Three-Thirds Pattern of Discipleship

If discipling people, we should get together with them regularly (i.e. weekly) to grow in our relationship with and obedience to Jesus. Three Thirds is just a simple way to structure those discussions. It breaks discipleship into three thirds. We'll just say parts. They are past, present, and future. If using a whiteboard or sheet, you can just divide it into three, vertical columns with those titles.

Past: Looking Back

1. Opening prayer. Get the Holy Spirit involved in it.

2. Time of care. Give people a chance to say how they've been doing, what's going on in their lives, and thanksgiving to God for anything good about life.

3. Loving accountability. The church is a mission organization meant to live for and glorify God. Doing so is also what's best for each of us. Caring for each other means we hold each other accountable for obedience. We follow up on how well each person is doing against last week's goals. We do that in a loving way. We'll celebrate any successes and help people with struggles wherever possible.

(Note: Our group merges 2 and 3. We share one at a time in a circle. Each person shares whatever is relevant to their life.)

Present: Looking Up

1. Time of worship. Thank God for the good things if you didn't already. Psalm or musical worship.

2. Look up. We want to hear from God. That's usually a new lesson in His Word. Might do commands. Typically whatever we do is discovery based. We want each person investing themselves into it, learning from it, and growing together. If there's a new tool (eg. for sharing), the training will happen here.

(Note: For leading studies or discussions, here's tips from Nav20 and K.Y. Davis. Both are pdf's.)

Future: Looking Forward

1. If needed, practice for any tools or skills we were just taught.

2. Vision. This is our vision for a healthy church. Some use the Great Commission. It can be other commands or verses to paint a picture of who we are as servants of Christ.

3. Accountability goals for next week. Set some goals. Might tie them to the lesson, too. How are you going to obey and live for Jesus using what you were just taught? Who will you share it with so it gets passed on? We want disciples who make other disciples.

4. Commission, encouragement, and group prayer for this weeks goals (esp Gospel sharing).

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