The days are subsiding, at LCCC, of running programs and events, just hoping that some relationship and discipleship will somehow happen. Committed to Jesus’ mission to make disciples, we realize the need for much more intentional relational discipleship. Mediate on those three words for a moment. It doesn’t take a lot of explaining to figure out what they mean. We just realize that this is Jesus’ given method, and we are committed to intentionally building discipleship relationships into the fabric of everything this church family is and does.
It’s the personal matter of time that I want to address today.
How do we make the time for relational discipleship?
1. The first answer: It’s not as hard as it seems. If we catch Jesus’ vision that being in relational discipleship is the most important thing we do, then we’ll be motivated to figure it out. And if we catch Jesus’ method of doing it during many of the things we are already doing, we’ll realize we can intentionally disciple with very few changes to our schedule. Running errands? Watching the game? Going to visit someone? Doing ministry? Hanging out with your children? Do it like Jesus did. Be intentional about inviting someone to come with you (Mark 3:14); be mindful how you spend the time (Deut. 6:7; Titus 2) and what your goal is (Eph. 4:13, Matt. 4:19; 2 Tim. 2:2). [It would be good to read all these linked Scriptures.]
Jesus showed us how to do it with a small group of 12 and a closer group of three (Peter, James and John). Surely we can do it with one, two, or maybe a few!
It’s great to hear people like our group leader/coach Tony Oury, who’s already been doing this as often as he can. Great things are happening out there in the common moments of our lives!
2. The second answer: To intentionally disciple well will take some extra, purposefully planned meeting time. Disciplers must intentionally meet with disciplees. Pastors/Elders must intentionally meet with Coaches/Deacons/Ministry Leaders, etc. Coaches must intentionally meet with their Small Group Leaders. Small Group Leaders must intentionally meet with their Apprentices. Parents must intentionally meet with their children.
But how often? And, what does that meeting time look like? Here’s the best meeting guide I have found. If you find this method useful, please share it with everyone you know who’s in the discipleship game!
- Select your person, or group of no more than about six, to meet with regularly.
- Commit to meet for a two-hour, every two week meeting, extending for a determined time (like 3, 6, 9 or 12 months).
- Follow this excellent two-hour meeting schedule (adapted from Marshall and Payne’s The Trellis and the Vine):
A Relational Discipleship / Coaching Meeting Schedule:
- Bible Study – 30 minutes: God’s Word is the most important element for spiritual growth (Heb. 4:11-12; 2 Tim. 3:16-17). You could use this time to train people how to lead Bible discussions, by modeling it yourself, and then giving everyone a chance.
- Prayer for You- 10 minutes: Without praying, we are doing this in our own power and for our own agendas. Not good. Pray in response to Scripture, and for different aspects of life and ministry.
- People Work – 20 minutes: Talk about the needs and situations of the people’s lives to whom we are ministering; and how we can best help them grow. Confidentiality principles need to be agreed on and respected.
- Prayer for Your People – 15 minutes: Pray again, this time for particular people by name.
- Review Ministry Activity – 15 minutes: Talk about different meetings and ministry related things that you’ve been doing or involved with. Did they work? Why/who not? What could be improved, and how? This not only leads to improvements, but also trains how to think about ministry.
- Training Input – 30 minutes: Specific training in conviction (a belief topic like baptism, eternal security, etc.); character (like how we are most tempted and prone to give Satan a stronghold in our lives); and competence (like how to lead a small group, or a family, or workplace relationships better).
This is what I’m going to use this year with my group of Small Group Coaches (some of which pictured here). I can’t wait for these bi-weekly times together, and I believe the ripple effects of this intentionality will carry out deeply into the entire Body of LCCC. Are you in the game?
Until we all reach unity in the faith and in the knowledge of the Son of God and become mature, attaining to the whole measure of the fullness of Christ,