to be Like
Bible Study and Discipleship Coordinator and Adult Consultant
Virginia Baptist Mission Board
billalphin@VBMB.ORG 800-255-2428 X221
What is Jesus Like?
What does it mean to
Be “like Jesus”?
Did Jesus Grow in God?
How did Jesus grow in
faith in God?
• Lk 2—Formal study/training.
• Lk 3—With God in the Wilderness.
• Lk 4—Life crisis at home.
• Lk 8—Family conflict.
• Lk 9—Peter’s confession.
• Lk 22-The Garden experience.
• Lk 23-Crisis at the cross.
Being Like Jesus Includes…
• Trust in God.
• Experiences a sense of personal well-being,
security and peace.
• Integrates faith and life.
• Seeks spiritual growth through study,
refection, prayer and discussion.
• Seeks to be part of a faith community.
• Ministry (Selfish or Self-less).
• “Kingdom living”.
How do we develop a mature
• Through study.
• Discussion in a faith community.
• Testing faith out in real life.
• Developing Actual Christian Values.
Christian maturity doesn’t happen
• Faith in God grows in stages.
• It grows in faith community.
• It requires discipline.
• It requires nurture.
• It requires ministry.
• Growing faith is a life-long endeavor.
We never “arrive”.
What can I do?
• Quiet study and reflection.
• Listening and looking for God.
• Time in community.
• Getting outside of “self”.
• Talk about your faith.
• Remain open to God changing you.
Path to Spiritual Growth” Richard Foster
• Inward Disciplines
• Outward Disciplines
• Corporate Disciplines
Christian Growth happens best...
• Where there is intimacy.
• Where there is purposeful and sequential
• Where there is mentoring.
• Where there is modeling.
• Where there is discipline.
• Where there is accountability.
• The KEY: Trusting relationships!
Disciple making requires a
system of groups that
provides three levels of
• Celebration/Worship group: (Unity)
• Congregation (ABF): (Fellowship)
• Cell or small group: <12 (Intimacy and
About Smaller Congregations…
• Yes, smaller congregations can be
an effective disciple making church.
• Smaller churches can be intentional.
• Rely on the one-on-one mentoring
and networking opportunities.
• Mentor one leader who mentors one
Small groups and intimacy:
• Intimacy requires groups to be closed.
• Intimacy requires continuation: Groups
must be ongoing (Sometimes meeting for
more than a year.
• Open Sunday School classes must allow for
new people and those who “come and go” on
a weekly basis.
• Intimacy allows for accountability. Sunday
School classes generally require only
“faithfulness” to the class.
Helping Adults “Be Like Jesus” in
the Sunday School Class…
• Practice the three functions of Sunday
– Fellowship (Lifestyle evangelism) (15 min.)
– Bible Study (30 min.) –High quality.
– Nurture and care ministry.
• Point people who “want more” to a small
• Work to keep the class “open” to guest.
Small groups should be
This means people are grouped
together according to where they are
in their faith journey...
Each phase of discipleship
moves the disciple to a higher level of
Groups As Disciple Making Tools:
• Covenant Group.
• Basic Accountability Group.
• Ongoing Accountability Group.
• Ministry Community.
• Support Group.
• Fishing Pools.
• Task Groups and Committees.
• Small groups of up to 12 persons.
• Focusing on the lowest level of
disciple making (come and see).
• Serves as an introduction to small
• Open but become closed.
• Meet for 13-26 weeks.
Basic Accountability Group
• Group of 6-12.
• Meets for 6-24 months.
• Focuses on the “Come and follow me”
• The group is closed.
• Establishes the basic habits (prayer,
Bible study, quiet time, witnessing,
fellowship, obedience, growth.
Ongoing Accountability Group
• Group of 7-17.
• Focuses on the “Be with me” stage
and “Remain in Me” stage.
• The group is closed and long-term in
• Helps maintain basic habits and add
• It may occasionally re-open.
• Meeting of all small group leaders.
• Meets once or twice a month.
• Huddle (Communication)
• Skill development.
• Mutual encouragement.
• Ministry planning.
A small group leader should be...
(In part, from Bob Gilliam, T-Net International)
• Beyond the “Follow Me” phase.
• The kind of person you could “catch”
Christianity from if you weren’t
• Specifically trained to lead a small
• Observed as gifted and able.
• Support of the mission of the church.
Develop disciple making leaders
• Affirm those who are effective
Christian disciples and leaders.
• Provide vision and encouragement.
• Discover and utilize spiritual gifts.
• Create accountability relationships
for leaders through a leadership
• Free leaders of institutional
Maintenance. Edward H. Hammett Making the Church Work.
Training for Small Group Leaders
• Understand group dynamics.
• Life cycle of small groups.
• Expectations of participants.
• Practice conflict utilization skills.
• Develop/practice facilitator skills.
• Understand role of small group.
The Leadership Community
(The T-Net Model)
• Nurture (Plenary Session)
• Vision Casting-Large Picture (Plenary
• Cross-pollination of ideas and
• Skill Development (Sub-groups by
• Huddle/Planning (Sub-groups by type)
• Meets at least monthly.
• What do you want to accomplish?
• Develop a plan.
• Inventory existing small groups.
• What small groups are needed?
• What about your leadership base?
• Enlist and train new leaders.
• Select curriculum resources.
• Set a date for new groups.
• Enlist participants.
Ensuring a Successful Small
• Have a person responsible for
coordination of small group min.
• Make sure the church knows what is
happening with the small group
• Maintain the leadership community
and on-going training.
• Develop new small group leaders.