The #1 Missing Ingredient for Discipleship and Church Planting
April 16, 2014

I met a guy in the fraternity who was interested in Jesus.

I said,

I help people start groups that interact around Jesus together. You want to try to start a group together in your house and see who’s interested?”

He agreed to give it a shot.

We gathered in the fraternity living room, sharing some food and getting acquainted with each other.

Seven guys gathered the first night.

We read the story of Jesus turning water to wine. A great place to start in a drinking culture. I posed three questions:

  • What does it show us about Jesus?

  • What does it show us about people?

  • How does the story speak to your heart?

People were timid at first. I encouraged them there were no right or wrong answers. Just share what they see. People began to open up …

“Wow, Jesus had super powers.”

“Jesus’ mom told the servants to do whatever he said. Then Jesus did the miracle. Maybe if we are willing to do what Jesus says we’d be more likely to see miracles, too.”

“It’s just cool to me that Jesus was actually at a party. I thought he only went to churches and stuff.”

Conversation was happening. Not monologue. Dialogue.

Open ended questions.

Room for the Holy Spirit to speak to people individually.
Space for people to become fascinated with the Scriptures.

Finally, the quietest guy in the room spoke up.

I don’t know if this is what the story means, because I’ve never read a Bible before…. But I think the MC of the party must have screwed up in his job. If he was a party organizer, he should have kept track of how many guests were coming and how much wine they needed. Kind of like the organizer of a keg party. When Jesus did the miracle, he didn’t show-off. He gave the wine to the MC to present to the host. It was like he was trying to help him save face. I guess that encourages me that maybe Jesus doesn’t want to make me ashamed for my mistakes and maybe he wants to help me in my career.

The words of Jesus were coming alive for people. The group decided after the first meeting they wanted to get together again.

Eventually, five of these guys began following Jesus. It grew to become two groups.

And I learned an important lesson that night that I’ll never forget.

In my experience, it’s the #1 ingredient that makes it safe for new people to become part of a community that follows Jesus together.

It’s not information.

It’s not better teaching.

It’s not even experiencing a miracle (as wonderful and important as that may be).

It’s interaction.

Interaction creates the connections that allow the power of God to flow through us together.

Discipleship is about relational connections

When we interact around Jesus, he flows through our community. Jesus says His family of believers are His body. Bodies are a complex, beautiful tapestry of interconnected parts, interacting with each other in synergy and harmony. When people interact with Jesus and each other in safe environments where everyone can participate, healthy movements grow.

The next few weeks, I’ll be writing about the seven experiences outlined in Pocket Disciple. It’s a tool for creating interaction around Seven of Jesus’ basic instructions to us: Change, Water, Fire, Tell, Love, Gather, Go….

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I’ll share stories of how these experiences are transforming lives.

Want to join me?

Get Pocket Disciple and let me know how you’re transforming your world by building meaningful relationships by encountering Jesus together.

One person connecting with another … and another … and another … around Jesus. It’s a simple principle anyone can use to grow groups who follow Jesus together.

Get Pocket Disciple 

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Pocket Disciple guides you through seven experiences with Jesus


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