Breakout D – Transforming Discipleship

This session is being led by Greg Ogden:

Critical Questions:

1. What is your approach to making reproducing disciples of Jesus?
2. What do you think it takes?

3. What is the environment in which reproducing disciples are grown?

4. What ingredients are necessary?

Spiritual Growth Continuum:

Exploring Christianity –> Growing in Christ –> Close to Christ –> Christ-Centered

The Critical Journey by Janet Hagberg and Robert Guelich

1. What is the journey? 2. Where are you on the journey? 3. With whom are you journeying? 4. What is the next step for you?

The Biblical Model of Disciple-Making

I. Jesus called his disciples (Luke 6:12-13)

A. What were Jesus’ strategic reasons for focusing on a few?

B. Why not be satisfied with the increasing size of the crowds?

II. Paul’s Intergenerational Reproduction (II Timothy 2:2)
Paul –> Timothy –> Faithful Ones –> Teach Others


Jesus’ and Paul’s model for discipleship was based on small groups of people – multiplying to others. This differs from the current common church method which depends on big group setting to disciple.

Ministry Based Strategy of Disciple-Making

I. The Primacy of Relational Context for Making Disciples

A. Program vs. Relational Approach

1. Discipling relationships are marked by intimacy, whereas programs tend to be focused on information.

2. Discipling relationships involve full, mutual responsibility of the participants, whereas programs have one or a few who do on behalf of the many.

3. Discipling relationships are customized to the unique growth process of the individuals, whereas programs emphasize synchronization and regimentation.

4. Discipling relationships focus accountability around life-change, whereas programs focus accountability around content.

B. A working definition of discipling: Discipling is an intentional relationship in which we walk alongside other disciples in order to encourage, equip and challenge one another in love to grow toward maturity in Christ. This includes equipping the disciple to teach others as well.

Discipleship takes a long time. Build slowly. Build solidly.

I hope that someday someone will write to me expressing their faith in our Lord, and that perhaps my obedience was somehow related to their growth.

Characteristics of Program:

Consumer Church: Offer many options and invite people to partake from the smorgasbord.

Made in crowds: We talk at people in groups and expect that something actually happened.

II. Multiplication: Empowering Disciples to disciple others

A. Frustration over multiplication: I was stuck

B. The characteristics of one-on-one method of discipling:

1. In the one-on-one, the discipler carries the full weight of responsibility for the spiritual welfare of another.

2. The one-on-one relationship sets up a hierarchy that tends to result in dependency.

3. The one-on-one limits the interchange or dialogue.

4. The one-on-one also creates a one-model approach.

5. Finally, the one-on-one model does not generally reproduce.

C. The characteristics of triads/quads

1. There is a shift from unnatural pressure to the natural participation of the discipler.

2. There is a shift from hierarchy to peer relationship.

3. There is a shift from dialogue to dynamic interchange.

4. There is a shift from limited input to wisdom in numbers. (Consider triads or quads of different generations)

5. There is a shift from addition to multiplication.

III. The Environment for Transformation: Creating the Hot House Effect

When we (1) open our hearts in transparent trust to each other (2) around the truth of God’s Word (3) in the spirit of mutual accountability, we are in the Holy Spirit’s hothouse of transformation.

Climatic Condition #1 – Transparent Trust

The extent to which we are willing to reveal to others those areas of our life that need God’s transforming touch is the extent to which we are inviting the Holy Spirit to make us new.

Stages of Trust Building: 1. Affirmation 2. Walking together in difficult times 3. Prayerful Listening 4. Mutual Confession

Climatic Condition #2 – Truth in Community

The Need for Truth (I Timothy 3:16,17): 1. We have lost the memory of Christianity 2. We need systematic instruction

Climatic Condition #3 – Life Change Accountability

Covenantal Accountability: A covenant is written, mutual agreement between 2 or more parties that clearly states the expectations and commitments in the relationship.

1. The Challenge of Radical Individualism

2. Disciples are under authority

IV. Necessary Elements for Making Reproducing Disciples

– A commitment to a biblical vision of multiplication: Do the Lord’s Work in the Lord’s Way

– A clear covenant of disciple-making: setting expectations

– An environment of Holy Spirit inspired transformation: Triads/Quads

– A transferable tool such as Discipleship Essentials or simply the Bible

– A means to keep the vision alive as generational reproduction occurs.

V. Practical Steps to creating a small, reproducible discipleship group

Step 1: Pray

Step 2: Make a personal invitation

Step 3: Tell them what is involved

Step 4: Review the Covenant

Step 5: Ask the disciple to prayerfully consider the invitation

Step 6: Inform them that there will be at least one other person joining you

Step 7: Set the first regular meeting and get started

Step 8: Guide the participants through the sessions

Step 9: Model transparency

Lots of information, stay tuned for more…