Tip #3 -- Define Purpose of your Discipleship Group

Up, In, Out

photo courtesy of yoppy

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Look Up to God

The secret of success in Christ's kingdom is the ability to pray. Prayer was as fundamental an element in the life of Jesus as breathing. Through prayer, Jesus was in constant contact with his Father, whom he spoke of in a very personal, intimate and familiar way. Jesus introduced his disciples to this very personal relationship with God, calling them into the same kind of intimacy with the Father that he had. Our identity flows from the one who gives us life. Our relationship with the Father is the source of our core identity, sons and daughters of God.

Look In to Multiple Leaders

Jesus built a midsize group of followers. He appointed and sent 70 to prepare hearts for his coming kingdom (Luke 10:1-9). From that extended family he chose the Twelve, whom he named apostles. Within that inner circle, he had three close friends – Peter, James and John. Jesus interacted with his disciples in a variety of life settings. He loved his disciples and specifically trained them to be like him and continue his kingdom movement. Multiplying leaders was Jesus' priority. Success was not about size, but rather succession.

Look Out to the Lost

Jesus never lost sight of his Father's vision and heart – to reach out to a dark and dying world. Jesus walked among the crowds – teaching, feeding, healing, comforting. Jesus did not wait for the spiritually dead to come to him. He went to them and ministered to them at their point of need. Jesus equipped his disciples with the understanding that they were part of God's rescue team. As the Father sent him, he sent them (John 20:21).

It's easy for each of us to become one-sided in our approach to ministry. We all have our natural gifts that tend to come out most when we invest in God's kingdom. Step back and consider how you can be a more three dimensional disciple-maker. When one dimension is missing or suppressed, the other two do not work as they should. Ask God and some close friends to give you feedback. Discipleship is the process of being the person Jesus would be if he were you.

Author:Paul Schlieker  www.bible-study-lesson-plans.com

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