Disciple-Making Field Manual: Build Relationships with Others

“YOU KNOW HOW WE LIVED AMONG YOU FOR YOUR SAKE. YOU BECAME IMITATORS OF US AND OF THE LORD.” ~ 1 THESSALONIANS 1:5-6

Outward Characteristics

Sharing Faith Stories

Being Unashamed (Transparent)

Effective Input: Worshipping With Others

The method God uses to make disciples is relationships. We are made for community, however, Western civilization has become one of the loneliest people groups. We need to place ourselves in close proximity to each other for catalytic transformation to occur.

Sociologists have developed a theory of proxemics, which are the different levels of relationships we need in our lives. Jesus as well interacted with these different-sized communities. He spent time with “The Crowds”, The 72, 12 Disciples and Peter-James- John.

Sphere

Size

Focus

Purpose

Public

100+

Engaging with a resource

Inspiration

Social

20-70

Putting ideas to work through service

Mission

Personal

4-12

Revealing private information

Challenge

Intimate

2-4

Letting down masks; transparency

Openness

Divine

w/ God

Being with your Creator

Identity

Each of these categories are effective at providing the effective inputs (page 3) for disciple-making, if the communities are used most effectively. The Public sphere is the most effective place for worship of God. The Social sphere is the most effective place for service. The Personal sphere is effective in Bible reading and the Intimate Space is an effective place to confess sins.

The problem is that the American church has ordered this flow backwards. We have emphasized the Public worship gathering and deemphasized the need for intimate friendships. Jesus, however, showed that the flow is from the inside out.

In Acts 1:8, he uses geographical language to show how the Holy Spirit has come to us (Divine) in order that we may be witnesses in Jerusalem (Intimate)—this was the place with which the disciples were most familiar, it was their home. Deuteronomy 6 challenges us that the home is the primary place of disciple-making. If we do not start there all the energy in our community, city and overseas will not be as impactful. Once it starts in the home, Acts 1:8 continues with it flowing to Judea (Personal). Judea would be a homogenous group of people with shared interests and values. From there it overflows in Samaria (the Missional Space) and from there to the ends of the earth (Public sphere)

 

Questions for Reflection

• Which area of community are you most lacking?

• Who are two people you can invest in?

 

Action Step

 

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