Discipleship, Everyoneʼs task
Matthew 28:18-20 And Jesus came and said to them, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.”
Disciples are taught to obey Jesus’ Commands
The focus is on Jesus
Disciples are baptized into the community of faith
Disciples are organized into churches
Our call is to make disciples
Discipleship within NEO House Church Network
NEO-HCN practices discipleship in several ways.
Personal mentoring develops out of personal relationships in a house church. This
may be one on one or one on two. This is always gender specific. Man to man,
woman to woman. Personal mentoring requires a teachable attitude and
dependability. A disciple will meet regularly with a discipler for prayer, discussion
and study. This relationship is designed to mature over time to produce a stable, wise
disciple-maker. Mentors do not hold special authority over a disciple. It is a trust based,
voluntary training relationship.
Small group discipleship, a cell group of a larger house church.
Small group discipleship involves a small cluster, often gender specific that gather around a more experienced trainer or discipler. This group meets regularly, but often for a limited period of time. The goal is to train, instruct and encourage resulting in maturing Christian behavior and increased ministry effectiveness.
Some small groups are LTGs (Life Transformation Groups) which can have two to four participants who read weekly Bible assignments and meet for accountability. LTGs are healthiest when they reproduce and multiply.
Other groups meet to study and discuss the Bible or a Christian growth themed book.
Specialty training in an area of mutual interest or need: evangelism, disciple-making,
worship, gifts of the Holy Spirit, marriage, finances and parenting.
Curricular training in essential truths and practices.
NEO House Church Network has a training curriculum designed to cover key topics needed for a mature understanding and exercise of the faith.of the faith
The curricular material may be systematically taught in a class room setting, in one on one discipleship, in small groups or in house church settings.
Topics are chosen as likely to provide steps to Biblical clarity, maturity in doctrine and practice and crafting a uniquely Christian worldview.
Insights into the discipleship process: The Engel Scale.
The Engle scale was created by a missiologist who studied the process by which people became fully committed disciples. The original model was developed by James F Engel and Viggo Søgaard, although this was later refined by Engel, who added several ideas from behavioral science, and published it in his 1975 book What’s Gone Wrong With the Harvest. According to this model, everyone is somewhere on this scale. This may help you in better understanding how disciples are grown.
The Engel Scale for understanding discipleship
The thrust of discipleship is to reproduce fully devoted disciples. A disciple lives to make other disciples. Lukewarm and uncommitted nominal christians do not care about soul-winning, training converts or living outside of their comfort or convenience zones.
Our church life is to be centered on mobilizing everyone to be a reproducing christian. Our meetings are not about entertainment of indulging a fickle group of consumers. Disciples who make disciples who multiply simple churches is the what we devote core energies to. Even our full-time pastors are devoted to reproducing and planting before anything else.
Spiritual Maturity has very specific objectives and it looks like something.
Here is a list of characteristics we envision to be the end result of discipleship. If these characteristics are not in place the task of discipleship is not complete. Here is what we expect to see develop from our discipleship efforts:
1. Obedience to what Jesus Commands,
Matthew 7:23 Everyone then who hears these words of mine and does them will be like a wise man who built his house on the rock.” The goal is not simply Biblical knowledge but obedience to the Bible’s clear teaching.
2. Perseverance, not quitting or falling away, instead makes disciples
Parable of the Sower, Matthew 13:18-23 “Hear then the parable of the sower: When anyone hears the word of the kingdom and does not understand it, the evil one comes and snatches away what has been sown in his heart. This is what was sown along the path. As for what was sown on rocky ground, this is the one who hears the word and immediately receives it with joy, yet he has no root in himself, but endures for a while, and when tribulation or persecution arises on account of the word, immediately he falls away. As for what was sown among thorns, this is the one who hears the word, but the cares of the world and the deceitfulness of riches choke the word, and it proves unfruitful. As for what was sown on good soil, this is the one who hears the word and understands it. He indeed bears fruit and yields, in one case a hundredfold, in another sixty, and in another thirty.”
3. Character, We behave and think more and more like Jesus
The fruit of the Spirit: Galatians 5:16-26 But I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh. For the desires of the flesh are against the Spirit, and the desires of the Spirit are against the flesh, for these are opposed to each other, to keep you from doing the things you want to do. But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under the law. Now the works of the flesh are evident: sexual immorality, impurity, sensuality, idolatry, sorcery, enmity, strife, jealousy, fits of anger, rivalries, dissensions, divisions, envy, drunkenness, orgies, and things like these. I warn you, as I warned you before, that those who do such things will not inherit the kingdom of God. But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law. And those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. If we live by the Spirit, let us also walk by the Spirit. Let us not become conceited, provoking one another, envying one another.
The Fullness of the Spirit
Be filled with the Spirit Ephesians 5:18 The greatest gift we can lead anyone into beyond our initial confidence of salvation in Christ is the amazing joy-filled experience of setting your life apart for God, moment by moment, seeking God in prayer and adoration. God engages us with His Spirit, filling us to overflowing. We are to take others by the hand to experience God by His Holy Spirit. We are to introduce one another to experiential knowledge that only comes through surrender and filling. Let’s lead disciples to be filled with the Spirit, to seek His presence ,to be led by the Spirit and to manifest the fruit and the supernatural gifts of the Holy Spirit.
Godʼs Master Plan
Once discipleship and training is embraced then the focus is on multiplication not addition in reproducing disciples and churches. See the growth contrast in fruit when disciples are made. Look at the contrast between addition vs multiplication.
One amazing evangelist leads 1,000 people to Christ annually
disciple making, every one multiplying themselves once annually
Most Effective Discipleship is Done Small
Why Two or Three? Here are motivating factors for small group discipleship
1. Relationship (Ecclesiastes 4:9-12)
Life change does not happen in a vacuum; it happens in relationship with others. For most, it
is difficult to have the kind of close knit bond that can change lives with more than three
people at any one time. The best context for life-changing community is in a group of two or
2. Accountability (I Timothy 5:19)
Few things in life get done without some degree of accountability. In the pursuit of godliness
we need accountability to one another. It’s hard to be accountable to more than two or three
people at a time. We can find support with a small group who knows and understands our life.
3. Confidentiality (Matthew 18:15-17)
Confession of sin is needed for cleansing, healing, and preparation for a life of service, and a
safe place is essential. Two or three others of your same gender, who know and care about
you and who are also sharing their own struggles, provide as safe a place as one can find.
While confidentiality is not absolute it is a value. (some sins do get reported, especially if
4. Flexibility (Matthew 18:20)
Two or three busy people can coordinate their schedules and meet almost anywhere.
5. Reproducibility (2 Timothy 2:2)
Simple things multiply more easily than complex things. If we learn to multiply this basic unit of
the church, we have a better chance to multiply more complex cell groups, ministries, and
In conclusion if we want to make a difference and reach our communities with the gospel we must pay attention to the hard work of making disciples. This is life on life and is not done in large audiences, not done with great public speaking or with wonderful worship programs. This is done as each of us make it our mission and ministry to make disciples outside of church meetings. The Kingdom of God expands not so much through special events or big crusades but through rigorous disciple-making.
Let us pray for revival. Let us pray for the Spirit to fall but also let us pray that the Lord will make us all disciple-makers who personally spend our lives investing in life after life, committed through thick and thin, teaching, admonishing, pursuing and encouraging. When we all get doing that we will be walking in a true revival culture.
Questions for Review
What are the top four objectives of discipleship activities?
How do you intend to pursue discipleship and further training for yourself? Think through an action plan.
List ten people in your relationship circle you could reach out to and invite into a discipleship opportunity?
How to you plan to pray for them, then engage them?
5. What might be the main objections to the need for discipleship and how would you answer those concerns Biblically?