I’m not sure how it happened, but I’m certain we all almost died. I remember driving one morning with three of my friends in my Extended Cab Chevy Silverado. One minute, we were all singing to the radio, the next minute one of my friends was screaming my name to wake me up. Somehow I had drifted off to sleep which caused the truck to drift off the road. When my friend’s screams woke me up, I jerked my truck back on the road. In the same way, when we are making disciples, we’ve got to keep our eyes on the road (pathway) or we will drift.
#4 Keep Your Eyes on the Pathway of Disciple Making
The Mistake Disciple Makers Make
The major mistake I see disciple makers make is when they put all their eggs into the basket of the D-Group. While Jesus called us to make disciples, His Word also calls us to worship together, meet together in groups, live our life on mission, etc. Student Ministry is never to be disciple making only, but it should be disciple making always!
The Pathway of Disciple Making
There’s no doubt that D-Groups are left out of Student Ministry today, but I believe that the Scriptures give us a very clear disciple making pathway that both puts the D-Group where it should be and keeps us focused so that we do not drift. The way we describe our Disciple Making Pathway is:
GOSPEL: Wednesday Night Worship Services.
RELATIONAL: Sunday Morning Small Groups.
DISCIPLE: Weekly D-Groups.
MISSIONAL: Daily opportunities to share the Gospel.
In order to keep our eyes on the road to not drift, I believe that every Student Ministry should balance these four key areas of ministry.
GOSPEL: We preach and teach the Gospel in all areas of our Student Ministry, but we especially key in on the Gospel for salvation and sanctification on Wednesday nights. I do this by teaching through sermon series on every book of the Bible and major doctrine.
RELATIONAL: We want everything about our Student Ministry to be relational, but especially Sunday morning Small Groups. On Sundays we work through our own curriculum based on the previous Wednesday night’s message. Using the curriculum, our leaders facilitate our students to help them process, discuss, and apply what they’ve learned.
DISCIPLE: We believe everything we do is part of the process of making disciples, but we encourage all of our leaders and students to be in a weekly D-Group.
MISSIONAL: We believe everything we do is a part of God’s mission, but we especially encourage our leaders and students to live on mission with the Gospel every day in such of a way that someone could get saved.
Picture the Pathway as a Circle
When we keep our eyes on the pathway, it helps us to have a robust ministry that makes disciples from many different perspectives while still multiplying D-Groups.
As you keep your eyes on the pathway, picture with me that the pathway is a circle. As students grow deeper in the Gospel, they become more relational with Jesus and each other through small groups.
As they become more relational with Jesus and each other in small groups, they then are ready to take the next step in Disciple Making Groups,
When they are growing in Disciple Making Groups, then they will inevitably be living their life on mission. When they are living their life on mission, they will be inviting more friends to Jesus through the Gospel.
The pathway of disciple always comes back full circle!
Jesus’ Process and Our Pathway
We’ve often heard it said that Jesus made disciples who were able to make more disciples by His process:
I do, you watch.
I do, you help.
You do, I help.
You do, I watch.
Watch Jesus’ process works with our pathway:
I do, you watch. (Gospel: When we preach the Gospel on Wednesday nights)
I do, you help. (Relational: When we lead students into deeper, spiritual conversations)
You do, I help. (Disciple: When we meet with students for Disciple Making Groups, but we let them do the majority of the talking. This is to help them mature and prepare to make more disciples)
You do, I watch. (Missional: When we release our students into the world to share the Gospel and make disciples.)
Student Pastors, keep your eyes on the pathway of making disciples and do not drift!
You can read the other articles in this series or check out more disciple making resources at https://youthgrouptruth.com/category/disciple-making/