WORKING WITH DISCIPLE MAKERS

The DISCIPLE MAKER is valuable to a spiritual community. They can help bear the discipleship load. There is a tendency to be inattentive to their spiritual needs, however, because of their maturity. The DISCIPLE MAKER needs encouragement, accountability, training, and refreshing.  For more tips for working with a DISCIPLE MAKER, click here.

Here is what a DISCIPLE MAKER might say…

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  1. LEARN HOW TO STAY CONSISTENT
  2. SPOT AND CELEBRATE GOOD FRUIT
  3. MASTER “ABIDING IN CHRIST”
  4. HELP OTHERS TO HELP OTHERS

 

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STEP BY STEP DISCIPLE MAKING

The Step By Step Disciple Making resource is formatted for mobile devices and introduces a philosophy of disciple making that centers around having a path for people to follow, allowing people to assess themselves, and providing a healthy process for growth.  If you have been using STAGES for a while, it will sound very familiar but it is good to let people work their way through some of the practical challenges of disciple making.

Paul Johnson also offers some great advice for new disciple makers in two simple worksheets.  Jesus as Disciplemaker Part 1 and Part 2.

THE BOOK OF ACTS

Reading the book of ACTS as a disciple maker is an eye opening experience.  We can start to look at ACTS as a manual for how the early church made and multiplied disciples.  Use this guide to help you tease out the lessons for disciple makers that ACTS provides.  Also check out these videos by The Bible Project for a good overview of the book.

4.1.1. TRAINING

4-1-1 Training was created by the #NoPlaceLeft crew and it is designed to answer 4 questions in 1 hour on 1 sheet of paper.  The questions are:

  1. Why make disciples?
  2. Who should we talk to?
  3. What should we share?
  4. When should we do it?

People may have been exposed to this training in previous stages.   It’s time for Disciple Makers to train others on how to answer these questions and then have those they’ve trained train others (the 2 Timothy 2:2 effect). There is also a 4-1-1 app that can be download that summarizes the training but without an immediate application time (going out and sharing) it is not as effective.

READING FOR GROWTH

At this point in a person’s journey, reading for growth addresses spiritual needs and interests and there are many options.  Please consider, however,  that what you study you tend to talk to your disciples and believers with.  If it is too complicated or too specific it may be difficult to share with those you are working with.  Try to find good “big picture” books that challenge you to go deeper in your theology, love for others, and how our faith is supposed to impact our world.  Here are some possibilities:

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GOOD FAITH by Lyons and Kinnaman explores how to be a Christian in a post christian society.  It combines research on how Christians are perceived  and guidance on how to remain faithful despite those perceptions.  Take a look at the preview video here.

 

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MUD AND THE MASTERPIECE: LEARNING FROM THE ENCOUNTERS OF JESUS by John Burke challenges us to see the image of God in everyone like Jesus did.

 

 

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CHRISTIAN BELIEFS: TWENTY BASICS EVERY CHRISTIAN SHOULD KNOW by Wayne Grudem is a condensation of some of his more expansive writings on theology.  It’s written for the layman that may never go to seminary.

 

 


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It can’t be stressed enough that spiritual growth is…well…spiritual and not a natural process we can tangibly observe, label and manipulate. But we see in scripture some principles of growth that help us peek behind the curtain of divine activity. Here’s one way to illustrate the disciple making growth process:

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We often discover or are given new growth areas that challenge us.  It’s helpful to create a benchmark of our understanding and obedience in those areas.  We then need to make some important connections that God uses to grow us.  God transforms us through this process which results in new rhythms in our life.  Finally we re-assess so we can celebrate what God done and move on to a new growth area.

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Every time we encounter a new growth area like a spiritual discipline we are trying to strengthen or an idol’s influence we are trying to weaken, we should start a process like the one pictured and described above. Here are examples of some possible growth areas with a linked in resource for that area.  Make sure to download this LEADER’S PREP GUIDE to help you think about how to lead someone through these growth areas.

WE WILL BE LINKING MORE RESOURCES TO THESE TOPICS AS WE FIND THEM.  IF YOU KNOW OF ANY THAT ARE RELATED TO THESE TOPICS PLEASE EMAIL INFO@DISCIPLEMAKINGSTAGES.COM

THINGS TO KNOW

THINGS TO FEEL

  • LOVE FOR SINNERS
  • EMBRACING MESSY LIVES
  • ENJOYING MODELING/TEACHING
  • DELIGHTING IN PRAYER
  • ENERGIZED BY FAITH
  • LIVING BY GRACE

THINGS TO DO

  • BE PROACTIVE
  • DONATE TIME
  • HANG AROUND THE CURIOUS
  • WALK WITH BELIEVERS
  • POUR LIFE INTO DISCIPLES
  • LEAD BY SERVING

Choose a new growth area with the person you are discipling and begin the process described below.

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Take an early assessment of “knowledge of” and “attitude towards” each growth area before you start.  It may feel a bit tedious or formal but it will create a benchmark that will help you record progress and hopefully lead to celebrating growth.  Just like journaling helps us record where we are spiritually in different seasons, assessments and reassessments act as a relational journal between disciple makers and the people they’re working with.  You can ask these questions yourself when you get together but make sure to keep a record of their answers to use later.

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There are FOUR VITAL CONNECTIONS  to be made to help someone work through a new growth area:

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As the person you’re working with makes and deepens these life-giving connections, you should start to see some transformation in them. Authentic, Christ-driven transformation will show itself in new rhythms of life like new ways of thinking, feeling and acting. In a beautiful way, those new rhythms push us further into more transformation as a part of our growth.  As a disciple maker, not only will it thrill you internally to see this growth in the person you’re working with but you should affirm it and “fan it to flame.”

It helps if you know what kind of transformation to look for.  Answer these questions to help you find it:

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Don’t skip that last question!  You can accidentally train them that the gospel is only behavior modification when we know it is more identity change that leads to new behaviors.

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A re-assessment process after a set period of time will either allow us to see the growth in a particular area, celebrate it, and point us toward a new growth area or it will help us stay put till God is done working with us.

It’s important to keep someone’s initial assessment handy so that you can measure (and celebrate growth). Ask the same questions as before. Review the the answers they gave in their first assessment together. See what has changed.

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IF THERE HAS BEEN ANY GROWTH, TAKE TIME TO CELEBRATE!!!  Even the most smallest steps forward show that God is working and you’re enthusiasm in regards to it will be contagious.  Whether it is a special dinner, a personalized Certificate Of Achievement or a warm hug, take time to celebrate.

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After celebrating, go tackle a new growth area together.

 

STAGES is a disciple making pathway developed by Paul Johnson of the Canadian National Baptist Convention.

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