By this point in your journey to make disciples, you’ve encountered the verse that drives us: the Great Commission. You’ve probably heard it a thousand times: “Go and make disciples of all nations” (Matthew 28:18).
You’ve taken the first step–you’re in a Discipleship Group right now. But what happens when this group comes to an end? How can you encourage your members to not just make disciples, but live missionally, so that the cycle continues after your time together is done?
One of the best strategies to teach your members to live missionally is defined by a simple question: Who’s your One? Answer that question, and you can figure out how to end your discipleship group in the best way possible.
At the heart of this strategy lies the most important piece of evangelism: personal relationships. Historically, “evangelism” has been synonymous with Monday night visitation, cold-knocks on doors, and passing out Gospel tracts in public places. While these strategies might work for some and might be effective in a few contexts, not everybody is cut out for it.
What you can do, without question, is care about the people who are already in your life. That’s what Who’s Your One is all about.
To start this process, ask each of your members who their One is: who is the one person in your life that you can invest in personally and intentionally so that you can invite them into a relationship with Jesus?
For some, this is a family member. It might be a new neighbor that you connected with or an old friend who just came back into your life. Exactly who someone’s One is doesn’t matter; what matters is how you can intentionally, selflessly invest in them.
Ask your members to write down the name of one person that might fit this description. Then, give them the three steps in the Who’s Your One strategy.
In his book Power Through Prayer, EM Bounds wrote, “He will never talk well and with real success to men for God who has not learned well how to talk to God for men.” The first thing you should do once you’ve decided who your One is is to develop regular, daily prayer habits for that person.
This can also be a point of accountability for those in your group. Make sure to hold each other accountable to pray regularly–daily even–for the person whose name they wrote down. Until you can talk to God about people, how will you ever be able to talk to people about God?
Investing is a strategy usually reserved for finances: you sow seeds now that pay dividends later. The same can apply to these crucial One relationships. Investments do not need to be extravagant displays. In fact, they rarely are. Sometimes, investing in people looks more like small, frequent deposits that will build over time.
As you think about investing in your One, consider ways you can be consistent in it. The most important thing to remember when investing in someone is to not treat them like a project. You’re not investing in someone in order to reap personal dividends down the line, you’re investing in them so that they can collect the spiritual dividends in their own lives.
Cultivate a genuine friendship with your One. They’re not going to care what or how much you know until they know how much you care about them.
Invite to the Next Right Thing
Instead of having a universal goal for each One–saying a prayer, getting them into a D-Group, or convincing them to sell their possessions and live on the mission field–this strategy is far, far simpler, and more personal.
You only want to invite your One to the next right thing.
Your One might have had no meaningful interaction with a believer before. That is perfectly okay. For this person, their “next right thing” might be to simply invite them to a cookout with your Life Group.
Perhaps your One used to be involved with a church years ago when they were a kid, but they haven’t been in a gathering of believers in years. You might want to invite them to come with you on a Sunday morning.
Perhaps as you grow in your friendship with your One, you discover that they feel spiritually stagnated. They want the relationship with Jesus they once had but don’t know how to do it. For this person, the “next right thing” might be to ask them to come with you to a regular meeting with your Life Group or Bible Study.
Whatever the particulars of this step, it all stems from the previous two parts of the process. You’ve already been praying for them and investing in them personally.
As you adopt the Who’s Your One strategy, you’ll be teaching those in your Discipleship Group to live missionally, how to invest in people without treating them like projects, and how to embody the Commission that drives us all: to make disciples of all nations.
With this strategy, you can conclude your discipleship group without losing the spiritual momentum you have built up along the way.
If you need more tips or advice, feel free to check out the resources we provide at replicate.org/dgroup.