The basics of disciple making don’t require constant reinvention, but they do need our continued attention for staying on point with the mission. Our simple methods of helping people follow Jesus are patterned after the way he did it, i.e. one patient, unhurried conversation and relationship at a time. Jesus preached to masses but did his focused teaching with a few hand-picked followers. All that said, here’s a story of someone who was personally discipled and has paid it forward by discipling not one or two but sixteen other women over the past few years. She’s still at it right up to the present. Tracey’s perseverance shows the diligence and love required for investing in people for Christ over the long-haul. She also now serves on Timothy Network’s Board of Directors and has blessed our work in multiple ways. –mls
I connected with The Timothy Network in 2009 when Karen Stroud asked me to help co-disciple a group of young women. I said yes because I wanted to learn how to make disciples, and I thought this would be a great opportunity to learn from Karen.
I’ve remained involved with this work for 14 years because we intentionally build unique discipling relationships and lifetime bonds. Lives are changed each time we work inside small circles of 3-5 women. Our time together allows us to perpetuate learning about who Jesus is and his call on our lives.
Something transformative happens when we are transparent with one another about our experiences. We don’t have opportunities to do this in formal church settings or even in small groups where a dozen or more men and women come together. I say this as a believer in both the Sunday assembly and in small groups ministry. Discipling circles with only 3 – 5 people allow for greater focus, growth, and intimacy, however. Discipleship is enhanced and those discipled are more likely to repeat the process by discipling others.
I have seen real life transformation and growth through the kind of relational discipleship The Timothy Network promotes. This includes the personal transformation I’ve experienced. We are equipping people to share the Gospel of Jesus Christ, not just come together for Bible study. The goal is that men and women who have been discipled begin to seek out and form their own discipling relationships. It’s about making disciples who will disciple others and so on down the line. Think of it as the “ripple effect.”
We experience blessings from being involved in the making of disciples, something all believers are called to do. As it says in Matthew 28:18-19 “Go forth into all nations and make disciples- baptizing them in the name of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit.”