Topic #1: Goal of the group
Almost all of our discipleship groups have begun with a study of Hal Perkins' book "If Jesus Were A Parent." This may suggest that the goal of the group is to study the book...but this is not the goal. The goal simply is to disciple others to become disciplemakers. We use Hal's book as a tool to that end.
For instance, chapter one of his book emphasizes the importance of relational authority. Relational authority is the key to building trust in a relationship. Without trust, there can be no discipling. Now, it is great to have this knowledge, but it does us no good without application. So from the very first week of the discipleship group, we should be sharing who God is nudging us toward to disciple and talking through ways to increase our relational authority with them...whether they are our kids or someone else.
Application is the key...not knowledge of the book. Let's share life within the group to really talk through how we are applying what we are learning. It is possible that it takes two or three weeks to get through the first chapter as we work to apply (not just know) what we have learned. If the goal is to disciple others to become disciplemakers, this does not happen after you have finished the book. It happens from day one. The goal of becoming a disciplemaker should also be clear to everyone in the group even before you start. This helps set the tone for this kind of approach.
Questions to ponder:
1. When is your job as a coach/discipler finished? Is it when they have knowledge or when you know they can actually work through the process of discipling someone else? What does coaching look like in real life? Should you even come alongside of them when they meet with their disciple for the first time...not to lead but to participate and share your insights later?
2. Have you ever been in a group where someone was not willing to share? How does relational authority work into this situation? How can we build trust to the point where they are willing?
3. When do we know we have built enough relational authority so that we can successfully invite someone into a discipleship group? Are there any tests or signs that the relationship is ready?
By the way, these would be great questions to discuss when looking at chapter one of Hal's book. Are there any other thoughts or questions that you would add?
What other topics should we discuss?
Next up: Who should we invite into a discipleship group? What are the qualifications?
May your time together be rich this week,