The list of subjects in this section are:
How to Disciple with Journey
Overview of the Journey Lessons
Definition of Discipleship
Why One on One
The 8 Steps of Discipleship
How to Start Journey in Your Ministry
How to Start Discipleship with a Group
Your Church Schedule and Discipleship
Record Keeping and Journey
HOW TO DISCIPLE WITH JOURNEY
First, Disciplers prepare ahead of time.
The Discipler prepares for the lesson by knowing the context of the Bible verses and the meaning of key words in the verses you will study. Every page has extra resources on the website.
In meeting together…
First, take time to talk to each other. Then, the Discipler prays before starting the lesson. There may be times you will not even open the lessons, just make sure you always encourage one another with the Word of God.
The Discipler reads any introductions or reviews where they are in the subject. The disciple reads the Bible verses and the Discipler reads the comments, giving the answers for the blanks, which the disciple writes in their lesson.
The Discipler reviews what they learned when it is time to end, and the disciple closes with prayer.
OVERVIEW OF THE JOURNEY LESSONS
Journey is designed for the spiritual formation of a 21st century disciple of Jesus Christ. You'll enjoy personally discipling and equipping your congregation to spiritually form disciples.
Journey contains 10 lessons. The purpose is multiplication; the disciple is learning to lead someone else to reach the unreached with the Gospel.
Thousands of churches around the world have successfully deployed Journey in more than 40 countries.
If you were going to choose the subjects a new Believer should learn to not only be grounded in the Word of God but to grow and be trusted to multiply, what subjects and topics would you choose? There are hundreds to choose from.
Journey has 10 lessons with these themes:
6. The Future
7. Spiritual Growth
10. Loving God
Journey takes about 40 meetings to complete, on the average. This is longer than a new converts class or other plans but the result is a trusted disciple maker.
The disciple should graduate only when they have their own disciple.
IT MAKES A DIFFERENCE...
How do you define Discipleship?
Many define discipleship as just follow up or some kind of "deeper life Bible study" or they have seen ministries and discipleship systems that cause problems. Therefore they have a negative feeling about discipleship.
So, what is our definition of discipleship?
Discipleship is Bible study; but it's more than that.
It's a good relationship between the disciple and discipler; but it's more than that.
It's growing spiritually; but it's more than that.
It's teaching the Bible; but it's more than that.
It's accountability, training and evangelism; but it's more than just those activities...and the list could go on and on.
Here is our definition: multiplying soul-winning disciple-makers through your local church.
If you think about each aspect of every word, we must have an intentional process to be obedient to this Biblical plan. That's where Journey is a powerful tool.
WHY ONE ON ONE FOR DISCIPLESHIP
Discover why discipleship is more effective one on one. There are numerous Biblical reasons and examples but this section speaks to the practical reasons:
Anyone can make time for one person.
A Discipler helps the new believer when they are most vulnerable to false teachers.
A Discipler meets the new disciple's needs rather than the group’s needs.
One on one produces closeness, love and deep friendship between the disciples.
A Discipler provides the disciple with a friend to replace ungodly friends.
One on one provides the disciple with personal advice to make right decisions.
Exhortation, correction and admonition are quickly and easily done one to one.
The needs of the individual surface in the privacy of one to one meetings. Not everyone can speak to a group but anyone can speak to one person. The life of the discipler will illustrate the truth of the Word of God.
The disciple has a living example to follow.
Most importantly, Jesus gave us the example by having a one on one disciple called the “disciple whom Jesus loved.” Check the many special connections between that disciple and the Lord.
Journey is designed to lead someone to Christ and then stay with them until they can lead others to Christ and be authorized by their Pastor to disciple them to do the same.
You can begin meeting with a lost or saved person because the first lesson is “A to Z” on Salvation and one of our most popular lessons…it lays the foundation for everything else.
Everyone is unique, they are at different levels of spiritual maturity and so is their way of learning.
The ideal training has a personal touch corresponding to your disciples’ personality, individual needs, and unique expectations.
Disciples are not being produced through group training. Group training has it’s place but after a person is an active discipler. Pastors have less than 10% of their adults that they can trust to care for new Believers. Trying to produce reproducible disciple makers in a group has not worked and there is no reason to believe that will change.
As a Discipler, through meeting one on one, your gifts, aptitudes, and knowledge are best brought out.
In the disciple self-confidence is established in the first lessons. You save time by concentrating on what they need. Every Believer has “gaps” in their spiritual understanding which can’t be easily found in a group meeting. This provides more spiritual satisfaction and motivation for the disciple.
THE 8 STEPS OF DISCIPLESHIP
The Steps of Discipleship
The word “disciple” in all its forms, occurs 273 times in 256 verses in the Bible. It occurs first and only once in the Old Testament at Isaiah 8:16 and the last occurrence is in Acts 19:9. Most of the verses record actions or interaction between Christ and His disciples. A few of those verses actually define discipleship for us. Let’s look at them and apply them.
#1 Become a Believer by trusting Jesus Christ as Savior.
#2 A disciple is in the Word of God every day.
#3 A disciple is in prayer to God every day.
#4 A disciple and discipler meet together every week.
#5 A disciple is faithful in a biblical, local church.
#6 A disciple is obedient to the Word of God and becomes a disciple maker.
#7 A discipler leads people to Christ and disciples them.
#8 A discipler multiplies disciplers who multiply disciplers.
STARTING JOURNEY IN YOUR MINISTRY
The steps below are generally for churches that are self-supporting, existing churches. For new and young churches, that Pastor and his wife would disciple personally the first generation of disciplers and let it multiply from them.
Wrong ways to disciple in your church; failure is assured:
Discipleship is not in the Church schedule.
Discipleship has a small part in the church schedule.
Disciples and Disciple makers find their own time to disciple.
Discipleship is done in a group or couples discipling couples - keep it one on one.
Time is provided in the church schedule but there are popular activities that are competing with it at the same time in the church.
Some hindrances to Discipleship:
Not keeping it the focus of your ministry.
Disciplers not properly trained.
Lack of accountability.
Not teaching the Word of God.
Discipleship makes a powerful impact when its the personality of the church and not a program.
Think in terms of how many Disciple Makers you want to have by next year.
Know what is in the Lessons.
Use the Lessons personally – disciple one or more, one on one.
Count the Cost - Plan for Journey discipleship in your budget and church schedule.
Communicate your burden – preach a series of messages on one on one discipleship.
Present a Commitment Card to your Congregation at the end of the series and for several Sundays.
Begin training your first disciplers.
Continually appeal for people to join discipleship in your printed church materials and church services.
Steps to Take:
1. Personally Disciple
Make a committed decision to become a discipler personally. You must be 100% convinced in your heart that this is what God wants you to do. Be an example in discipleship. Meet every week with your disciple. You and your wife should disciple as many as possible.
Count the cost in time, resources, plans, strategy and schedule. What programs must you subtract in order for discipleship to expand? What time must you give? Do not add this to what you are already doing. How will you change your official church schedule for Discipleship? Again, you must be convinced in your heart that this is what God wants you to do. Make a decision that your ministry is discipleship.
Study and teach on discipleship; preach discipleship for one month, communicate your burden. At the end of the preaching and teaching, give out commitment cards for one month, asking who is interested. Select your first Disciplers by survey or select by appointing them, perhaps you may be the only discipler. You approve who the disciplers are, and who will be the disciples. After all of that, officially place one-on-one discipleship in your church schedule.
Perform the above schedule quarterly or every 6 months, until it no longer needs repeating. In every message, church invitation and appeal, ask for disciples.
Begin training your first disciplers using the Training Plans, training them in the procedures and lessons. Do not use the lessons that you disciple with as Sunday school lessons, sermons or for any purpose other than discipleship. If possible, demonstrate how to disciple by meeting with them, one-on-one.
- Training files are below -
Set a time and place for discipleship to begin. At first, have all pairs discipling at the same time and place, and require records to be kept. After four weeks of meeting, or however long it takes for everything to go smoothly, allow the disciplers and disciples to meet at other times and places.
Continue training and gaining commitments. Meet with your disciplers, keep training your first disciplers in the lessons, and continue helping them with problems in a meeting every week, for as long as needed. Do not forget to train new disciplers in the goals, lessons and procedures to maintain quality.
Keep records; require them of all discipleship meetings and post the information publicly. Get reports and feedback. Monitor the progress of each discipler by watching how fast or slow they are progressing.
When disciples finish each lesson, publicly recognize the discipler and disciple, but make a very special recognition at the ends of lessons 5 and 10. Do not graduate the disciple until he or she has his or her own disciple.
Talk about discipleship with Journey every Sunday. Include it in every part of your ministry; camps, retreats, fellowships, outreach, invitation, preaching, teaching, training - bring all the parts together. All activities should (and can) strengthen discipleship.
Picture this in your mind: all your adults being able to lead someone to Christ and trusted to disciple new converts to do the same.
Training files for your first Disciplers
Your first generation Disciplers train each other.
This prepares your Disciplers to be ready to disciple with lessons 1 and 2.
The Disciplers are paired together as Discipler A and Discipler B. The Pastor/Leader makes introductory remarks and then the Disciplers meet together. They follow the instructions in the training materials and train each other. Instructions and assignments are in the training materials. A complete list with answers is provided in case the Pastor/Leader would like to teach the material.
Discipler A files Session 1 (2mb pdf)
Discipler A files Session 2 (4mb pdf)
Discipler B files Session 1 (2mb pdf)
Discipler A files Session 1 (4mb pdf)
Discipleship Response Card (6mb pdf)
HOW TO START DISCIPLESHIP WITH A GROUP
Taking a group through the lessons is a good way to help them fill in the gaps in order to get your first disciplers going.
I recommend that you take them through Lessons One and Two and meet with every one, personally, one on one, so they can get a "feel" for what it's like to meet one on one. This way they can see how you want them to relate to their disciple(s).
In those meetings, demonstrate how you disciple by showing them how the lessons work, what you did to prepare, how you want them to handle questions, and give them assignments for writing God's Word in 1st John (see Lesson Two, Daily in the Word).
Meet with each of them 3 times and you will be amazed how they can get started with their own disciple, or you may find out that you don't want to assign them a disciple because they are not ready yet.
You can assign them their own disciples and then meet with the group in the future to cover Lessons Three and Four and so on, you just need to be ahead of them and their disciples.
They will learn to disciple when they have to meet together with their own disciple.
Explain that they are growing together spiritually with their own disciple.
When you train a group, you may not realize that an individual is not ready to meet with a disciple one on one, this is why you should meet with them personally.
YOUR CHURCH SCHEDULE AND YOUR DISCIPLESHIP MINISTRY
Discipleship with Journey has to be in your church schedule if you want disciples to multiply.
Even though disciples and disciplers may meet at different times and places during the week, it is vital to always have a time they can fall back to if needed.
Childcare must be provided.
If it is not in your church schedule, it means that discipleship is not a priority.
Many churches use Wednesday night or Sunday night to allow disciples and disciplers to meet. In some cases, disciplers and their disciples can only meet on Sunday. Usually your Sunday night crowd is more dedicated anyway, so let them disciple during the service. It is only temporary.
As time goes on, you want discipleship happening every day of the week.
Remember that when they disciple, they are praying, studying the Bible, growing spiritually and preparing to reach others. If discipleship is not in your church schedule, you will severely hinder the winning of people to Christ and the multiplication of disciplers.
RECORD KEEPING AND USING JOURNEY FOR LEADERS/PASTORS:
Here you can download a form for record keeping.
You will record the date, the lesson you are in, the section you are in and any comments. You may add to this form or use one you design.
The records help you to know if the disciplers and disciples are:
1. Meeting together.
2. Meeting consistently.
3. Going too slow or too fast.
That information alone will help you spot any problems. Report forms at the end of each lesson insure that all the assignments were finished and that the disciple and discipler are being faithful.