Disciple-Making Small Groups

Effective, disciple-making small groups marry mission and values.

When Jesus commanded his followers to "make disciples," it was a call to mission as a lifestyle (Matthew 28:18-20). The way we are instructed to 'make' more followers & learners of Christ is by baptizing them and teaching them to obey everything Jesus has told us to do. The word "teach" in The Great Commission involves more than verbal instruction (v. 20a). It involves the whole person and the whole of life.

The teaching comes by living out the truth in community the way Jesus did with the Twelve. In other words, the natural outgrowth of effective evangelism IS discipleship and full-bodied discipleship requires community. This is exemplified throughout the New Testament in the Gospels and in the first years of the Church.

Therefore, what Jesus meant by 'make disciples' (and what this looks like) requires a relationally-driven structure that helps bring the truth of the Gospel to the whole of one's life. If a church's disciple-making plan is embodied in their core values then an obvious connection ought to be made with small groups.

Small groups provide a practical way for the people of your church to personally accept the core values of your church and appropriate them into their lives. Moreover, using your core values to construct the framework for small group life puts more focus on your church's mission. This will help believers better understand how small groups can be strategic in helping them fulfill their God-given purpose. When this happens, your church can be more effective in its unique calling to make Christ known to more people.

You can be successful at the application of your core values to your church's mission when you provide a practical strategy for the integration of your core values in the lives of people ...

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