On the heels of last week’s blog post, I would like to further explain what I believe will be essentials for discipleship groups at Calvary FMC. I highlighted/emphasized one of these elements last week as I referenced Kevin Watson’s book about the Wesleyan class meeting. It’s important to realize that in our world today where we construct walls of personal boundaries and privacy that accountability does not come natural, nor can it be forced. It’s one of at least four essentials for effective discipleship groups, and is usually cultivated within the other elements.
So here are the 4 essential elements of discipleship groups here at Calvary FMC that I would highlight (by no means are these new concepts):
1. Fellowship—fellowship is necessary because it provided opportunity for relationships to be established and fostered. This may entail a meal as part of the meeting time, or even specific gatherings dedicated to simply spending time together.
2. Immersion in the Word—Scripture must be a central focus of every discipleship group—it keeps us grounded and enables us to grow in our faith. It’s easy, in smaller group settings, to focus so much on ourselves and our needs. We need to be reminded that even our world does not revolve around us, but around the Truth.
3. Living the Word –each discipleship group needs to experience tangible application of the studied word. Scripture transforms not only our minds, but our entire being. Exploring ways to practically apply Scripture as a group is key. Together we explore what it means to live the Word, and we encourage one another to do so daily.
4. Sharing/Prayer/Accountability—I spent a lot of time on this last week, but we need a place to share the things that we are really struggling with (physically, emotionally, spiritually). As relationships develop within the group, and as the fellowship is strengthened, deeper sharing comes naturally—it’s not something that can be forced.
Through all of these elements, discipleship groups are meant to challenge us in our faith, provide a source of support and encouragement in our walk with Christ, as together we are transformed more into his image.