Bob Hyatt On Missional Discipleship: A Report From EcclesiaNet Church Planter Training

Discipleship is an issue for us at Life on the Vine. We have a model that we’ve been struggling with once we got bigger than 50-60 people. (We use a triad system where we follow a rule that combines Benedictine with Wesley). This morning, (or was it this afternoon?), Bob Hyatt,  our ecclesia net buddy, taught us on discipleship. How do we disciple in missional communities? He gave us what he called a “minimalized” version of discipleship that cops some good stuff from Mike Breen.
In brief here are the highlights in bullet points.
He said:

  • Following Matt 28:19 – church planting is the result of making disciples … not the other way around.
  • If you are going to make disciples YOU HAVE TO INITIATE  … “call people into discipleship.” You have to go to people and arrange for them to be discipled.
  • Baptizing is not just the process of dunking somebody, it is the process of con-forming someone to the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus Christ.
  • “Teaching them to obey … all that I have commanded you” what does it mean “all that I have commanded you”  It means to love God, love others. What does it means to teach people how to do that?
  • From John 10 … “My sheep listen to my voice.” Discipleship is teaching people How to hear God’s voice and respond accordingly. SPIRITUAL GROWTH IS SHORTENING THE TIME … BETWEEN WHEN YOU HEAR IT .. AND OBEY IT.
  • The problem with the “I’ve got 4 bases to run” approach to discipleship is it assumes an end,  it assumes everybody is the same, and it is not reproducible. It ends up being too vague.
  • Based on Mark 1:14-15, Hyatt followed Breen again and gave the circle of discipleship, a process that the discipler leads his/her apprenticeship through. It goes like this:

1. HELP PEOPLE SEE the Kairos moments in their life … when God/Kingdom is breaking through.
2. OBSERVE … Help people to observe WHAT IS HAPPENING … what’s going on in your life ? what is God saying?
3. REFLECT … understand the Why’s that are driving God’s work here.
4. DISCUSS … submit that to community …
5. PLAN …  what are you going to do in response …
7. ACT …

  • The two questions that drive the discipleship process are: 1.)What is God saying to you in your life (today, this week etc.)? 2.)How are you responding – or what are you going to do about that? The way we use these two questions to drive the discipleship process in many faceted ways, I FOUND COMPELLING!!

OK, so that is about as brief a space as I can possibly put the whole hour and a half into. We spent about an hour fleshing this stuff out – how this process changes the entire orientation of Christian discipleship, the nature of the dynamic as one teaches discernment in communities of 3-10 people (huddle groups) and how it is reproducible. I am totally fired up. Thanks Bob Hyatt. Good work accomplished for the ecclesianetwork training week.
Talk amongst yourselves, I’ll hopefully take comments, questions, concerns in the comments.  And I’m going to go try this out on J R Woodward right now who just walked in :).

Anybody else know Mike Breen’s work want to chime in?

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