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How to Make Disciples in Small Groups

I don’t know about you, but I’m determined to build a thriving small group ministry that makes disciples. That is the light at the end of the tunnel for me. It is the end in mind. It’s not just to connect unconnected people. That’s important, but only a beginning. My objective is to make disciples. And I suspect—since you are still along on this journey with me—that is your objective too! See also, How to Build a Thriving Small Group Ministry and 5 Things You Need to Know About Connecting Unconnected People.

And if your objective is to make disciples … you must know what it is you are trying to make (i.e., What is a disciple?). Once you know that little detail, you will be able to lay out a path that leads to that preferred future.

With me?

And to that end, I love this paragraph from Dallas Willard. In my mind it informs what it is that I need to do in laying out the path.

As a disciple of Jesus I am with him, by choice and by grace, learning from him how to live in the kingdom of God. This is the crucial idea. That means how to live within the range of God’s effective will, his life flowing through mine. Another important way of putting this is to say that I am learning from Jesus to live my life as he would live life if he were I (emphasis mine). I am not necessarily learning to do everything he did, but I am learning how to do everything I do in the manner in which he did all that he did. How to Be a Disciple

Still with me? This sets up a fairly clear understanding of the things that will have to be true about a small group ministry that will make disciples.

1. It defines what I must do as I develop coaches. I will need do to and for my coaches the things that will help them learn to live their lives as Jesus would live their lives. See also, The Most Important Contribution of a Small Group Pastor.

2. It defines what our coaches must do to and for the leaders they are discipling. See also, Skill Training: Equip Your Coaches to Develop and Disciple Leaders.

3. It defines what our small group leaders must do to and for the members they are discipling. See also, 8 Habits of a Life-Changing Small Group Leader.

What do you think?  

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Mark Howell serves as Pastor of Communities at Canyon Ridge Christian Church in Las Vegas, NV. He founded SmallGroupResources.net, offering consulting and coaching services to help churches across North America launch, build and sustain healthy small group ministries. He spent four years on the consulting staff at Lifetogether and often contributes to ministry periodicals such as the Pastor's Ministry Toolbox and ChurchCentral.com.