In my last article, I stated: Disciple-making is not a program, it’s a lifestyle. This big truth has the power to revitalize today’s church. We don’t need another discipleship program; we need an army of disciple-making people. The supreme purpose of every believer is to live a lifestyle of disciple-making.
In His three years of earthly ministry, Jesus modeled this lifestyle for us. From Him, we learn the best way to make disciples is through the caring, relational environment of a small discipleship group, or a D-Group. Jesus invited 12 men to be in His D-Group. However, a group of three to five is best for our success.
By reading the Gospels, we learn there are six practices of disciple-making that Jesus modeled for us with His D-Group. These six practices are:
Let’s unpack the first of these six practices, which is fellowship.
Choosing a group is intentional
Intimate fellowship with others is a main priority in disciple-making. To be a disciple-maker you must take the first step of inviting some people to join you in a discipleship group. Your group can meet anytime and anywhere for intentional discipleship.
To choose a group, you must pray first. As you pray, God may show you someone you might not think about. Also, talking to strangers is essential. Practicing Christian hospitality will open doors to invite others to join the group. Finally, you must go fishing for some people. Remember that fish don’t always bite easily, but you only need to catch two or three to start a D-Group. Keep fishing until you catch the ones God has for you.
Characteristics of a group are important
One thing you notice about the men Jesus invited to be in His D-Group is their diversity. Likewise, you want to have a diverse group. It would be good to have another mature believer in the group. This is someone who can help you lead the group and be trained to multiply out to lead a new one. You also want to have a new believer in your group. New believers greatly need to be discipled. It also would be great to have an unbeliever in your group. Those willing to participate can be easily led to Christ. Multigenerational and multiethnic groups are also desirable. Be intentional to create diversity in your group.
In my next article, I will focus on the second practice of disciple-making — teaching.
For more information, visit livethedlife.com.
Upcoming D-Life boot camps
First Baptist Church, Oxford, Mississippi
Saturday, Aug. 7
9 a.m.–1 p.m.
NorthPark Baptist Church, Trussville, Alabama
Saturday, Aug. 28
9 a.m.–2 p.m.
Stone Ridge Baptist Church, Alexander City, Alabama
Sunday, Sept. 19
Lawndale Baptist Church, Greensboro, North Carolina
Saturday, Oct. 23
9 a.m.–1 p.m.
**All times local.
Click here to read about Living the D-Life: Six Practices of Disciple-Making.