Category Archives: Discipleship

Review of “Discipleship that Fits” Chapters 10 & 11: The Transparent Context

The transparent context are groups of 2-4 people, which is a group size ripe for developing deep relationships that exude transparency and connection.

It is impossible to grow deep if you don’t let people know who you really are. It is very difficult (impossible really) to do this in a room full of people or an auditorium on a Sunday morning.

God developed us for close, personal relationships. Even Jesus didn’t have this with everyone. He had his Peter, James and John. So did Paul. Chapter 10 in “Discipleship that Fits” gives us these biblical examples of how various people in the Bible utilized groups this size to establish and develop transparent relationships where sharing could go deep, resulting in personal development and discipleship that also grows deep.

Chapter 10 also gives us four examples of ministries that utilize this context (group size) for maximum effect. You can find that on pages. 166-168.

The goals for a group this size are found on pages. 168-174. I am going to list them for your benefit but not give full explanations – you can get the book if this piques your interest!

1 – Intimacy
2 – Openness
3 – Impact

“Of all the contexts of discipleship, the Transparent Context is where the most transformation takes place.” – p. 174

Chapter 11 is the followup chapter to the biblical foundations found in chapter 10. This chapter is on how discipleship takes place in groups of 2-4 people.

Chapter 11 gives guidelines for selecting people to be in the group and guidelines for group practice. You will also see a sample covenant agreement in this chapter (p.182). You can also get a sample covenant from Renew.org at this link. Covenants are essential because it reflects a commitment to the group of people that will make the goals of the group reachable.

This is the heart and soul of the book as was quoted from page 174 – this is where the most discipleship/disciple-making impact occurs.

Review of “Discipleship that Fits” Chapters 8 & 9: Personal Context/Small Groups

The personal context consists of groups of 4-12 people. This would be a small group in most churches. This was embodied in Jesus’ ministry in his work with the 12. As the group size decreases the connectivity increases. Our ability to be more transparent goes up with fewer, better connected people in the room. BobbyContinue Reading

Review of “Discipleship That Fits” Chapter 7 – Missional Communities Demystified

If you haven’t picked up on the rhythm of “Discipleship that Fits” yet, Bobby and Alex devoted two chapters to each of the five social-spiritual contexts. By way of review those include: public context, social context, personal context, transparent context, and divine context. These groups of people get progressively smaller as you work down theContinue Reading

Review of “Discipleship That Fits” Chapter 6 – The Missing Link: Understanding the Social Context

We continue on in Harrington and Absalom’s book “Discipleship that Fits” moving into the Social context. These are groups of 20-70 people. It is not “big church” and it is not small group. It is an in between group and this size group is very important in the discipleship process. One of the most meaningfulContinue Reading

Want to Make Disciples? Start Here

It has taken me over nine months to figure out how to start a solid discipleship ministry. No. I got that wrong – it isn’t one more ministry. Let me try that again. It has taken me over nine months to feel adequate in my approach to launching into discipling relationships with some other men.Continue Reading

Review of “Discipleship that Fits” Chapter 5 – What the Big Does Well

Chapter five in Discipleship that Fits covers the benefits of the Public context – the large gathering. Francis Chan and others have pushed to move away from this. What are we losing in the process? How can large gatherings be beneficial for the overall process of making well-rounded disciples of Jesus? One of the biggestContinue Reading

Review of “Discipleship that Fits” Chapter 4 – The Hoopla Can Actually Work

The book (Discipleship that Fits) now focuses on discipleship in various ministry context in terms of the group sizes outlined in chapter 3. In particular, chapter 4 deals with the Public context (100+ people) which in the West is generally the corporate worship setting. Bobby and Alex spend some time working through these contexts inContinue Reading

Churches of Christ Need an Aerosmith/Run DMC “Walk This Way” Moment

The iconic “Walk This Way” music video is a parable for a conversation that must go mainstream and I am determined to make that happen. We have to start chipping away at the wall and poking our heads through to hear what is being said on the other side. On one side – mainstream, programmaticContinue Reading

Here is Why Churches of Christ Should be Leading the Way in Disciple Making Movements

I grew up with a real affinity for scripture. I heard over and over again that the Bible is the inspired word of God. I heard it is our example. Even our pattern. I heard it informs our practice and doctrine. Flowing out of all of that was the idea that we were restoring theContinue Reading

You Are Invited to Renew’s Gathering

The following article is from Renew’s own, Bobby Harrington. I have gotten to know Bobby over the last several months and in many ways he and Renew have been an answer to some of the prayers I have been praying as I have looked for answers on how to learn to better make disciples whoContinue Reading

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