2019 is only about three weeks away. That means this is a great time to give you a challenge. In fact, I’m inviting you to take the “Disciple Making Challenge.” The Disciple Making Challenge is a plan to start a discipleship group at the beginning of the new year and multiply that group into two or three new groups by the beginning of the next year. In other words, if I started a group in January 2019 with six people my goal is to lead those people for a year and then mobilize some of those people to start new groups at the beginning of 2020.
If you are one of those willing to take the challenge, let me give you a few suggestions on how to proceed.
First, grow a group! Before Jesus grew a single disciple, He grew a discipleship group. In other words, you have to identify and invite the people you believe God wants you to invest in to your group. I recommend you pray and ask God who He wants you to disciple. Jesus did the same thing. Jesus spent a night in prayer before choosing His disciples. As you pray, look for people that are hungry for more. Once you identify the right individuals (four to six people), invite them to join you in a weekly small group. Spend the first several weeks getting to know each other, and talk about the goals of the group. Set the expectation for multiplication during the first few weeks of meeting.
Second, grow people in your group! Jesus spent three years training and equipping His disciples. He took them from unschooled and ordinary men and led them to become fully trained disciples. Jesus transformed the conduct of His disciples. He led a handful of men to become members, magnifiers, maturing, ministers, managers, messengers, and multipliers. Jesus also transformed their character. He modeled love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, gentleness, faithfulness, and self control for His disciples.
Third, grow a few leaders! Jesus had twelve disciples, but He took three disciples deeper than the rest. The three disciples Jesus spent the most time with (Peter, James, and John) are the only disciples you hear about in the Book of Acts. These three men are obviously key leaders of Christ’s movement as the Church expanded. Jesus was growing leaders at the same time he was growing disciples.
Once you have selected your small group, look for one or two group members that have leadership potential. Take the potential leaders through the 315 Leadership Training while you are growing the people in your group. I recommend one weekly group meeting, and one weekly leadership meeting. This is a very doable way to raise up leaders with on-the-job training.
Finally, grow more groups! As Jesus prepared to leave His disciples, He challenged them to make more disciples. Jesus intended for His group of twelve to become more groups. Jesus expected His disciples to multiply more disciples, which meant they needed to start more groups.
If you grow a group of people as you begin 2019, invest in them weekly, and help them grow throughout the year. If you help one or two of your group members become leaders, then you will be able to multiply and start a new group at the beginning of 2020.
The Disciple Making Challenge is not difficult. All it takes is obedience and perseverance. You have to start, and you have to finish – it really is that simple.
If you are willing to accept the Disciple Making Challenge, please let us know, and we will encourage you throughout the year. If you need more resources, contact us and let us know how we can help.