Involvement of Small Group Members

Why Is Small the New Big? 

One way to keep discipleship simple is by looking at small discipleship groups as one significant, impactful movement. Jesus closely mentored 12 men, who later became world changers. Twelve is a small number, but the impact it created in advancing God’s kingdom is significant.  

Malcolm Gladwell notes that churches, like any sizeable voluntary organization, are not spared from internal contradiction. To attract newcomers, the church must have minimal barriers to allow entry. They must be unintimidating, friendly, and culturally adaptive. To retain their members, they need to have one identity different from where they came from. They need to give their members a sense of community. However, having a community or a sense of a new identity and exclusivity is an inevitable casualty of growth. 

 If the barriers to entry become too low and the relationship among members becomes weak, then a church becomes more vulnerable as it grows bigger. This has been a common problem with growing organizations. At first, people are moved by a message, but it will not be enough to keep them.  

They need to be part of a community that accounts for them to apply the message in their lives. As an organization increases, the people within can become less connected, and their dedication to the cause and the group decreases. The movement grows in number but becomes less effective.  

To Grow or Not to Grow

To cope with these growing pains, Gladwell mentions that one solution is not to grow. Historically, churches have sacrificed size for the community. But there is also another approach: creating a church of many networks of small discipleship cells or groups that is exclusive and tightly knit for six to seven members, who regularly meet during the week to fellowship, worship, and pray with one another.  

When megachurches became the instrument of the evangelical movement and started to adopt the cellular model, they found out that the small group was an extraordinary vehicle of commitment, for it was personal, flexible, cost-efficient, and convenient. Moreover, every member was able to find a small group that matched their interests.

In the next post, we’ll talk more about how Jesus modeled “small is big.”

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What Does Discipleship “Look” Like?

Our immediate concern should not know how to build a disciple but to first have a clear picture of how disciple looks like, do, or are. As we consider the question about what a disciple is.

The answers we could have in mind are about becoming like Jesus, obeying everything in Scripture, becoming completely committed to a lifetime of growth, devotion, and learning.  

Once we are sure of what a disciple is, we can now proceed into questions like these:

  • What should be the absolute basic knowledge required for someone to become a good follower of Jesus?
  • What would be the essential characteristics (passion, heart, desire, commitments) of those same people?

Growing as a disciple requires movement. As people come to our churches and enter into a discipleship pathway, we desire them to grow more and more like Jesus.  

Delivery System for the Discipleship Model

There are three ways to approach discipleship. Three ways to comprehensively approach discipleship can either be through  the following:

  1. Program Driven Church
  2. Missional Group Church
  3. Discipleship Modeling Church.  

Program Driven Church

A Program Driven Church is a close-knit church with a congregation who loves to spend time together, i.e., playgroups, coffee groups, Saturday breakfasts, hockey day, etc.

In this delivery system, the church assures that everyone who walks through their doors has a place and feels welcomed.  

Missional Group Church

Secondly, the Missional Group Church prioritizes time with those who do not know Christ.

Missional Church members are eager to know their neighbors to invite these people into their homes and church and join their small group.

This church is very externally driven and is passionate about sharing Jesus with the people around them.  

Discipleship Modeling Church

Finally, the Discipleship Modeling Church refers to the church that focuses on the growth and development of each member of their church.

This mission is integrated through Sunday services, fellowships, mentoring, and even online discipleship programs.

The discipleship leaders in a Discipleship Modeling Church are intentional in establishing and empowering future discipleship leaders.

They spend time developing relationships and modeling leadership. In the same vein, they have a clear path for the discipleship journey and have created a culture where church members are excited to grow in their relationship with Christ.

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The DNA of the Small Groups

Instead of asking for new small group strategies that are working well, a discipleship pastor or leader should first determine the DNA of the small groups in their church.

Rather than going for effective discipleship curriculums, a pastor or any leader must be first grounded. Pastors must align themselves to God’s calling for their church’s small groups.  

Small group leaders take shortcuts to successful small groups, and they copy and apply another church’s model for discipleship. The problem with this is that they do not take into account their own church’s unique fundamentals.

Every church is different, and this is okay. We should celebrate this difference since other churches can do different things to reach different people.

The discipleship system of simplicity is firmly grounded with the basics and the fundamentals of discipleship.

Sometimes, even the most basic question, “What is a Disciple?” becomes a complicated question to answer. It’s about creating a simple, duplicable discipleship pathway for the church community. 

In whatever language we have, discipleship remains the core designated task for the church, as we call it the Great Commission.  

And Jesus came and said to them,

“All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold I am with you always, to the end of the age.”

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Back to Basics Part 2

In the last post, you read about going back to basics and being straightforward in your discipleship system, and keeping accurate to the model Jesus exhibited. What are other tips we can follow?

The fourth principle of Fuhs is, “Don’t blend the genders.” There will be concerns about the individual lives of the group members that they will not be comfortable sharing or confessing in the presence of the opposite sex. Lastly, “Content Matters.” Fuhs noted that while all scripture is God-breathed, not all scripture will have equal weight in transforming lives and multiplying disciples. What we teach in our small groups is what they will teach in their small groups.

There are countless principles that we can memorize and apply in our discipleship groups. There are also numerous discipleship models and frameworks that we can copy and utilize. However, just like how Jesus and the first disciples did it before, we need not complicate things. Problems arise when we get too strategic that we go beyond and forget the basics. 

Senior Pastor of New Life Bible Church Oklahoma, Alan Danielson, shared in an article, “The right way to do small groups,” the lessons he learned from years of small group consulting. He emphasized that some discipleship models do work but are not effective for others. Danielson noticed that some discipleship pastors and leaders are more focused on the process while overlooking their small group’s fundamentals.  

Your weekly dose of prophetic wisdom and anointing awaits you. Join our LIVE Conference Call!

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Simon Peter: Commitment to Action

Prophetic commitment is something that exists in language, and it is only by speaking and listening that you can have access to it. We all make commitments. Even self-confessed procrastinators at some point will realize that they are committed to avoid decisions.

One account in the Bible that depicts prophetic commitment to action which resulted in a new possibility is the conversation between Jesus and Simon Peter while in a boat when he walked on water (Mt. 14:22-33).

It happened again after Jesus died and resurrected from the dead.

Simon Peter said to them, “I am going fishing.” They said to him, “We will go with you.” They went out and got into the boat, but that night they caught nothing.

Just after daybreak, Jesus stood on the beach; but the disciples did not know that it was Jesus. Jesus said to them, “Children, you have no fish, have you?” They answered him, “No.” He said to them, “Cast the net to the right side of the boat, and you will find some.” So they cast it, and now they were not able to haul it in because there were so many fish. That disciple whom Jesus loved said to Peter, “It is the Lord!” When Simon Peter heard that it was the Lord, he put on some clothes, for he was naked, and jumped into the sea. But the other disciples came in the boat, dragging the net full of fish, for they were not far from the land, only about a hundred yards off. (John 21:3-8)

Everything seemed ironic. It was a time when the odds were against Simon Peter. They had all night to catch fish, but not a single one was caught. Then Jesus, a carpenter’s son, instructed him, a seasoned fisherman, to let down the nets. It was just like a kindergarten teacher coaching a rocket scientist about his job. Despite the unreasonableness and the fact that it was against any fisherman’s professional judgment, Peter committed to do as the Lord said. He faithfully let down the net as told.

Because of that faith and commitment, the result was spectacular. The nets were overflowing with too much fish that they were already about to tear. Even the boat, because of too much weight it was carrying, was almost to the point of sinking. This is what prophetic commitment does.

When we are committed to that possibility of change, we will do it despite the unreasonableness. And once we do, that possibility is realized.

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What is the Lord challenging you to commit to right now, despite the impossibility you are facing?

CHOOSE LIFE

A person gets lost in what other people think about him. Operating in the flesh, this person is concerned with image. He allows tasks, rules, standards, and the urgency and scope of being in the realities of this world rule his ways of being. Needless to say, these things take hold of choices for possibilities.

Martin Heidegger calls this invisible pressure from other people to conform the “they.”  The “they” has concealed the way it has silently robbed the individual of the choice between “yes” or “no.” It becomes unclear who is really choosing what.

When you allow the “they” to rob you of your choices, you get caught up with inauthenticity. Therefore, when you have an inauthentic existence, your behavior and everything in your being is out of integrity. This is because who you know yourself to be is different from who you are being. Note that the process to integrity and authenticity can only be experienced once again when you take your existence back from the “they”.

Visit Prophecology to learn more about being your authentic self.

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Who/what are the “they’s” in your life right now that are robbing you of your choices?

THE POWER OF DISTINCTION

God created the world, and everything in it, out of nothing.

“Let there be light,” God commanded and there was light. In the story of creation, we saw the power of distinction. Our ability to distinguish something allows us to bring something into its own existence. In our own lives, we distinguish our experiences as “problems” or “opportunities” or we label people as either “good” or “evil” and so they become according to our word.

Learn more about the power of distinction, join us in our daily conference calls and be equipped to live the life you’ve always longed for.

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Try this activity right now: DISTINGUISH your strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats in fulfilling your purpose in the Lord.

Be Present Now

Werner Erhard tells us, “Living is really pretty simple. Living happens right now; it doesn’t happen back then, and it doesn’t happen out there. Living is not the story of your life. Living is the process of experiencing right now.” There is no other time than this very moment that you can make changes in your life. Take it, own it, and know that your time to shine is no other time than this moment.

In life, there are no dress rehearsals. Each moment you have is the actual show.

Do not bring to the future irrelevant opinions, fears, biases, and resentment from your past. The secret to creating an awesome future is taking life as it is. Be at peace with the future you are living into.

Find out how you can make the most out of TODAY with Archbishop Jordan’s  new book, School of Gods, now available via the Book of the Month Club.

Not only does the Book of the Month Club provide a pathway to knowledge, wisdom and insight, it also sets you up to be in attendance at the Spring Session of Prophecology 2018: Birthing House: The Latter Rain, February 23-25, 2018.

Go to the Book of the Month Club page and join the club now!


Knowing that your time on earth is limited, what are three things you CANNOT afford to neglect doing today?

YOU ARE NOT A SLAVE TO ANYTHING BUT GOD

Is God a slave to anything or to anyone? God is the Master of the Universe. He is Spirit and He is free to do whatever He wants according to His good and loving nature.
In the flesh, we are limited. We have experienced being enslaved by the power of sin. As we surrender our lives to Jesus, we are restored to our true nature.

We have been set free from sin and have become slaves to righteousness. (Romans 6:18)

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As you identify negative labels that defined you in the past, you can now move forward towards breaking free from whatever has enslaved you in the past, sign up for this FREE Course and experience the Power of Prophecy to show you what God has in store for you in this season of your life:

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Take out a piece of paper and do this activity. You can also share your comments in the comment box.

  • List up to five (5) labels that have been used about you (e.g. “smart girl”, “nagger”, “athletic one.”)

  •  Identify each label if it is “positive” or “negative.”

  • Identify where this label come from (be specific as possible, such as naming a specific person if you can).

  • Ask yourself, “Do I agree with this label?”

  • Ask yourself, “What advantages or disadvantages does each label have?”

LIVING A CONTENT-GENERATED LIFE

reusing_glass_jars_lWhat does a content-generated life look like? It’s like a jar that is filled with stuff that may or may not give meaning to your life. When our lives are controlled by content, you have no power to decide what content you put into your “jar of life.”

Content refers to the forces and circumstances of the condition in which we live. These contents pertain to a lot of different things that add meaning to an event. There is a whole range of examples that pertain to content, such as your age, your educational background, your emotions, your beliefs, and the like.

  • Think back to the times wherein you felt that you were “unlucky” in life. A lot of times, you feel like you are a victim of fate.

  • You cannot seem to take responsibility for the circumstance or condition you have experienced.

  • You were also good at assigning blame to any other person or thing other than yourself. Everything just happened to you.

  • You were not accountable for it.

  • This is the way the natural Man thinks because he has a mind that is conditioned to be powerless.

When you choose what your “jar of life” is for, you get to choose what contents you allow into your life. You get to choose the kind of life you experience.


How can you stSchool of Gods sample 3Dop being controlled by the contents in your life, and start living as the context? We are inviting you to join the Book of the Month Club which gives you exclusive access to Archbishop Jordan’s book, School of Gods. 

Not only does the Book of the Month Club provide a pathway to knowledge, wisdom and insight, it also sets you up to be in attendance at the Spring Session of Prophecology 2018: Birthing House: The Latter Rain, February 23-25, 2018.

Sign up for the Book of the Month Club and join the club now!


Try this activity. List the times that you acted like a victim in your life and you assigned blame to other people or circumstances for what has gone wrong in your life, instead of taking responsibility.

FROM DARKNESS TO LIGHT

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The “Un-illumined Consciousness” thinks God is separate and apart from one’s own being. However, we were created to have the essence of God, but somewhere along the way, we pushed God’s nature out of our system because of the darkness of sin, until we are deceived into thinking that He is a separate being. We fear God is so far away and He could not even hear our prayers, because sin has created a moral separation between man and God (Isa. 59:1-2).

We used to experience suffering through our five senses of the physical body. Now, an illumined consciousness allows us to experience and to see suffering from a spiritual perspective. We do not simply REACT, but we RESPOND to our circumstances as God would respond.


As you identify these areas of pain and suffering, sign up for this FREE Course and experience the Power of Prophecy to open up your mind to what God is doing in your life right now:

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Share in the comment box your answer to this question: What difficult events or periods have you gone through? Write about any significant psychological insults and injuries you’ve sustained in the past —for example, your losses, disappointments, traumas, or quieter periods of despair, hopelessness, and loneliness.