More quotes from this challenging book!!!
God’s love language to us is mercy and grace. Our love language to God is loving obedience. —David Watson
The church today is preaching to produce conversion; then teaching to increase knowledge; then giving periodic attention, usually in sermons, to encourage converts to obey what they have learned. Jesus’ strategy was very different. In fact, as we have noted earlier, what Jesus did with the Twelve was exactly the opposite: He discipled them to conversion.
When we look at how Jesus discipled the Twelve, we can see several key elements:
- Discipleship is relationship based: Jesus developed relationships with the Twelve. He lived with them, traveled with them, ate with them, did ministry with them, spent time in their homes, visited people with them, and so on.
- Discipleship is coaching and mentoring based: Jesus trained the Twelve in the context of His ministry. It was on-the-job training, so to speak. He lived out the truths of God’s Word, expected the disciples to also live that way, observed and corrected them, and then sent them to go and make new disciples.
- Making disciples is group process based: In the Gospels, we see the Twelve discussing things that Jesus said or that they saw Him doing; they processed together the things they were learning. Sometimes, Jesus intervened to bring correction when they failed to understand (Mark 9:31). Western Christians, like most people in Western culture, are much more individualistic than people in the Majority World: our relationship with the Lord is often very private and personal. But in cultures described in the Bible thousands of years ago, and today in much of Africa, Asia, and Latin America, important spiritual decisions are assumed to be a group experience, and there is much more accountability and support.
- Groups remember more than individuals. Collective memory is always dramatically better than individual memory.
- Groups learn faster than individuals.
- Groups require less repetition, and group repetition becomes individual memory.
- Groups replicate faster than individuals. Because of the speed of memorization and learning, individuals in a group reach a point where they can pass on to others quickly what they are learning.
- Groups replicate more often than individuals. Speed of replication affects frequency of replication.
- Groups are a protection against bad leadership and heresy. When the authority of Scripture and dependence on prayer and the Holy Spirit are part of a group’s DNA, groups can protect themselves against bad leadership. Measuring leaders by God’s Word is a powerful defense against extra biblical and unbiblical practices.
- Groups self-correct. We see this happen frequently when groups measure themselves by the requirements of Scripture.
- Groups keep individuals accountable. When churches are planted in established affinity or family groups, each member sees the others enough to hold one another accountable. If a group member disobeys Scripture, the group will know and respond quickly.15
- Making disciples is discovery process based: Jesus spent time with the Twelve and gave them the opportunity to discover who He is. He revealed Himself progressively to them, until they came to the point where they knew that He is the Christ, the Son of God.