What is “Discipleship Group?” Check out THIS POST and then come back. Welcome back!
We’ve been waiting for this. We haven’t wanted to force or impose our desire do reproduce what’s been taking place in our home in other communities. It is, however happening quite naturally. I like to think of it as “Church on the way,” or better yet “Church As you Go.” It’s an interesting phenomenon, and one that I believe helps to explain the “success” of the disciple making movement that is happening here. I use the words “success” and “movement” with a bit of hesitation because we have neither orchestrated it, nor will we be the ones who sustain it. One plants, another waters, God causes the growth. (1 Corinthians 3:6)
It’s been a struggle to balance disciple-making/evangelism with the equipping and encouragement of the many who have already received the gospel. In over 25 communities our band of faithful brothers and sisters have been plugging away with determination. Some work longer and harder than others and most exercise their different giftings quite adequately in this Kingdom work. To be honest, many are tired. This culture struggles with passing on “leadership,” especially within the church.
As the group has traveled nearly every day and brought the gospel to places where it is not known, many disciples have been made. As these disciples have been made, some of them have joined us “on the way” as we visit theirs and surrounding communities. Initially, we may visit a home or a single family, but then over time small gatherings or fellowships are formed. These fellowships often include believers and unbelievers. Those who are new to the faith are joining us as we go to visit and counsel with us and to those who are not yet in the faith. This makes for some very messy experiences at times, but all, I believe, reflective of true church growth.
In the past couple of years, “church as you go,” has become the main expression of church. The weekly gatherings still happen in various places and would be considered more traditional, but for the larger part, “church on the way” has become the dominant force in Kingdom actualization.
Within the past few weeks, key members of the original discipleship group have all sensed that within nearly all of the communities we’re working in, there are those whom God has called to further the work. It’s time for us to begin to withdraw while simultaneously equipping them. I can’t help but feel like we’re on the verge of explosive growth spurt. We all have a Holy Expectation.
And so, starting this coming Sunday, we’re gathering all of the leaders from various communities and coming together for a multi-community Discipleship Group. Our plan is to meet once every 6 weeks and foster what has been happening in our home over the past three years. We hope it will be contagious in their homes and communities too.
If you have been touched by this and the preceding article and would like to help facilitate, pray, or financially support this work, contact me by email at: [email protected]