For over 30 years, I’ve witnessed countless approaches to discipleship. The beauty of that? It’s not a one-size-fits-all game; new methods are constantly emerging, fueled by imagination and the ever-changing world.

But what if you’re facing a unique challenge? What if the people you are coming alongside, or those you are leading, are not seeing the results they want to see?  Things are taking much longer than expected; they are experiencing setbacks.  Deep down, their commitment is wavering, and they are asking if it is time to quit!

The answer lies in a powerful secret weapon: Strategic Partnerships.

Think of it as a three-legged stool. Each leg represents an essential partnership:

  • Leg 1: Your unwavering connection with God. This is your source of strength, wisdom, and spiritual fortitude.
  • Leg 2: The bond with your disciples. You walk alongside them, a trusted companion on their path of self-discovery.
  • Leg 3: The guidance of experienced apprentices of Jesus. Their experiences keep you focused, and provide invaluable insights as you navigate challenges.

Each leg is crucial. Try becoming and making disciples with just one or two, and things get wobbly. But when you leverage all three? That’s where the magic happens.

Imagine a community of fellow apprentices of Jesus encouraging each other. They celebrate the victories, big or small – a first-time prayer, an act of service, a deepening faith. This supportive network becomes the wind beneath your wings, amplifying your impact.

You are not doing this alone!  It goes back to the principle of synergy: 1+1=3! You are part of a community that is pulling in the same direction.

But what about reaching those outside the faith, especially in a secular world? Creativity is key. I found the use of 3 Thirds Groups to be a helpful format to introduce newer disciples to, and a tool that allows everyone to engage regardless of where they are in their spiritual journey. 

A 3 Thirds Group is a group format that’s structured into three segments.

  • Looking Back: this first segment gives group members the opportunity to provide care and support for one another based on what’s happening in their individual lives. It also provides accountability for the goals each person sets for themselves.
  • Looking Up: this second segment directs the group to “look up” to the Holy Spirit for direction, guidance, and revelation for the group’s journey through a passage of Scripture. What is the Spirit saying? What can we learn from this about God? About ourselves?
  • Looking Forward: this last segment offers the opportunity to look ahead and explore how each person can apply what they have learned or discovered.

You can read more here. CLICK HERE.

Discipleship and disciple-making is a collaborative effort. By cultivating strategic partnerships with God, your newest disciples, and mentors, you unlock a community of support. It’s about walking hand-in-hand, celebrating victories, and weathering challenges together. Unleash the power of partnerships and watch your disciple-making journey take flight!

Curious about your unique strengths as an apprentice of Jesus? 

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