There is no better place or better person to learn about discipleship from than Jesus our Lord. From our reading of the Gospels, Jesus demonstrated to his disciples what it means to be on God’s mission and how to invite others to be on a similar mission. Greg Ogden writes, “The Scriptural context for growing disciples is through relationships. Jesus called the twelve to be with him, for through personal association their lives would be transformed.” In other words, ‘proximity produces disciples’. I could not help but imagine the implications for leaders if proximity produces disciples. Discipleship happens within the context of intentional and accountable relationships. We know that each individual is unique in his/her own way and in the same way; a disciple is a unique individual who grows at a rate peculiar to him or her. Ogden concludes, “Unless disciples receive personal attention so that their particular growth needs are addressed in a way that calls them to die to self and live fully to Christ, a disciple will not be made.” At your table, reflect on the above statement. Do you agree or disagree with this statement why or why not? How could we develop intentional relationships in our groups?
Programs have four characteristics in common:
a) They tend to be informational- or knowledge based- Programs assume that knowledge will automatically lead to transformation- “right knowledge produce right living”
b) The one prepares for the many;’ people come as passive recipients”
c) Characterized by synchronization-completing the program is equated to making disciples”, making disciples requires a accustomed approach not mass production”
d) Low personal accountability-a closer examination of programs reveals a focus on completing the assigned study curriculum rather than committing to life change.
Ogden’s insight here ought to make us think about emphasis on programs as a means for disciple making.