Discipleship That Fits
: For far too long, the church has tried to make disciples using a one-size-fits-all approach. Some churches advocate 1-on-1 discipling, others try getting everyone into a small group, while still others training through mission trips or service projects. Yet...
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For far too long, the church has tried to make disciples using a one-size-fits-all approach. Some churches advocate 1-on-1 discipling, others try getting everyone into a small group, while still others training through mission trips or service projects. Yet others focus all their efforts on attracting people to a large group gathering to hear biblical teaching and preaching. But does one size really fit everyone?
Based on careful biblical study and years of experience making disciples in the local church, Bobby Harrington and Alex Absalom have identified five key relationships where discipleship happens in our lives. In each relational context we need to understand how discipleship occurs and we need to set appropriate expectations for each context.
Discipleship That Fits shows you the five key ways discipleship occurs. It looks at how Jesus made disciples and how disciples were formed in the early church. Each of the contexts is necessary at different times and in different ways as a person grows toward maturity in Christ:
Public Relationships: The church gathering corporately for worship Social Relationships: Networks of smaller relationships where we engage in mission and live out our faith in community Personal Relationships: Small groups of six to sixteen people where we challenge and encourage one another on a regular basis Transparent Relationships: Close relationships of three to four where we share intimate details of our lives for accountability The Divine Relationship: Our relationship with Jesus Christ where we grow through the empowering presence of the Holy Spirit
Filled with examples and stories, Alex and Bobby show you how to develop discipleship practices in each relational context by sharing how Jesus did it, how the early church practiced it, and how churches are discipling people today.
Alex Absalom is one of the Western world's foremost experts on developing missional communities. He is a visionary speaker, consultant, writer, and practitioner on all things missional - especially the practicalities of forming a disciple-making culture and building a movement around missional communities. He was a part of the team that helped initiated missional transitions for churches in England, including serving in leadership on what became the largest church in England. More recently, he sensed God calling him to the USA and now he is on staff at River Tree Church in the Akron-Canton area of Ohio, where he serves as leader of missional innovation and leads the main campus and staff team. He is the co-founder of Synergy, which produces practical tools and organizes learning experiences to equip church leaders and church planters to move along the missional journey. He is also involved with Stadia, a global church planting network.nbsp; Alex has written Launching Missional Communities: A Filed Guide, Disciples Who Make Disciples (with Greg Nettle), One Of: Beginning the Missional Journey (with Greg Nettle), and The Viral Gospel .nbsp;
Bobby Harrington is the co-founder of discipleship.org and the founding and lead pastor of Harpeth Christian Church (19 years). He is the chairman of the board for the Relational Discipleship Network and the co-author of DiscipleShift, Dedicated: Training Your Children to Trust and Follow Jesus, and Discipleship that Fits. He has been married to Cindy for over 35 years and they have two adult children who are disciples of Jesus.
- :introduction ? For Far Too Long, The Church Has Approached Discipleship With The Assumption That There Is A Single Model Or Context For Discipleship. Some Churches Advocate 1-on-1, Others Try Small Groups, While Still Others Emphasize Mission Trips Or Discipleship Through Large Group Teaching And Preaching. But This One-size-fits All Mentality Doesn?t Work In Real Life. We Need To Understand How Discipleship Occurs In Different Relational Contexts And We Need To Set Our Expectations To Match The Context. Chapter 1: Our Public Relationshipsthe Public Context For Discipleship Refers To The Ways In Which The Church Gathers Corporately, As A Body Of Christ Followers, And Includes People Into That Community. This Is The Discipleship Context For Inspiring People And Creating Move-mentum Through Public Preaching. In Most Churches, This Typically Happens At A Sunday Gathering Of 150+ People During A Worship Service.chapter 2: Our Social Relationshipsthough We Identify Corporately With A Larger Body Of Believers, Most Of Us Can Only Have Social Relationships With A Group Of Between 20 And 70 People. This Is The Context For Community, Mission, And Practicing Our Faith. It Is The Ideal Context For A Missional Community.chapter 3: Our Personal Relationshipswho Do You Look To For Support And Help? Who Challenges You And Speaks Into Your Life When Needed? These Are The Relationships That Provide Support And Challenges, And It Includes The Typical Small Group Gathering Of 6 To 16 People.chapter 4: Our Transparent Relationshipsthese Are The Relationships Where We Are Vulnerable And Intimate---the Safe Relationships In Our Life Where We Can Be Completely Honest. This Is The Typical Gathering For An Effective D-group, A Same-gender Gatherings Of 2 To 5 Men Or Women Where More Intensive Discipleship Occurs.chapter 5: The Divine Relationshipevery Christian Believer Is Ultimately A Disciple Of Jesus, Following Him Through The Power Of The Holy Spirit. This Is An Essential Relationship Where The Holy Spirit Empowers Our Identity, Reveals Our Gifting, And Enables Us To Walk In Truth And Love. This Is The Context In Which We Practice The Individual Spiritual Disciplines Like Prayer, Fasting, Silence And Meditation. Conclusionsummarizes The Content And Includes A Q And A Section On Some Of The Practical Questions.