Discipleship Groups: The Groups Formerly Known As Accountability – Part I
At Renaissance Church, we recognize that while our Sunday Gathered services and Missional Communities are vital for the growth and the mission of the body of Christ, they can easily become a check off the ole-religious-duty-list. Which may lead some folks to think that mere attendance of these gatherings will be enough to foster their growth in Christ.
Even though these avenues are essential to our church’s health, we want to encourage members to dive even deeper. That is where Discipleship Groups come in to play.
God’s vision is for His people to glorify Him, grow to be more like Him, and to live out the Great Commission in all aspects of their lives. As a church, the way we seek to live out God’s whole vision (God’s Glory, Our Growth, Great Commission) is to be whole disciples. Our mission for discipleship is a threefold as well. Disciples are constantly and continually growing in their (1) communion with God, (2) community with God’s people, as they are (3) commissioned to God’s world.
Over the next three weeks we will break each one of these down. Let’s begin with the first: communion with God.
COMMUNION WITH GOD
As one pastor-theologian has put it, “beholding is becoming.” When we behold the beauty and glory of God in His Word (Ps. 119) and in His Creation (Ps. 19) we are then transformed by the Spirit to become more like Him (2 Cor 3:18).
In our Discipleship Groups we want to hold one another accountable to engage in regular rhythms of soaking in the glory of who God is and what he has done for us in Christ. These rhythms can include prayer, solitude, fasting, as well as reading, memorizing, living, and applying God’s Word to our lives. Some helpful questions to ask one another in your Discipleship groups could be:
- What has God been teaching you in His Word?
- What new things has the Holy Spirit been showing you about God, yourself, and/or others this week in the Bible?
- Where were you convicted/encouraged as you read the Bible this week?
- What have your prayers to God sounded like over the past week/month?
These questions reveal that you assume the best about the person across from you. You presume that they are in God’s Word. You affirm that the Holy Spirit is active and working in the person. And you assume that they are teachable and moldable. But on the flip side these questions, while disarming, are also convicting. If someone was not in communion with God that week, they can simply confess their lack of time with God in the Word and in prayer.
Communion with God is just one facet of the three principles that will guide and direct how we practice discipleship at Renaissance. In the 2nd installment of this blog series we will talk about Community with God’s People.