Four pillars of disciple making (Part 2)

Groups?

I agree with Neil Cole when he says: “Groups don’t make disciples; disciples make disciples.” That is why intentional disciple making is so important while being part of a small community. A conscious, focused, disciple making lifestyle impacting the lives of one or two people, is the way Jesus taught us.

“Both the Old and New Testaments use the phrase “two or three” repeatedly. At least ten times “two or three” is suggested as an ideal size at which to conduct ministry. The Bible does not say “two or more” or “three or less,” but regularly “two or three.

The following are all strongest in groups of 2-3:

  • Community (Ecclesiastes 4:9-12)
  • Accountability (1 Timothy 5:19)
  • Confidentiality (Matthew 18:15-17)
  • Flexibility (Matthew 18:20)
  • Communication (1 Corinthians 14:26-33)
  • Direction (2 Corinthians 13:1)
  • Leadership (1 Corinthians 14:29)
  • Mission (Luke 10:1; Acts 13:2-4)

God has designed all of creation to reproduce at the level of two. If you cannot reproduce disciples at this level you are not likely to reproduce them at all. This grouping is the beginning of all life.

Small groups of 12-15 are a much better size for caring for one another’s needs and feeling a part of an intimate family. It is small enough that all parts can intimately know one another, yet large enough to have significant diversity and shared responsibility for one another. It is a natural sized grouping to operate as a spiritual family on mission together.

If we have strong life growth and accountability in the group of 2-3 then a group of 12-15 can relax and be the family it is meant to be. But when the only group we have for everything is this group of 12 we are expecting way too much.

A small group of 12-15 alone will not be able to accomplish the work of missional disciple making. But if disciple-making groups of 2-3 are already at work transforming souls out in the fields of life, then gathering those disciples into spiritual families will be far more productive. We need to put less weighted expectations on small groups and reorient the responsibility of disciple-making to the right context: a disciple in relation to another disciple. Small groups do not make disciples; disciples do. If your disciples are missional then your spiritual families will be missional, but this will not work the other way around.” (Neil Cole)

So, being part of this missional community is of utmost importance to shape lives as disciples in our journey to be and live like Christ Jesus. But it all starts with a personal commitment to Jesus and His way of life. It is about following Him!

What is the implications for mobilizing?

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2 Responses to Four pillars of disciple making (Part 2)

  1. Roger Perkins says:

    In a group of two there are only two signals going on; three, nine signals; four, 28; five, 75. In a group of ten there are over 5000 signals occurring of course mostly sub-conscious. Transparency is extremely difficult in group larger than three unless a gifted facilitator is guiding the group. Even then, effectiveness drop off after six or seven. Other than inspiration, large gatherings do almost nothing to bring about change in lives.

    • dirk coetzee says:

      Thank you Roger, this is so true and underline the truth that the space for real life-change is small community life!

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