Jesus gave the church one crucial task on earth, which is to make disciples. If there’s anything we should aim to do well in the body of Christ, it is this: make disciples who can in turn make disciples. Thus the most fundamental question for us to ask and discover the answer to is: How do we do it? How do we make disciples?
In Scripture we see that Jesus intentionally invited people into relationship with him, to help them become the people God created them to be. This included teaching, encouragement, and challenging behaviours he knew were either wrong or unhealthy (Matt 16:17-18, 23-25). Similarly, each of us should have people that we can experience this reality with, becoming more like Jesus in friendship with one another, as we challenge and encourage one another toward maturity.
Our vision for discipleship is simple: we want to be a church that helps and encourages one another to live the lives Jesus has called us to.
What is a discipleship trio?
• A discipleship trio is a place for us to cultivate friendship, encouragement, and challenge in each others’ lives.
• Discipleship trios are built upon the Great Commission (Matt 28:19-20). We are called to make disciples by teaching others to obey what Jesus has commanded.
• This involves reading Scripture together, hearing the words of Jesus, and obeying what Jesus has commanded.
• To create a culture of discipleship in the church.
• To multiply effective disciples by investing in a few so that they can invest in others.
• To equip all members of the church to participate in the missional work to which God has called them.
• A discipleship trio is made up of three people of the same gender: a leader/facilitator and two others.
• Some trios may be made up of peers while others may contain people of different ages.
• The trios meet together at least once every two to three weeks for twelve months. This could be over coffee, lunch, dessert, before work, etc.
• The hope is that at the end of the year, each person in the trio would start another trio with two others from the church.
What Discipleship Trios Are Not
Many of the things on this list will come up from time to time, and that is great, we're not saying you can't do them, the point is that no single one of these items should dominate the group.
• Not about ‘doing life together’
• Not a therapy/counselling session
• Not a support group
• Not a book club… unless it’s the Bible.
• Not a place for inner-healing prayer ministry
• Not an intercessory prayer group
• Not a place for kids (except nursing mothers)
• Not a place for one person’s struggles to dominate the discussion
• Not about discovering your spiritual gifts
• Not about exploring strengths and weaknesses
• Not about discovering your personality
• Not meant to last forever. They exist for a particular season (about one year) before multiplying into new trios.
Why Meet In Threes?
• A more dynamic group exchange/discussion happens.
• There are two sets of ears filtering everything that is said, providing two unique perspectives in response.
• There are two people loving and supporting each person in the group. No one is bearing another’s burdens alone.
• It is more difficult for one person to dominate the conversation.
Material/content of discipleship trios can change, but the structure stays the same so that it can be reproduced.
This is what a typical discipleship trio meeting would look like:
• Spend time catching up, telling stories, laughing, etc.
2. Read Scripture Together
• Discover Jesus in the Scriptures.
• Scripture readings will correspond to the John sermon series.
• What is Jesus saying? What is he asking of you?
• What will it cost you to follow Jesus in this way?]
• Are you doing what Jesus asks of you? Is there something keeping you from responding to Jesus? Are you being obedient?
• How might you respond to what Jesus is saying?
• What are you praying for?
• Spend time praying for one another
• Leaders are guardians of the discipleship process. They facilitate the meetings and maintain the discipleship trio structure (help keep the groups from becoming the things we have said they are not about).
• Leaders are not expected to be experts. Their role is to help the group look to Jesus together. It’s about mutual discipleship and transformation. Any questions the leaders ask should also be asked of them.
• They set-up and maintain meeting times.
• They notify members of group which passage to read and prepare for ahead of the meeting.
• Each leader will be supported/resourced by one of the staff or elders. This will include monthly coaching calls/emails where leaders can share how things are going and be encouraged and equipped. Staff are not asking leaders to report confidential information about the other members of the trio. Rather, it’s about checking in about what God is doing in the trios and making sure the group is staying on track.