When you’re trying to figure out what exactly makes a ‘disciple’ and how your NWC might go about making them it might not seem very obvious. But there are some basics that will really help start you on that journey, you might call them ‘The Big Deals’.
Four of the key ones are: baptism, reading the Bible, prayer and worship. Each of these could have its own page and probably there are a thousand books at least written about each of them. So where do you start?
At the outset, keep it simple. Take a look at the prayer and worship section, to link to some great resources on how to do these as an NWC. There are lots of prayer guides out there as well. Perhaps listen to G2’s series on prayer for going through some of the basics. It is based on a book by Stephen Furtick called ’Sun Stand Still' ( here is a link to the YouVersion devotional on the book) on the power of prayer and there are loads of great suggestions and encouragements in it. In the Book of Joshua, Joshua commands the sun to stand still and God makes it happen! Do we believe prayer can still do this kind of thing?
For reading the Bible, a potentially helpful place to begin is The Bible Project - they have quick videos about lots of books of the Bible to make it all a lot less intimidating and confusing. Though one thought might be, if you can afford it, when someone wants to become a Christian in your NWC you could buy them a Bible - its one of the fundamental ways for someone to figure out what being a Christian is all about. One of the most powerful ways to learn more about the Bible is to find a daily devotional. A particularly good one is HTB’s Bible in One Year, read by David Suchet and commented on by Nicky and Pippa Gumbel. It might not be your cup of tea so explore what does work for you. Consistent Bible reading can be a powerful driver in your faith and leadership. Figure out what times of the day work for you to read it and what keeps you engaged (and understanding what is happening!).
Baptism is one that lots of people disagree about how it should happen - do chat to your Vicar and your team about what Baptism looks like in your church. Baptism is not just for babies, its for new Christians who want to publicly declare their commitment to Jesus before their friends, family and church. Jesus asks us to do it, take a look at Matthew 28. Baptism is a way of showing your unity with Jesus, in his death and resurrection - which is explained in Romans 6. Finally, it is about spiritual birth - being a new life and new creation in Jesus! That’s particularly in 1 Peter 1.
Team Exercise (25 Mins)
Prep - paper, pens and coloured pencils
Intro - what does being a Christian mean to you? Give the group 5 mins to draw, write and colour, what are the most important things about being a Christian.
Task - Chat about what you have drawn. Read Matthew 28 16-20. What does this say about being a disciple? What is a disciple? Think about what Jesus followers did, maybe what happens in Acts and what you think disciples look like today.
Conclusion - Each chose one of the discipleship basics that you would like to get better at and commit to doing one thing to help towards that.
Follow-up: Keep each other accountable! On your group thread on Facebook or slack - say how it is going. Don’t worry if you’re struggling - be honest with each other.