Posts Tagged recruit

5-Step Discipleship Cycle

By Paul Wilkinson

In The Disciple Maker’s Handbook, Bobby Harrington offers a 5-step example of his discipleship cycles. The 5 steps are: Listen, Recruit, Prepare, Engage, and Release.[i] I will give a sentence or two on each of these in order.
Listen. Harrington means that we must seek guidance from and listen to the promptings of the Holy Spirit as we intentionally seek to engage the discipleship process. Harrington vulnerably admits that “the groups that I led in the past that failed to multiply had one thing in common: they were built in a prayerless, hurried fashion.”[ii] The best teachers simply share what the Lord is teaching them; likewise, the best disciplers are those who explain and model the life of a Christ follower out of the overflow of their own walk. To experience that overflow, we must be sensitive to the Holy Spirit through prayer, Bible reading, reflection, . . ., in short, the spiritual disciplines.
Recruit. This step requires an incredible amount of intentionality and discernment. Not everyone is ready for an intimate discipleship relationship in every season. Harrington suggests using the AFTeR acronym: available, faithful, teachable, reliable.[iii] Is the person committed enough to carve out focused time for a discipleship relationship? Has the person consistently held true to his or her commitments? Are they submissive to teaching, adapting, and changing? Can you count of the person to show up and take seriously the rigors of discipleship? And all of this should be couched in continued prayer through the Holy Spirit.
Prepare. We have to offer something after recruiting people to join us in a discipleship relationship. Harrington suggests presenting a covenant on the first meeting for the sake of accountability. Cast a vision during the first meeting for what these individuals (and the group by extension) will become through this process. Be open and vulnerable with your life and your story from the beginning and it will set the tone for the group.
Engage. We use the Word to cast a vision of the kingdom and the kingdom life for those seeking to know and follow Jesus, or to know better and to follow better Jesus. Curriculum abounds for walking with a group. We suggest Bible or Foundations Curriculum. Either way, we are using the convicting principles of the Word to drive people to be transformed, formed, and conformed into the word and deeds (think worldview) of Jesus. You must meet regularly with the group and it is essential to keep contact during “down times” through text, email, etc. Harrington also suggests meeting 1-on-1 with each group member every 4-6 weeks for more focused attention.[iv]
Release. We prepare and disciple people not for the purpose of keeping them in our local community forever, rather we disciple them so that they will go disciple others. We have to empower those we disciple to do the work of discipleship themselves. And the reason a sound, reproducible process is so important is because people generally disciple others in the same way that they were discipled: as we do unto them, they likewise will do unto others. It is our job to keep the terrible privilege of kingdom multiplication in the front of our disciples’ minds; we must continually cast vision of the reward and joy in making disciples.
[i]Bobby Harrington, The Disciple Maker’s Handbook (Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan, 2017), 47.
[ii]Ibid., 47.
[iii]Ibid., 50.
[iv]Ibid., 55.

3 Ways Your LIFE Group Can Take Advantage of the Fall Attendance Boost

By Jay Fennell

Historically, the summer season is the lowest attended time of the year for church activities. Travel, vacation, camps, etc. all make for sporadic and lower attendance, even among the most committed church attenders. But as the fall season rolls around and school starts back, people begin settling into routines and adding a bit more normalcy to their calendars. The fall is a time of the year where people begin making church attendance a priority again, and it becomes a great opportunity for LIFE Groups to reach out to those families who are looking to connect.
Let me give you three easy ways that you can leverage this season to reach more people and grow your LIFE Group.

  1. Participate in Group Connect or a LIFE Group connection event that your campus provides. These events typically give one or more days of heavy attention to LIFE Groups.  They are events that speak to the value of group life, encourage those who are unconnected to find a group, and provide easy on-ramps for them to plug in. Participating in these events allows you to promote your group, meet new people and develop new relationships. It’s a win-win.
  2. Reach out to absentees. Who are the people on your group role you haven’t seen in a while? This season provides a great opportunity to reach out to absentees and invite them back to your group. It typically happens that folks are thinking about returning anyway but indecisive and then receive the call from someone in their group that expresses a desire to have them back. It’s exactly what they needed to make the decision to return. Don’t let them fall through the cracks. Instead, be warm and intentional and tell them they’re missed.
  3. Use worship venues to recruit new people.  Tell me if I’m correct: you normally sit in the same seat, in the same service every Sunday. And you know the people that sit around you. You may not know their names but you know their faces because they sit in the same place every Sunday also. But from time to time you see a new face, someone you’ve never seen in that section before. Chances are they’re visiting. In those moments, be brave, introduce yourself and invite them to join you in LIFE Group.

I had a story like that come across my desk just recently. A guest was noticed by a LIFE Group leader and was invited to his group. That guest was so grateful and impressed that he sent me an email to express his gratitude.
Ultimately, our primary goal isn’t merely to grow our LIFE Groups numerically. Rather, our desire as leaders is to lead people toward Christlikeness, and to do that in community with others who are going in the same direction. But as a part of that, we must at all times be intentional about helping more people connect in those environments so they can experience the love of Jesus, through His people, and for His glory.