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 Reluctant disciples
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Starting Member

1 Posts

Posted - 03/14/2004 :  22:51:18  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
We started our cell church plant in Richmond, VA early 2003. For two years we had been building relationships with secular people. When we invited 26 to our home, 8 came. Of these, 5 have become believers, one dropped out in favor of heroin, and two professed previous conversions. We started them on the "Year of Equipping", my wife "sponsoring" the women and me the men.

The two men I have worked with are poor readers. They are not motivated to crack any book or read any page. No amount of praying, encouraging, admonishing, rewarding, seems to make a difference. There is plenty of love and fellowship, and they want to keep meeting, but they are always unprepared. Growth is slow.

Of the three women my wife has discipled, only one has caught fire. One simply does not read, and the other says "I just can't get into the books."

The cell has grown now to about 12, (14 today) including 2 8-year-old girls, two teens, four men, four women, my wife and I. They love our cell meetings, most achieving nearly perfect attendance, something we almost never mention.

We had dreamed of a cell culture of eager disciples enthralled with Jesus, hungry for God and drinking the Word, arriving at Cell meeting ready to minister to one another and expecting to experience the presence and power of Jesus. Sometimes our meetings are thrilling, but it is the food that is always good. They always love the meal.

How can we disciple and build cell leaders among reluctant-readers?
How can I not be discouraged by this? Our first cell was to be DNA for the future, and this is not what we want to replicate. Maybe I'm expecting too much too soon.

I am looking forward to your insights and encouragements.


Forum Admin

119 Posts

Posted - 03/17/2004 :  14:01:08  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
This is a common problem, and becoming more prevalent in our Internet/Cable TV driven world. Reading requires concentration and we don't train people to concentrate on anything for more than a few minutes.

If a disciple won't read through the booklets on their own, then you'll have to get it into them in a different way. Here are a few ideas:

* Meet them for breakfast on morning each week and ask them to read through key things you've found aloud right at the table there at Denny's or McDonald's, asking them what they think it means and how it should apply to their life.

* Use fifteen minutes of each cell meeting to discuss a truth found in the discipleship materials and give them a practical assignment (a task) to do before the next meeting to "live out" what they heard you say and discussed.

* Some times, whole books scare people who are not voracious readers or truly literate... so just tear or cut out a couple of pages and ask them to put them in their Bible and read them before you meet next.

Jesus didn't have equipping workbooks, and used a three year process of relationship, mentoring and real-life opportunity to disciple a bunch of stinky, young fishermen.

The workbooks really make it easy for folks who have lots of self-discipline or like to read and study, but they don't have to be used exclusively to make disciples if the discipler or mentor is willing to find out how the person learns and adapt to it.

Please note that I'm not saying this is easy... it's far more work, but MORE fun when they get it because it will not have come as easily, but it will be just as transformational, and in some cases, far more life-changing than having someone read through it and not apply it.

Randall Neighbour
Forum Administrator
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