Did you know that central to our faith is being a disciple? Did you further know that central to being a disciple is making other disciples? It seems that most Christians, including Catholics, aren’t aware of this.
Two of the most important things Jesus shared with us in Scripture, that He asked of us,
directed us to do, are the:
- Great Commandments, Mark 12:29-31 – Jesus said, “The first is this…You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your mind, and with all your strength. The second is this: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no other commandment greater than these.”
- Great Commission, Matthew 29:19-20 – Jesus said to His disciples, “All power in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Go, therefore, and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, until the end of the age.”
Jesus wasn’t making mere suggestions. Both are clear to anyone who wants to listen. Critical to our individual spiritual growth, they are also very important to the health of the Church.
What Does It Mean to be a Disciple?
Being a disciple is living the life taught to us by Jesus Christ. It is both the Great Commandments and the Great Commission. Although in some ways simple, it’s not easy. It’s the journey of a lifetime.
With much having been written about it, one aspect that is often ignored is making disciples. Many, including me for a long time, don’t have an idea of what it means to make a disciple. There are those who don’t care and can’t be bothered by it. Others believe they’re doing it, but when you ask them how, they’re very short on details.
I work for the Conference Office at Franciscan University of Steubenville, where several years ago we became very interested in truly understanding discipleship. Endeavoring to find a model that results in spiritual multiplication (disciples making disciples making disciples) over an extended period of time, we researched over 50 organizations during a 2-year period.
The hard work paid off. We found a model that has worked for over 35 years. Developed by Greg Ogden, it’s detailed in his book, Transforming Discipleship, where he points to the benefits of “micro groups” over one on one discipleship and traditional small groups of 6-10. Time tested and proven, Greg’s model is the only one we found that could meet our criteria.
It Serves Your Needs…Not Just Others
We refer to them as Discipleship Quads, where 4 people (men with men, women with women) meet weekly over the course of a year, both learning and living the behaviors of a disciple. If you’re like most, first hearing that seems daunting. But having spent the last twelve months in a group, I can tell you that it’s one of my favorite parts of the week.
I read a study not long ago that indicates that 49% of adults complain about being lonely. Wow…that’s 1 in 2. With the advent of the smart phone and our lives becoming busier and busier, this statistic has dramatically increased. An intentional part of the Discipleship Quads is the fellowship time. Combined with the review of the week’s content, meaningful friendships are born and true learning of our faith is accomplished, all related to your personal journey.
With each taking his/her turn facilitating the group over the course of the year, it’s easy for those interested to start a new group. Not only for you individually, but think about it for your Parish. If just 2 groups (8 people) started in year #1, that would potentially mean 8 groups/32 people in year #2, with possibly 30+ groups and over 100 people in year #3. What would the impact be on your Parish with 100 engaged, enthused Disciples?
The Best Part
Here’s the best news (other than it being a proven methodology)…it’s 100% free. No gimmicks, no tricks….it’s FREE OF CHARGE. Just go to https://steubenvilleconferences.com/discipleship-quads/. There you’ll get the details of the model, how we’ll support you through the process, and how to get the content. Did I mention that it’s 100% free?
Please feel free to get back to me with questions or comments at Mark@MarkJosephMinistries.com.
God Bless you on your Path to Peace, Joy, and Fulfillment!!!