By Nathan White, VBMB Web Minister
A dozen ministers from in and around the Lynchburg area met last week at Madison Heights Baptist Church for the first of three sessions as part of a Community of Practice to study discipleship.
Dr. Adam Tyler, pastor of Grace Hills Baptist Church in Appomattox, explained that they “decided to offer an ‘arc of involvement’ for some younger church leaders with a session each on personal discipleship, congregational discipleship, and how our discipleship will lead us into the community.”
Using Mike Breen/3DM’s discipleship model, John Chandler (@JPChandler) and Laura McDaniel (@laura_mcdaniel) of Spence Network led participants through simple tools to help identify growth areas in their personal faith journeys.
McDaniel explained that “there are a lot of discipleship books out there, but we felt that this tool was highly effective.”
Chandler concedes that the life-shapes concept described in Breen’s book “isn’t the ‘be all to end all’ – the metaphor only goes so far – but can really be useful.”
Chandler and McDaniel tag-teamed taught the morning session, explaining the importance of a personal discipleship journey for the ministers that does not look like “work”.
“As a minister, you hope to live a life that is so rich that others want to live a similar life,” John Chandler said. McDaniel added that “you can’t lead others to places you haven’t been yourself.”
Much discussion centered around juggling the realities of ministry with responsibilities to family, friends, and their own faith journeys.
Often called a balance, Chandler explained that it’s more of a rhythm. “If you’re balancing yourself, you can get pushed off and it’s all over. It’s all or nothing. Rhythm is not static, it’s moving and it’s going somewhere.”
Tyler recommended the 3DM discipleship model to the group because “personally I like the fact that they are simple to understand. Operator error isn’t limited to mechanical tools.”
During the afternoon session, participants broke into groups to practice a huddle, a discipleship practice designed to assist personal discipleship growth.
The group plans to meet again in September to discuss congregational discipleship.