In this series we’re exploring how to lead dynamic small groups for the sake of the student world. Below is adapted from a section in the new workbook Small Groups: Big Mission.
Discipleship is a word that is frequently thrown around, but how active are we in it within the context of small groups? Over the years, I have been a part of a variety of small groups- all great, but I can definitely pinpoint one or two that became a weekly social rather than an intentional part of our faith walks.
To be a disciple means to be a “learner” or “student”, and Jesus models perfectly what this can look like in a small group with the 12- they were an outward-looking community with Jesus at the centre, and they learnt by doing, not just sitting and pulling apart scripture. In fact, Jesus’ discipleship ranged from formal, to informal, to experimental- that’s planned meeting and teaching, being community (i.e. sharing a meal), and moments where the disciples just tried to step out. This is the kind of small group you want to be a part of.
Jesus’ command in Matthew 28 is “to go and make disciples”, and whilst doing discipleship well within your small group, there is no doubt you will begin to see new Christians come on the scene. Discipling new Christians is essential; foundations have to be built and we mustn’t assume they already exist, especially as most of this generation have never been to Sunday school, unlike previous generations. Because of this, discipling new Christians will look very different to discipling those who have been a Christian a little longer. They are very vulnerable and trusting, so before you answer questions be 100% sure of your answers, and be expectant of inconsistency in the first few months- it’s nothing personal!
There are some great practical pointers on discipling new Christians in our new workbook. Here are a few to get you started:
- Be gentle
- Never take authority
- Encourage endlessly
Our new workbook Small Groups: Big Mission is out now. We recommend going through the content with leaders and students. The Fusion team deliver small group training empowered by the Holy Spirit, prayer and dynamic content from the workbook.