Discipleship at EFree
A word or two about Discipleship Groups. Their purpose is to "attend to one another's souls". We are essentially asking "How goes it with you with Jesus?"
Then we help each other apply the Bible to life. For instance, you mention that you have a big meeting coming up this week at work. You want to trust God in that. That's your answer to "how it goes with you . . . with the Lord?". So we ask, what does the Bible say? While the Bible doesn't talk specifically about your big meeting next week, Jesus promises us, after his command to evangelize the world (an endeavor full of "big meetings"!), "Behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age." The context is about evangelism, not your meeting. But we rightly apply Jesus' promise to us to your meeting, that you would believe, and rest in the belief, that Jesus will already be in that meeting room when you enter - he will be "with you always". This is the "work of God" - in Discipleship Groups - "that you believe in him whom [God] has sent" (John 6:29). Even about your big meeting.
Then we pray, for faith to believe what we just talked about. We humans need God; prayer evidences sanity, that we see ourselves rightly.
A Discipleship Group seeks to comprehend all three aspects of a person's life: our God, ourselves, and our situation. Not just Bible and prayer, but real, ordinary life, intentionally lived with others before God, fearing God, obeying God, trusting God, and thereby being changed by God.
Therefore, Discipleship Groups take "official" and "unofficial" forms. Koinonia, for instance, is an "official" women's Discipleship Group involving Bible study, but where the women also intentionally seek to "attend to one another's souls" in small groups, after the teaching time. But consider also two men who gather once a week to share their love of cigars. Nothing official, but I know that they are intentionally seeking to "attend to each other's souls", as I outlined above. This "counts" too. Some groups are perpetual (like Koinonia). But some groups last only as long as the book they're reading, or as long as the indoor soccer season. The important thing is not the group's form. The point is that some part of life is being shared - whether that's a book, a sport, or a stogie - and in the process, we ask, "How goes it with you with the Lord?" And we go on from there, thinking Biblically, praying needfully.