A Culture of Discipleship
The mission statement of the Trails is simple and focused: To glorify God by making disciples through the gospel, in community, and on mission. This is mantra that will help keep our eyes fixed on the center of the target. It also provides a filter through which we can assess emphases, projects, and the overall culture of our church. We want to plant a church with a culture of discipleship.
At our first Launch Team meeting, we walked through four specific environments of discipleship that the church is committed to: the worship service, mid-sized groups, small groups, and discipleship groups. Each disciple-making environment will work together to support and advance our mission.
The worship service is the most critical disciple-making path of the local church. As the gathered church, we meet to worship God, to hear his word read and preached (1 Tim. 4:13), to sing (Eph. 5:19), to observe communion (1 Cor. 11:23-29), and baptism (Matt.28:19), to commission (Acts 13:2-3), to edify one another (Col. 3:16), and to proclaim the gospel to one another and to our community (1 Cor. 11:26.
The purpose of mid-sized groups is discipleship. Mid-sized groups provide a community-building environment that is smaller than our gathering but large enough to provide a safe space for anyone to grow in their walk with God and with one another. Mid-sized groups are 20-50 people whose purpose is to make disciples through specific study or relationship-building (Men’s Ministry, Women’s Ministry, Students, Equipping Classes, Bible Studies, Picnics, Parties).
The purpose of small groups is discipleship. Small groups meet on a regular basis for the sake of deepening friendships, growing theologically, encouraging spiritual growth, providing biblical counsel, and studying Scripture (Acts 2:42-47). Relationships here are deeper than in mid-sized groups, and small groups tend to meet together more frequently (Community Groups, Redemption Groups, Book Studies, Topical Studies).
The purpose of a discipleship group is to facilitate intentional, relational disciple-making. In this environment, typically one of two scenarios takes place. In one scenario, a more mature Christian disciples a younger Christian for the sake of spiritual growth (Titus 2:2-8). In the other scenario, two people at similar places in their journeys commit to intentionally helping one another grow (Prov. 27:17). This approach includes theology, life, relationships, and applying the gospel to the entirety of life. These groups can last for a short-term or long-term duration (1v1, 2v2 Groups).
Committed to Discipleship
As we work toward our launch date, let us be a people committed to both growing as disciples of Jesus and growing in discipling others. It is in the combination of personal growth and helping others grow that we will experience the greatest progress.
Please join me in praying that we would be a people who are committed to this mission. Specifically, pray that the Trails would be a church that experiences a culture of discipleship resulting in much glory to Jesus.