By Christopher McRae, Discipleship Team Leader
Discipleship is the ongoing process of leading followers of Jesus Christ on the journey of spiritual maturity such that they are becoming more like him: embracing his vision, reflecting his values, developing his gifts, modeling his behavior, and demonstrating his character.
There are certain principles of the discipleship process that help individuals become more fully devoted to Christ and his Kingdom, thus facilitating their transformation into Christlikeness. These include a focus on the following:
- A Biblical Maturity — Personal Growth in the Transformational Principle of developing the Vision, Actions, Character, and Skill of a Disciple of Jesus Christ.
- A Discipleship Ministry — Becoming an Intentional Leader of others by Identifying, Engaging and Training them to become Disciple Makers.
- A Personal Involvement — Engaging in a Relational Environment to pass along the heart and life of a follower of Jesus Christ to the person you are discipling.
- A Practical Process — Practicing a Reproducible Pattern of making replicating disciples.
One of the most significant ways that the BCI assists churches in their discipleship responsibility is in how these issues are addressed in the area of Small Group ministries. This includes everything from traditional Sunday School classes, to Cell ministries, to Affinity groups and Bible studies.
Whether the church is a church with small groups or of small groups, the Discipleship Team has worked with pastors and lay leaders to enhance their ability to engage church members in this process. It is done through initial assessments, ongoing training and individualized coaching.
In this past year the DTL has worked with nearly two dozen individual churches in evaluating their discipling ministries and working with them in some capacity to enhance their ability in using small groups to mature members as followers of Jesus Christ. Additionally, in cooperation with specific churches of the Convention, work has been accomplished to outline a schedule and a curriculum for groups to start or restart. The “pre-work” involved in this begins with initial meetings, followed by surveys of both the church leadership and members. A customized plan is then developed for implementing the needed vision, content and oversight.
We look forward broadening engagement and developing resources for BCI churches looking to transition group life into effective disciple-making ministries.