Jesus gave the command to make disciples He voiced these challenging words… “Go, therefore, and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe everything I have commanded you.” (Matt. 28:19 – 20a) We are to teach those we’re disciple to “observe” that is, do what is commanded. The greatest growth takes place when a disciple does what is commanded in Scripture, not just learn what Scripture says. It is for this reason that, at the end of each session in the Disciples Path series, there are pages of expectations the growing disciple agrees to be accomplish between meetings. At the outset of the following meeting there is time for processing what has been experienced.
Disciples make disciples. When Paul wrote to young Timothy, someone Paul had discipled himself, he planted this statement in his letter to Timothy, “And what you have heard from me in the presence of many witnesses, commit to faithful men who will be able to teach others also.” (2 Timothy 2:2) Paul had in his mind that a disciple maker disciples someone who disciples someone who disciples someone with this process continuing again and again. The Disciples Path series was created with this principle in mind. When someone completes the series it should be the goal of every disciple maker that the person who has been discipled then utilizes the series to disciple someone else. By using the same resources even the first time disciple maker will be comfortable taking on this important and sometimes intimidating role.