Last week, I found out that we have four people interested in being a part of our first simple church here in Greenville. The backgrounds of each person got me thinking…
Yesterday I wrote that the lowest common denominator in the kingdom of God is the disciple. If we multiply disciples (if we disciple people who can then disciple people who will disciple people, etc.), then disciple-making churches will sprout (and hopefully multiply).
So how are we going to disciple people? Mentoring.
My friend (and fellow church planter) Aaron Snow in Las Vegas has said that he wants to spend more time with less people. There’s great wisdom in that statement. Mentoring and discipleship take much time and investment in people. I’m drop dead convinced that the church would have a greater impact if we spent more time on discipling and less time on 90 minute Sunday services (but that’s just me).
I’m working to spend time each week with people to disciple them–which means I can only spend time with a few of them. But if I work to make multiplying disciples (as we all should be doing), then our efforts are multiplied. For some of the people who are interested, it will start with the basics of the faith. For others, it will be a little more advanced because they’re already Christians–looking at their giftedness (are they apostolic/evangelistic, prophetic/pastoral, or something else), teaching and modeling the basics of simple church, and continually communicating the need to be disciple makers themselves.
One of the most effective systems I’ve seen for discipling and mentoring is Neil Cole’s Life Transformation Groups (LTGs). LTGs consist of 2-3 people who read at least 30 chapters of Scripture a week, get together once a week to confess sin, talk about the scripture they read (and they read it again the next week if someone didn’t finish), and pray for lost people. When they invite a 4th person into the group, the LTG then multiplies. I’ll be looking to impliment this simple strategy in the near future.
So who exactly makes good soil for discipling–and thus the first participants in a new church?
More on that tomorrow.