RiverLife Weekly #28: Micro Groups and Disciple Making
I have used the term Micro Groups when discussing disciple making and several have asked if I can elaborate.
We start with the biblical basis – Jesus had twelve disciples, not because it is the ideal ratio for making disciples. Rather, some scholars believe that He was making a statement about the twelve tribes and a new Israel. The number twelve also represents government in biblical numerology.
The inner circle of Peter, James and John is a better model for disciple making. Jesus associated with each at a different and deeper level than He did with the other nine (Matthew 26:36-46).
It is important for us to note that Jesus had a personal relationship with each disciple; theirs was not a general group relationship. Jesus’ approach to making disciples is both personal and relational because people disciple people, not groups. Let’s now apply these principles to our context.
A micro group is specifically a disciple making group. It comprises of a few persons of the same sex who individually have a deep desire to pursue spiritual transformation. They also have the relational trust and commitment necessary to allow for honesty and vulnerability.
Three to four persons are optimal, as this is a good size for true, heart-to-heart conversations. It is less intimidating to share about our struggles in this micro group, whereas there is a tendency to ‘hide’ in a larger group.
The goal of a micro group is to transform the lives of those in the group through self-examination, reading and applying the Bible consistently, praying, mutual encouragement and meaningful service towards those in their circle of influence.
Disciple makers model intimacy with Jesus, pouring themselves into their disciples. The Holy Spirit is the teacher. Group members learn to hear His voice. Each day we read Scriptures asking, “What is God saying to me through His Word?” and “What am I going to do about it?”
Each micro group has a set time to gather regularly. It can be over a meal, before or after cell meeting. A typical session would have us share what we learned from our weekly Bible reading, discuss things with which we struggle and close by praying for each other and for others outside the church.
A micro group can consist of new disciples, growing disciples, new disciple makers or maturing disciple makers. They may or may not belong to the same cell group.
The ultimate fruit of discipleship is when it leads to life change – when the lordship of Christ becomes so evident in our every facet of our lives!
Pastor Ben KC Lee