“But encourage one another daily, as long as it is called today…” – Hebrews 3:13
We’re a church that believes in discipleship. We’re built on a foundation of one another relationships. Yet, in my time in ministry I don’t think I’ve oversold and undelivered on anything more than discipling.
It’s not that we’re not trying. We’ve tried everything! We’ve changed the name of our groups at least 10 times. We’ve changed group sizes and demographics. We’ve let people pick groups based on interest and we’ve had house church leaders help place people in groups that seemed most beneficial. Everything works for a while until it doesn’t.
What if the structure isn’t the most important part of a discipling relationship? What if it’s more about commitment and content?
Commitment is tough. You can preach devotion to discipling all day and “require” it but how many members in your congregation actually participate in one on one or small group discipling? We have to keep preaching the necessity of discipling but maybe there’s something else that can unlock the life changing power of discipling for a greater majority of your members.
Content is key.
Many churches have two kinds of Christians: Christians who’ve been around for a long time and who have sat in so many discipling times that the concept has become stale and undesirable. Or new Christians that don’t really understand discipling and aren’t going to be taught by the first kind of Christians who are stuck in a discipling rut.
The right content can rekindle older disciples and build a discipling culture for younger Christians at the same time. We’ve tinkered with providing different kinds of conversation starters for effective discipling times and come across something that really works. Discipleship Decks are light scripts that lead disciples through dynamic conversations based on a topic of their choice. The mixture of structure and choice seems to help older and younger Christians to feel like they aren’t just getting together for the sake of getting together but that they are choosing to grow together in a relevant topic. Because script takes the role of teacher, older and younger Christians can be mutually encouraged by one another. This takes discipling beyond, “How you doin’ bro?”
Each Discipleship Deck has a theme and 5 sessions. The goal for each discipling group is to finish one deck per quarter. That’s 5 discipleship times per quarter and 20 or so per year. That might seem “light” but I bet it’s so much more than most of your members are currently getting! When a deck is completed the group gets recognized with a digital reward and a sticker on a board at church. (Yes, adults are still motivated by stickers).
The sessions themselves follow a script that basically teaches Christians how to talk on a deeper level and help one another in a loving way. These are great skills for your church to gain member by member and small group by small group! They start and end the same way (front slide/card) to build comfortable continuity while the middle of each conversation (back side/card) hones in on a scripture related to a topic and asks 5 good questions. Disciples should read the scripture and questions ahead of time and come prepared for a soul-enriching discussion.
The decks are available through Google Slides and can be printed. I recommend a mixture of both for your church. You can print a few copies of each series for people to take from a display at church and you can provide a QR code to this page or to individual Discipleship Decks for people who are comfortable using their phones. As an added bonus, there may be time times in your church where having everyone work through a Discipleship Deck together will add to a sermon series or strengthen the church’s unity.
Start a discipling revolution in your church today by checking out the discipleship decks below that interest you.