A Closer Look at Discipleship
Maturity Precedes Multiplication
His goal was producing in them the spiritual maturity needed to disciple others to maturity. Jesus was producing disciple making disciples who were to then produce other disciple making disciples.
"Students are not greater than their teacher. But the student who is fully trained will become like the teacher." Luke 6:40
"You have heard me teach things that have been confirmed by many reliable witnesses. Now teach these truths to other trustworthy people who will be able to pass them on to others." 2 Timothy 2:2
The result of effective biblical discipleship is growth of spiritually mature individuals who, in turn, reproduce the same as they disciple others. This was Jesus' design to carry His Invitation to the ends of the earth. Starting only with a handful of committed men, He taught them, trained them, shaped them, and loved them as His disciples.
"Therefore, go and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit. Teach these new disciples to obey all the commands I have given you. And be sure of this: I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” Matthew 28:19-20
Jesus defined the mission for his followers until He returns - make disciples! Not merely converts, but committed, mature, life-long Jesus followers. The intentional discipleship plan of Door of Hope Church is based on Jesus' discipleship model as recorded in scripture. We believe Jesus' last words should be our first priority.
How Do We Do Discipleship?
There are five key components for how we engage people in the discipleship process:
Relationship: This was modeled by Jesus in the Gospels, and by the early church in the book of Acts. In Jesus' discipleship model relationship is at the heart of ministry. As people do life together they help each other to grow in Christ and in the Word of God. At Door of Hope, it is our desire to connect people in settings where they can enjoy each other’s company, study together, and share questions they have about life, God, and the Bible. This can take place in a home, a restaurant, a park, a church room, or wherever they chose to get together.
Flexibility: We live in a busy society and our lives are full of demands between work, family, sports, technology, and everything else that competes for our time. Recognizing this to be a reality for all of us, we purposely limit our discipleship groups to a small number of people per group. This allows for easier scheduling to meet weekly or every other week. It is also up to each group to decide the pace they want to proceed with the study and sharing time. Some people may enjoy more discussion time on each topic, while others may like to cover more territory each time.
Structure: Jesus grew His disciples in an ordered and sequential way with increasing depth, application, and expectation for commitment as His disciples matured. Discipleship is a process with the structure to ensure we grow strong as Jesus followers. At the same time, it is flexible enough to accommodate the needs and journey of each individual.
Accountability: Loving accountability helps us to walk with Christ, and to have a mutual commitment to each other. The disciple maker and disciples take responsibility not only for themselves, but for the others as well. Together we inspire each other, encourage each other, and strengthen each other as a team focused on a common goal: to become what Christ desires for each of us to become.
Reproducible: God never intended discipleship to be just a class, or short investment in another life. It is meant to be carried from one person, to another person, to another person. At Door of Hope we have two goals for discipleship: For each person to grow strong in Christ and in His Word, and then teach someone else how to do the same thing, thereby producing disciple making disciples.