Discipleship Definition: inviting others into a relationship where you challenge them to know and obey Jesus.
“Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age”
“And they devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and the fellowship, to the breaking of bread and the prayers. And awe came upon every soul, and many wonders and signs were being done through the apostles. And all who believed were together and had all things in common. And they were selling their possessions and belongings and distributing the proceeds to all, as any had need. And day by day, attending the temple together and breaking bread in their homes, they received their food with glad and generous hearts, praising God and having favor with all the people. And the Lord added to their number day by day those who were being saved”.
Discipleship starts with a disciple, or a student or follower of Jesus Christ who actively knows and obeys Jesus. As disciples, we are actively learning from Jesus how to live this new life He has given us. As disciples, we have also been commanded by Christ to make disciples. So disciples make disciples. But how do we make disciples, followers, and learners of Jesus Christ?
There are three main ways that people learn:
- Through teaching in a classroom like setting to learn about the action
- Through apprenticing themselves to someone doing the action
- Through immersing themselves in the action
Jesus uses all three of these techniques for learning but with different groups of people. He teaches the crowds and multitudes, He apprentices the 12 disciples (which we will call the cell) after they answer the call to Follow Him, and He immerses the core (or 3 select disciples) and shares more of His life with them as well as expecting more of their lives from them.
TEACHING the Crowd
APPRENTICING the Cell
IMMERSION the Core
This is the model straight from God’s Word. Grace Place Ministries strives to look straight at God’s word and live out what He has called of us. Sunday mornings, we teach the crowds and multitudes. However, as we know from our years in school, learning does not and cannot stop in the classroom. It must continue for us to actually apply what we’ve learned and be able to teach it to others.
Our Grace Groups is where ‘Apprenticing the Cell’ happens.
In Acts 2:42-48, we see the church leaving the temple together and separating into their respective homes breaking bread, fellowshipping, and being the family. Our Grace Group leaders endeavor to point members to Jesus, show them how to follow Him in everyday real life, and live a Christ-like life worth imitating.
We structure our Grace Groups in a way that allows for unity across the church and individuality inside the group for leaders and members alike to listen and follow the Holy Spirit’s leading. We also structure them in a way that focuses on the Word, prayer, fellowship, breaking bread, and mission.
The Three Structures of Grace Groups
Year Long – (Bible in a year, required split)
6 Months – (One topic, one book)
3 Months – (2 cycles recommended)
Each structure is centered on the bible, a book, of the bible, or a resource book or topical study within the bible. A staff leader however, must approve those two last options. The Year Long required split allows for even greater apprenticing and immersion because of how long the group is.
Since apprenticing requires a teacher to be apprenticed to, Grace Place Ministries is very selective and intentional about whom they allow to lead Grace Groups. It is important that we apprentice ourselves to believers we see growing in knowledge, grace, and maturing into Christ in all things as well as exemplifying the leadership qualities discussed in scripture (Acts 20:28, 1 Timothy 3:1-14, Titus 1:5-9).
Immersion happens in Grace Groups as well.
But immersion should be prayerful and intentional. Immersion is a deeper commitment to share your complete life with a few select believers to encourage and challenge them (and them you) to know and obey Jesus in every area of your life. Each disciple should pray and keep their eyes open for the people God is leading them to.
At Grace Place Ministries, we endeavor to make disciples who make disciples: (disciples that know Jesus, obey Jesus, and teach others about how to know and obey Jesus). Join a Grace Group today. Pray about your Core group of believers. Know and Obey Jesus.