As you begin a discipleship group, you should plan from the outset to accomplish two primary purposes:
- To equip believers to grow and mature
- To empower believers to equip others
So the goal is not only to make disciples, but to make disciples who will in turn make disciples.
Paul embraced this strategy when it came to training Gospel co-workers. Notice what Paul admonished and exhorted his son in the faith, Timothy, to do in 2 Timothy 2:2.
“And what you have heard from me in the presence of many witnesses entrust to faithful men who will be able to teach others also.” (2 Timothy 2:2 ESV)
Paul entrusted Timothy with the Gospel, and he admonished him to entrust what he had received to faithful men who could “teach others also.”
Clearly, the goal here is two-fold:
- To equip Gospel workers
- To empower Gospel workers to equip others
Paul not only equipped Timothy with the Gospel message, but he emboldened him to equip others!
My definition for making disciples is “to equip believers with the Word of God through accountable relationships empowered by the Holy Spirit so that they can mature in their faith and can replicate the process.”
If that is true, the work of discipleship is not done until the mentee becomes the mentor. And although everyone who goes through a discipleship group will not lead a group, we still strive to empower everyone who is in the group to reproduce by replicating the process.
Remember the old adage: “If you aim at nothing, you’ll hit it every time.”
Be intentional! Equip your discipleship group to grow in their faith and then empower them to help equip others to grow in their faith!