Consider this: Mature disciples not only evangelize, but also stand for Christ in the midst of emotional and physical persecution, live lives that depict the love of Christ, and lead people to believe that Jesus is real and truly capable of transforming lives. They serve in ways that take the burden off the church staff, and they support the mission of the church. They live in peace and unity with other believers, making the church a magnet for those longing for a loving, caring community.
It's essential that we, the small-group community, focus on developing mature believers in our ministries who then develop other mature disciples. As large numbers of believers are discipled toward maturity, the church will flourish, experiencing both spiritual and numerical growth.
—Rick Howerton is a discipleship and small group specialist; copyright 2014 by Christianity Today.
To help your group members grow and thrive, use our training tool Growing Small Groups. It focuses on key discipleship elements in groups.