I've been out training in the basics of multiplying disciples and churches. A while ago I realised that training in the basics was the missing element in my call to fuel multiplication movements of disciples and churches.
Vision is not enough. People need to know how to get started.
Here's what I'm learning.
1. Train people in simple reproducing methods.
We've developed a basic discipleship tool for new believers: Following Jesus and Fishing for People.
With new disciples we teach people to begin with the Seven Commands of Christ and dip into the Seven Skills as needed.
When we train existing believers, we start at the end with Seeing the big picture and then work through the Skills section.
2. Cover foundational and life-long discipleship.
The Seven Commands are for foundational discipleship. Once the Seven Commands are done you can move on to other passages or themes of Scripture. For life-long discipleship they continue with Discovery Bible Study and the Three Thirds.
3. Learn from a variety of approaches but stick to one.
Following and Fishing is an equivalent to Jeff Sundell’s Disciple Cycle. In fact, Jeff gave me the idea and I adapted it. Tim Scheuer also has a version coming out soon. We’ve all been influenced by George Patterson’s Seven Commands; Nathan Shank’s Four Fields; David Watson’s Discovering God; and Steve Smith and Ying Kai’s T4T.
These are all effective tools for making disciples and multiplying churches. It’s very healthy to have a variety around a common purpose. But once you begin to train others, you need to settle on an approach and stick to it or you’ll confuse people who are just getting started.
4. You haven’t done the training until you’ve done the training.
Download the booklet and use whatever is helpful. But don’t expect you’ll “get it” without being trained by someone who is also a practitioner. Don’t expect to “get it” until you begin doing what you’ve learned in training. You’ll also need to track with others who are implementing and a good coach if you can find one. Like me, you might have to do the training a few times before you really understand.
5. A final question
People keep asking, “Does it work?” I’m not sure how to answer. The training is all about connecting with lost people, sharing the gospel, training disciples and gathering them into communities. At every level the intention is to multiply workers. Rather than ask does this “work”? I think we should ask, “Is this what Jesus commanded us to do?”