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The purpose of Global Discipleship Initiative is found in our motto: You Know Why, We Know HOW. It is an astonishing reality that though most pastors and church leaders could identity Jesus’ Great Commission as the reason the church exists, when asked, What is your plan for making disciples? the vast majority have no response. Our main focus is to answer the critical question: HOW? Knowing the need for a simple, reproducible approach to MAKE DISCIPLES, our mission is to transform and multiply disciples through MICRO groups (3s and 4s). Our reproducible and transferable process with our experience with thousands of people of over 30 years in numerous countries teaches us that micro groups are an ideal environment to transform and multiply disciples. Personal Transformation The micro group brings together four environmental conditions that create what we call the hot house effect. When we:
- open our hearts in transparent trust to each other;
- around the truth of God’s Word;
- in the spirit of life-changing accountability;
- while engaged in our God-designed mission
we are in the Holy Spirit’s hothouse of transformation.
Multiplication of Disciple Makers
Within the US context, these micro groups covenant to meet weekly for 90 minutes to explore a core curriculum such as Discipleship Essentials. The goals are two-fold: Rooted in Christ: A foundational curriculum creates the big picture of what being a follower of Jesus entails: After examining Christ’s all-encompassing claim on our life, disciples engage four areas of growth:
(1) practice basic spiritual disciplines in order to stay connected to the vine;
(2) grasp the central truths of the nature of triune God and His rescue plan through Jesus Christ;
(3) understand the internal transformational work of the Holy Spirit to develop a Christ-like character; and finally
(4) engage the world as witnesses to the life-changing love of Christ.
Committed to Multiplication:
From the very first engagement with the covenant, the expectation is created that the participants are committed to reproduce this same process with others following the initial completion of Discipleship Essentials, thus becoming a disciple maker. At the conclusion of the group covenant each member initiates the process of inviting two or three others to join them and simply reproduces the process they have experienced. Corporate Transformation As the groups multiply from 4 to 16 to 35 to 80 to 130 over a five-year period, an entire congregation is transformed from within. During this multiplication process, a number of things can be done to inculcate this practice into the culture of a church so that momentum increases.
Group members gather quarterly to celebrate the life they are experiencing; as group leaders multiply they are recognized publicly, passing a literal baton; testimonies of transformation are video-taped to be played publicly in the gathered congregation.
GDI Vision: Compelled by Jesus’ Great Commission, we are multiplying transformed disciples through MICRO GROUPS in every country in the world by 2026.
GDI Mission: GDI trains, coaches, and inspires pastors and Christian leaders to establish indigenous, multiplying, disciple making movements, both nationally and internationally.
Turning Your Church into a Disciple-Making Mission
Equip leaders in a mutually supportive and stimulating environment, who intend to turn churches and ministries into communities that fulfill the Great Commission’s imperative of making reproducing disciples of Jesus with particular focus on micro groups.
- Provide a process whereby a church/ministry can transition from its current model of ministry to become a church that makes reproducing disciples of Christ.
- Successful Journey: Imagine what your church/ministry can become through concrete pictures of actual churches that have been transformed into disciple making congregations, particularly through a growing movement of reproducing micro groups.
3. Unpack and lay-in the three major components upon which to form the disciple making culture in your church/ministry:
A. Relational Environment: Just as Jesus majored in the relational investment in the twelve, so we must adopt Jesus’ approach if we are going form disciples who make disciples. Our particular approach centers on the micro group as the optimum setting for the relational environment.
B. Intentional Leaders: The leader of the micro group is the most important leader in the church. They are on the front line of leading and reproducing the basic disciple making unit, the micro group. This implies that the pastors’ role is to empower God’s people for their ministry which in turn builds up the body of Christ.
C. Reproducible Process: Central to making this a simple and reproducible for the average believer there is a need for a transferable disciple making tool that maps out the picture of a mature, reproducing disciple. We suggest that Discipleship Essentials be the tool that you master, though your theological tradition may suggest something else.
4. Change Process: Provide a clear understanding of how change occurs within the culture of a congregation as you are incorporating the above three components.
5. The purpose of this cohort is to raise up an ever-expanding band of leaders who sense the Holy Spirit’s call (professionally and personally) to make a lifetime investment into growing reproducing* disciples and ministries.
6. Aspire through this training to grow model disciple-making churches** or ministries that become replicating training centers.
7. Reflect biblically and theologically on Jesus’ and Paul’s relational model of disciple making and apply this model to the way disciples are made.
*Reproducing is shorthand for disciples who make disciples.
**See the profile for a model church.
Covenantal Commitments: Expectations of Participants
- Meet online 18 sessions for 2 hours over a 2-year period with a cohort of ministry leaders in order to begin the transition process to become a church of disciples who make disciples.
- Complete the structured curriculum on a timely basis to move sequentially through the steps necessary to refocus the mission and ministry practice around disciple making. The cohort will be facilitated by a trained coach whose role it is ask the penetrating coaching questions as well as create a sense of community among the participants.
- Practice the art of disciple-making by selecting, leading, and replicating a micro group so that you can experience the power of transformation and multiplication of disciples as the inception of a growing network of disciple makers.
- Keep it small: Groups of 3-4 provide optimum investment (one coach for each group of 3-4).
- Start with the end in mind: From the beginning envision what a disciple-making church can be.
- Practice a proven producible disciple-making methodology called micro groups.