Six Types of Small Groups to Help Churches

An excerpt from Leadership Handbook of Outreach and Care.

Disciplemaking Groups

"None of us will ever forget this man who was totally committed to putting God first, a man whose humble life combined muscular Christianity with radiant godliness." That's how David J. Michell described Eric Liddell, the missionary to China whose life was dramatized in the award-winning movie "Chariots of Fire." Liddell died in a Japanese prison camp in 1945, but his legacy of muscular Christianity and godliness far outlasts the vapor that was his earthly life.

Producing Muscular Christians

Disciplemaking groups should aim at producing Eric Liddells—men and women of spiritual muscle, who learn personally from the Master as they walk daily with him. Such disciples live by the Word, contribute to the work of the church, and influence the world for the cause of the gospel. To develop successful disciplemaking groups, take these four steps:

  • Create a vision for disciplemaking. The vision you hold out to your group members must be worth significant sacrifice in time and energy. "Changing the world, one life at a time" or "Turning ordinary people into extraordinary disciples" would make good goals, for example. We light fires in people's souls when we find a slogan, theme, or logo that captures the passion of disciplemaking and then use it to impart a world-changing vision.
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