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Three Discipleship Principles

Three Discipleship Principles

For the past few weeks I’ve shared what I typically do during the first and second D-Group meetings. On today’s post, I want to share three principles that must be incorporated in your D-Group if you want it to be rich and growing.

Three Principles for Effective Discipleship

Principle #1

The first principle is, “No contact, no impact.” This principle has to do with community; spending time with the members of your D-Group. If you want to really impact the men or women in your D-Group, you must spend time with them.

The danger is that if you fail to foster relationships with the members of your group, you will not earn the right to speak into their lives. That can only happen when you spend quality time with those in your D-Group getting to know one another as friends. The author of Hebrews says this:

And let us watch out for one another to provoke love and good works, not neglecting to gather together, as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging each other, and all the more as you see the day approaching. (Hebrews 10:24-25, CSB)

Being in a D-Group provides great opportunity to practically live out these verses.

Principle #2

The second principle is, “You can’t expect what you don’t emulate.” This principle is huge in that your D-Group should see you model the gospel that you profess to believe. You are not only sharing gospel truths with your D-Group, you are showing these truths with your lifestyle. I love the way the Apostle Paul says this in Colossians 1:

…so that you may walk worthy of the Lord, fully pleasing to him: bearing fruit in every good work and growing in the knowledge of God. (Colossians 1:10, CSB)

Paul also says to the believers at Corinth:

Imitate me, as I also imitate Christ. (1 Corinthians 11:1, CSB)

Don’t be guilty of the old adage, “I can’t hear what you’re saying because I see the way you’re living.”

Principle #3

The third principle is, “You can’t expect what you don’t inspect.” This principle highlights the importance of accountability. Developing accountability among your D-Group is essential!

Chuck Swindoll described accountability as “opening one’s life to a few carefully selected, trusted, loyal confidants who speak the truth—who have the right to examine, to question, to approve and to give counsel.”

We have to give ourselves over to accountability to help insulate our lives from sin!  Dietrich Bonhoeffer said it best, “Sin demands to have a man by himself. It withdraws him from the community. The more isolated a person is, the more destructive will be the power of sin over him.”

Every believer is accountable to God (Hebrews 9:27), to spiritual leaders (Hebrews 13:17), and to other believers (Proverbs 27:17). As the Holy Spirit enables us to pursue holiness, accountable relationships become the lifeblood for personal growth. A D-Group should be the best place to find accountability.

If you’ll incorporate these principles in your D-Group, you will have a group that is vibrant and flourishing.

This article originally appeared here.