Did your pastor asked you to lead a discipleship group? Then, congrats but follow what Jesus did in his ministry.
Fast and Pray: Jesus, before he stepped into ministry, fasted and prayed for 40 days where then he encountered and defeated satan. This is to strengthen our soul, mind and body.
Choose Your People: Jesus didn’t close his eyes and chose his disciples. But He walked around and picked up from various places. Many times we go on inviting people to our group. I am not saying that’s wrong but it may not turn effective. Seek God before you call people for the group.
No Partiality: We tend to call people whom we are comfortable.Jesus called from fisherman to Tax collector. It Should be a mixed group so that one can learn from each other about their challenges and lifestyles.
All are Welcome: 70 were following Jesus along with 12. But when they the word of God hit their life styles and ideologies, they left Him. So don’t worry if more people come. If God doesn’t want them to be in your Group, they will leave.And I am sure, someone else will be ordained for them. But do not say NO to anyone.
Word of God: Major element for the group. Word of God is the foundation. If it’s not taught Properly, then the group will collapse. Jesus was preaching and teaching wherever He went.
Take your disciples along: Group leaders job is not a one day job. Are you going for a house visit, take them along. Are you going to pray for the sick, take them along. They have to be in the field of ministry. Enough of comfort zone. But be careful! Do not do this from day one. Be Spirit Led.
Travel: Jesus travelled across the cities. He didn’t go alone but He took His disciples. Are you planning to go from China to Europe for a meet. Take your family along with you and a group member. So you get time to build your ministry and family.
Next line leader: Observe each one during and after the group. Jesus didn’t make James, John and Peter as the next leaders over night. He spend time with them, knew their heart and then chose. It’s very important to multiply the groups and make sure you hit the target in 3 months.
Two by Two: Release them. They can’t be pampered under your wings. Give them some experience. Let them explore the ministry world. Jesus send His disciples in two’s with instruction. They preached, healed and drove out the demons.
Prayer partners: Group leaders doesn’t mean that you are the ultimate and you don’t need help. When crisis hits, someone needs to stand along. Instead of going to your pastor (nothing wrong), why can’t you go to your disciples and ask them for prayer. Jesus asked Peter, James and John to pray, during His last moments.
Chasten and Rebuke: If you see your disciple speaking or doing something wrong, do correct them. If it’s necessary to be done in public,do it otherwise your can do it in private. When Judas spoke about Mary wasting the perfume, Jesus didn’t agree to his pious statement but He said to leave her alone. Peter was called ‘Satan’ by Jesus when he spoke against the will of God.
Don’t expect all your group members to be faithful till the end. After three and half years of talking the being along, Judas betrayed Jesus, Peter denied Jesus, John fled naked when Jesus was arrested.
Expect the unexpected from people. But God is faithful. Even though John fled, He was near the cross till Jesus’s death. Put your heart and soul into your discipleship group ministry. You will have a JOHN in your life.