Discipleship Groups: The Groups Formerly Known As Accountability – Part III
Over the last two weeks we discussed the first two principles of wholistic discipleship – communion with God and community with God’s people. This week’s – and final – post is the last command Jesus gave to his followers. He told them to go and make discipleship of all nations (Matt 28:19-20): disciples, therefore, are commissioned to God’s world.
COMMISSIONED TO GOD’S WORLD
The final aspect of our lives as committed believers that we want to make sure we are living out is the expectation for all Christians to share the Gospel in word (Mt 28:19-20; Rom 10:9ff) and deed (Mt. 5:16; 1 Pet 2:11-12). Some questions we can ask one another in our Discipleship groups could be:
- Who are the co-workers, neighbors, classmates, employees, family members, etc. you are asking God to save?
- How have you been able to share the gospel with them? – or – how have been able to invite them into our community to experience the gospel?
- How have you been able to serve your neighbors/co-workers/etc. this last month?
- In what ways have the folks in your social circles responded to the gospel when you’ve shared it with them?
- What are the names of the people who you want to know Jesus, so I can be praying for their salvation and for you to have humble confidence as you unashamedly share the gospel?
Because God has welcomed us and loved us before we ever invited Him into our lives or loved Him, we now do the same for those who do not know Christ. Because God has blessed us, we are to turn around and be a blessing. Because are witnesses to a life transforming experience with Jesus, there is only one thing left for us to do as a church community: testify about this Gospel and share it with our neighbors, co-workers, family, and friends.
A FINAL WORD ON DISCIPLESHIP GROUPS:
Discipleship Groups are an informal strategy of Renaissance Church, which means this is not a requirement for every member. It’s simply an encouragement from your leaders to keep diving deeper into relationships within your church community. These are not assigned groups. They can be 2 or 3 others from your MC that you may want further accountability with. You can either start your own based on the principles laid above – or – ask your MC leader to join one that has already started.
There are some who will be able to meet with their groups weekly or every other week, at a coffee shop or in the comforts of someone’s home. However, you do not necessarily need to meet formally in order to fulfill these aspects of discipleship. Quite a few of these practices can be carried out through text message, phone calls, Skype/FaceTime, or even in a 10-minute conversation before or after MC or Sunday services. They can even happen over dinner, play-dates with the kiddos, or while watching the big game with your buds. I have found that even one text message a week from a guy I’m discipling will spur me on to live out these principles.
Brass tacks: Missional Communities allow accountability to take place. Discipleship groups simply provide an additional avenue to foster this. Feel free to get creative with this and have fun! No two Discipleship Groups will look alike, but they all will be formed around these three principles – communion with God; community with God’s people; commissioned to God’s world. And by God’s grace, as more and more folks come to know Jesus, these Discipleship groups (as well as our MCs) will multiply throughout our church and our city.