Discipleship Networks - Disciplers in Different Settings

Discipleship, one of many shepherding ministry venues, points people to the Chief Shepherd as the One to follow. This is done most effectively through a network of disciplers in different setting.

Network of Discipleship Efforts in Different Settings:

As stated in the overview, shepherding may best be accomplished through a network of shepherds rather than by one individual. So it is within some of the specific venues, like discipleship.

The ideal may be to pair up each individual with someone who may disciple them but the reality is that a variety of discipleship options would provide a broader base of understanding and growth. Further, many people will be resistant to adding one more program to attend to their already busy schedules. Discipling others one-on-one can be very time intensive.

Discipleship can happen at a variety of levels in a number of ways:

Large Group Setting (over 35 people):

sermons, conferences

Mid-Size Group Setting (13-35 people):

Sunday School classes, age level meetings, women's and men's ministries

Small Group Setting (3-12 people):

Sunday School classes, support groups, community or home fellowship groups

One-on-One Setting:

discipleship partner, mentor

Individual - Personal Setting:

personal time in the Word and in prayer and other spiritual disciplines, reading of helpful books

Involvement in these various settings will maximize discipleship. And of course, as you go down the list of discipleship settings you will need more shepherds to do the discipling. Though you may see the value of providing various settings for discipleship, recruiting and training the shepherds may seem like an overwhelming task. Peruse the staffing ministry section for equipping on recruitment and training.

In addition to this content, the Shepherding Ministry Manual also provides some pros and cons for each of the above settings to help you determine which might best suit your objective. It also includes a page with questions to help you further reflect on and evaluate your discipleship practices.

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