This post is continued from Chad Morrow: A Disciple Making Journey, Part 1.
As I mentioned earlier, I picked up some books on discipleship as well. They were all very informative but three books really stood out to me during that season:
- Growing Up by Robby Gallaty
- Master Plan of Evangelism by Robert Coleman
- Real Discipleship by Jim Putman
These books really stood out to me since they closely examined how Jesus made disciples and then demonstrated what that might look like in a church.
After God made it clear about who should be in the first discipleship group at River View, the Growing Up book was purchased and given to each one. The expectations were made clear up front that each person was expected to go through this initial training and then walk a group of four or less through a disciple making plan for a minimum of six months. We walked through each chapter of the book over a thirteen week period and met weekly to discuss. The group also memorized scripture from each chapter of the book and prayed for one another. Once this initial training was complete each one was encouraged either to join up with someone else from this current group and begin praying about whom God was raising up to be in their group or after praying lead their own group.
What does a Discipleship group (D-Group) look like? Each week multiple gender specific groups of four or less meet for up to two hours. The meeting places vary from church, homes, and restaurants. They go through discipleship material that covers such topics as assurance of salvation, a follower’s identity in Christ, developing a daily quiet time, prayer, God’s word, overcoming sin, and much more. Each person is given scripture to read daily and a verse to memorize each week. During the meeting, lessons from the reading or handouts are shared and each one holds the other accountable. During the week, each member of the group is encouraged to pray for each other and stay in contact before the next meeting to encourage one another.
The church disciple making ministry continues to evolve. We currently offer one to one discipleship using the A Call to Joy material, D-Groups (one to four or less), and a one year track of reading through the Bible in a D-Group. For someone to be a staff member, deacon, or any leadership position, they must have been through part or the entire disciple making ministry and be discipling others.
The Results (So Far)
The River View church family is now on its third generation of D-Groups not including the initial group and a total of 52 people have been involved in D-Groups. The church has averaged 80 people in Bible Study/Sunday School for many years. Multiple strategies had been attempted to increase the average attendance. After implementing the D-Groups the Bible Study/Sunday School average is now around 94 and going over 100 in attendance is becoming a regular monthly occurrence. Worship attendance has increased to an average of just fewer than 200 and there are new visitors each week. Fewer people are serving in multiple roles since more people are becoming spiritually mature and serving with the spiritual gifts and talents God has given them. More men are now willing to be called on to pray during worship services. A spirit of increased unity and focus has taken place since the implementation of the disciple making ministry. More people are now sharing their testimonies and the gospel than before. People are even sharing their testimonies of how Christ has changed their life during the worship services. Some who have gone through the disciple making ministry are now faithful leaders in the church and are discipling others.
As a pastor, I am very excited to see what God is doing and going to do through the disciple making ministry in the River View church family and in me. We are now being obedient in the area of making disciples that make disciples and not just evangelizing people. It has been a much needed journey for me and the church family, and I have made a commitment to God that I will make disciples and lead others to make disciples until He comes to take me home!
Chad Morrow has served as pastor of River View Baptist Church, Cox’s Creek, Kentucky, since 2006.