Troubleshooting the Four Fields: 3. Discipleship

Four Fields  discipleship

We’re looking at how Nathan Shank troubleshoots each of the Four Fields of a church planting movement.

The Discipleship Field is about simple reproducing methods of teaching new believers to follow and obey Jesus.

Key Questions

  • What percentage of new believers are baptized?
  • Are new groups forming? 

Discipleship short-term patterns and long-term discipleship (self-feeding). 

Field 2 is the engine, but Field 3 efforts develop roots among disciples.

Reproducing Discipleship truths/Vision casting: Disciples are not born but intentionally made! Teach them to obey the Word of God (Matt 28:19-20) and listen to the Holy Spirit (Eph. 6:10-16).

Don’t birth babies and leave them in the woods. Nurture, protect, envision, empower.

The Holy Spirit is more committed to your disciples than you are, watch for his work.

Teach them to obey the Word of God from day one.

Disciples need to be making disciples. Obedience to one command qualifies you to teach that command to others.

Success is defined by the maturity (obedience balanced with knowledge) of your disciples.

Diagnostic Questions:

  • Short-term patterns: Do you have 7-11 basic discipleship lessons (like the 7 Commands of Jesus) that every new believer needs to understand about Jesus and also move toward group formation? We must start with the end in mind; we want healthy reproducing churches!
  • Long-term patterns: Train them in enough Scripture to obey that they can pass it along to their disciples using a simple discovery Bible study method like the Sword Method: What do you learn about God? What do you learn about People? As a group, what is the one main meaning of this passage? Application via SPEC: Sin to avoid? Promise to claim? Example to follow? Command to obey? Spend a minimum of 9 months discipling new believers in the basics!
  • For the leaders that are coming up in your groups, you need to invest three years into your 30, 60, 100-fold folks. Have them systematically read four chapters of the Bible daily: Two chapters in OT, two chapters in NT, 365 days a year asking God what they need to obey and what they need to say to others.
  • Are your folks talking about grandchildren in the Lord?
  • How many baptisers have emerged?

Find out more on the Four Fields in my interviews with Nathan somewhere in South Asia: The Five Parts of a CPM Plan

Next: Troubleshooting Reproducing Church Formation