The Illustration in this Episode Changed Everything for me.
In essence, the Discipleship Group is designed for the player to become a coach. Leaders must communicate this purpose at the outset of the group. If it is not discussed early on, members in the group will adopt a consumer mentality, with a narrow-sighted, self-serving focus. The heart of discipleship, as Christ modeled and instituted it, is that you are not learning only for yourself. You are learning for the person whom you will mentor in following Him.
The Great Commission is designed to be a team effort. Instead of the pastors/leaders/Sunday school teachers/deacons performing all the duties of ministry in the church, the saints are equipped to carry out the work. The ministers cannot carry out the command alone, as Paul clearly stated:
“And he gave the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, the shepherds and teachers, to equip the saints for the work of ministry” (Ephesians 4:11).
Greg Ogden, in his book Transforming Discipleship, expounds this point by graphically illustrating the contrast between someone personally seeing one person come to the Lord every day for a year, as compared to investing in the same two people for an entire year. The evangelist hits the streets everyday with the goal of sharing the gospel with as many people as needed to see God save one person. In contrast, the disciple-maker walks two people through a year of intensive discipleship.
The slow-moving discipleship process creeps forward with only four people being impacted in two years compared to 730 converts through the solitary work of a busy evangelist. However, this radically changes with the passing of time. After sixteen years of the same activity, the evangelist would have seen almost 6000 people come to faith in Christ, while the disciple would have impacted 65,536 people.
Every person on the planet would be reached multiple times over after thirty years. It is a ministry shift from a strategy of addition, where the clergy performs the ministerial duties, to one of multiplication, where believers are expected and equipped to personally participate in the Great Commission.
Multiplication—not addition— is Jesus’ plan for reaching the world with the Gospel. And multiplication is the purpose of the Discipleship Group. If the body of Christ would accept this plan, embrace it, and faithfully obey it, then the Great Commission would be accomplished.
What Strategy does your Church Adopt? Addition or Multiplication?
What changes must take place for a church to move from an Addition to a Multiplication strategy?