Let’s start off by asking the question, what is discipleship? At Live Oak, we believe discipleship is intentionally equipping believers with the Word of God through accountable relationships empowered by the Holy Spirit in order to replicate faithful followers of Christ. The end goal of growing as a disciple is conforming to the image of Christ. Romans 8:29 says “For those whom he foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son.” We want to talk the way he talked, walk the way he walked and respond the way he responded. Christ gave us a command before ascending to heaven, to “Go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you.” (Matthew 28:19). If Christ commanded us to make disciples, we must make that a priority in our lives as we follow Jesus. We believe in order to make disciples effectively, we must first recognize that a disciple is one who is pursued by Christ, has been found and called by him, and has made the decision to follow him. As a disciple-maker, all you’re doing is pointing at the One you’re following and saying to those around you, “Come with me; I’m following him.” Jesus didn’t say, “Come follow my religion, denomination or my preacher.” He invited people to walk in his footsteps, imitate his actions, and carry out his commands. To fully understand what discipleship looks like, it may help to know what discipleship is not.
Discipleship is NOT:
- a class
- a seminar
- a degree you earn
- a program
- a 12 week bible study
- a 40 day home group
- a quick process
- a quick fix
- reserved for super Christians
- an option
So what does a discipleship relationship look like? Let’s look at God’s creation to see the significance and importance of a discipleship relationship. Sequoia trees only grow in rows or groves. You will never find them growing alone. The roots of these trees interlock with each other, and this is the secret to their survival through the centuries. As believers in Christ, we won’t survive growing alone. We must grow together. At Live Oak, we believe growing together most effectively comes from being rooted in God’s Word. A discipleship relationship looks like a group (we suggest 2 to 5) of men or women that commit to meeting together frequently to study the Scriptures, journal the Scriptures daily, and memorize the Scriptures weekly. We want to get into the Word until the Word gets into us. The discipleship group establishes honesty, confidentiality and trust. It’s a safe place to be open about your struggles and weaknesses, the things that are hindering you from conforming to Christ’s likeness. Through that, it’s a place where you will be challenged to grow, be held accountable, and to set reasonable spiritual goals to achieve as a group.
We recommend groups:
- to be composed of the same gender to provide an ideal confidential environment
- to be the size of 2-5 people but can consist of more depending on the circumstance.
- meet once a week or once every other week to establish consistency and commitment to one another. No mater what frequency you choose, consistency is key
Also relationships can be peer-to-peer or be an older Christian leading a younger Christian or group of Christians.