Article by Todd Smeltzer
If I had to boil down what disciple making means at Jersey Baptist Church in three words or less I would say it is about maturing and multiplying. A slightly expanded description of what we call relational discipleship is equipping disciples to make disciples through intentional relationships, so we may present everyone mature in Christ. The primary biblical foundation comes from the Great Commission in Matthew 28:18-20, Paul’s ministry to Colossae in Colossians 1:28, and the example of Paul and Timothy in 2 Timothy 2:1-2.
A couple years ago we started this journey by gathering a core group of leaders to pray, discuss, and define what we meant by the words disciple making. After a few months this led to an equipping phase where we read and looked at various tools we needed to implement. Then, we began to practice what we had developed with a few pilot groups. Eventually this transitioned into launching our initial relational discipleship groups, or RD Groups for short. Currently we have fifteen RD Groups made up of roughly fifty people at various stages of spiritual maturity.
A more detailed look at how we go about living out relational discipleship can be found on our church app.
- Search for “Jersey Baptist Church” in your app store
- Tap “Connect” at the bottom of the screen
- Tap “Relational Discipleship” at the bottom of the list
The app contains a summary of our process, along with answers to many of the key questions we have been asked. It also goes into further explanation regarding our church’s overall pathway of Worship, Grow, Serve, and Disciple. This has helped to clarify how an RD Group of two to four people of the same gender can covenant together to become disciple makers. In doing so, they seek to complement what takes place in corporate worship and small groups by providing an environment for more intentional relationships to develop over a predetermined period of time.
The other source we are developing for ongoing content and equipping can be found on our blog at rdlife.org.
- Click on the following link https://toddsmeltzer11.wordpress.com/
- Then click the “Follow” tab on the right
We certainly have a ways to go and still much to learn, however we seek to be a source of encouragement to any other churches who are burdened by Jesus’ command to go and make disciples who make disciples. If we can be of any further help, feel free to contact me at email@example.com.