Sunday, July 01, 2012

Core Discipleship: 3 Strands 3 Stages 3 People

Regarding discipleship, noted Christian researcher George Barna writes, "Among the barriers to spiritual growth are the tendencies to focus on Bible knowledge (i.e., memorize verses, know the stories of key biblical personalities) but not character development; the lack of a clear and specific idea of what meaningful discipleship is; and unrealistic expectations regarding the role of small groups in the disciple-making process.” Barna acknowledged that most churches have many programs and classes that represent the discipleship effort. "Offering programs is not the issue. We discovered that surprisingly few churches have a well-conceived model of discipleship that they implement. The result is that churches feel they have fulfilled their obligation if they provide a broad menu of courses, events, and other experiences, but such a well-intentioned but disjointed approach leaves people confused and imbalanced."

3 Strands

Strand 1: Crowd (majority of churches have "Sunday" services)

Size: Typically the large gathering in most churches for corporate worship
Purpose: To bring about a change in knowledgeFocus: celebration - worship

Strand 2: Cell (growing number of churches have cell or life groups)

Size: 5-16 people
Purpose: To bring about behavioral change; characterFocus: community - fellowship--after you have been through discipleship--this takes place long term.

Strand 3: Core (few churches engage in up-close and personal discipleship as modeled by Jesus)

Size: 3 people - no more than 4
Purpose: To bring about a change of direction, heart and position; knowledge, character and conductFocus: committment - discipleship

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