Discipleship in Post Falls, Idaho
by Dale Fisher
The week before Campus Crusade for Christ’s staff training conference in Colorado, Marti, I, and Ken, the small groups pastor from our church (shown right), attended a discipleship conference called “Immersion” that was put on by Real Life Ministries in Post Falls, Idaho. We had a great time watching and learning how this church does discipleship. Its leaders believe that the basic measurement of "how a church is doing" should be based on "how well it's discipling its members."
Marti and I hope to use what we learned at this immersion conference in our ministries with Transformational Leadership Movements in Africa and our home church. Here are three of the many concepts that we learned and liked very much.
- Small groups should become the main pillar of the church; Sunday services are secondary. Most conference sessions focused on small groups, which foster care for every person in the church and build relationships that are of paramount importance. Leaders of Real Life stress deliberate, intentional relationships. They also believe in, as well as practice, vulnerability and openness is relationships.
- Every person in the church is classified according to their level of spiritual maturity: from “dead” to “infant” to “child” to “young adult” to “parent.” Real Life has as one of its strategies: to help each person grow up in Christ to the maturity level of "parent" — one who is a disciple maker. This teaching was also presented in a relational context of small groups.
- One of the unique methods of Real Life is its use of "Bible storytelling" in its small groups. Before a group begins to study and discuss a passage, the small-group leader will verbally tell the story from memory. Then, small-group members will re-tell the story to the leader, part by part. When done with Bible storytelling, members read and apply the passage.
Marti and I were personally challenged during this discipleship conference. We look forward to seeing how we can apply what we've learned in our lives and ministry; we ask the Holy Spirit to remind us of what we learned about immersion and discipleship as we each continue our ministerial journeys.
. . . until we all reach unity in the faith and in the knowledge of the Son of God and become mature, attaining to the whole measure of the fullness of Christ. — Ephesians 4:13