Saturday, August 11, 2007

Some Thoughts on Discipleship 2

Roger Thoman at the House Church Blog posts some of his collection of ...

Thoughts on Discipleship Pathways

How do we address healthy disciple-making (spiritual formation) in the context of simple/house church?

I think this issue has much to do with how we view the process of discipleship. If it is just information downloading (my old way of thinking), then it’s simply a matter of a well-designed program. If, however, it is about relationship, modeling, life and lifestyle transmission, well… that is going to be a different matter altogether.

To get my own juices flowing on this subject, I decided to review some of the different perspectives and approaches to this topic that I found interesting.

Neil Cole

Neil encourages discipleship to begin in groups that are smaller than organic/house churches. He calls these small incubators “Life Transformation Groups.”

"This is a group of two or three people who meet weekly to challenge one another to live an authentic spiritual life. Members of these non-coed groups have a high degree of accountability to one another in how they have walked with the Lord each week, which involves mutual confession of sins as well as reading a large volume of Scripture repetitively. LTGs are also missional, in that they actively pray for the souls of lost friends, associates, and neighbors."

These groups, as you can see, focus on accountability, Scripture (lots of Scripture reading), and actively praying for the lost. Neil feels strongly that one cannot improve upon the Bible for curriculum and that helping people immerse themselves in Scripture provides them with the needed foundation:

"Do we really think we can improve upon God’s Word? Why do we so often give people our own teachings and curriculum rather than Jesus’ teaching? … The helps that are available to us are not sinister or wrong, but they are also not the seed of God’s Kingdom."

I particularly agree with Neil’s desire to see Christians learn to be “self-feeding” as quickly as possible.

Neil sponsors Greenhouse Conferences and the quotes above are from his book, Organic Church.

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