Unit 1.11 Greg Ogden, forming the discipleship system

What is involved in forming the discipleship system?

Ogden=s working definition of disciple making: ADiscipling is an intentional relationship in which we walk alongside other disciples in order to encourage, equip, and challenge one another in love to grow toward maturity in Christ.  This includes equipping the disciple to teach others as well.@[1]

For Ogden, living the biblical model of disciple making from Jesus and Paul requires investment in three foundational principles.  First, we need to invest in the lives of others by shifting from an emphasis on making disciples through programs to making disciples through relationships.[2] Second, we need to invest in multiplication by helping Christians grow to the point of maturity where they become disciples who make disciples who make disciples, resulting in multiple generations of disciples.[3] Third, we need to invest in developing a discipleship system that helps people become like Christ.  AWhen we (1) open our hearts in transparent trust to each other (2) around the truth of God=s Word (3) in the spirit mutual accountability,@ Ogden writes, Awe are in the Holy Spirit=s hothouse of transformation.@[4]

Discipleship involves progress through stages of growth in the models of Jesus and Paul.[5] Ogden experience is that the best unit for growth in discipleship is a small group of three (triad) or four people.[6] 

[1]Ogden, Transforming Discipleship, 129.

[2]Ogden, Transforming Discipleship, 121-135.

[3]Ogden, Transforming Discipleship, 121-122, 136-152.

[4]Ogden, Transforming Discipleship, 154. See pages 122, 151-174.

[5]For the five stage Jesus model, see Ogden, Transforming Discipleship, 75-98.  Ogden points out that Paul uses human developmental terminology such as infants, children, adolescents and parents rather than Adisciples@ in his model; see Ogden, Transforming Discipleship, 99-117. 

[6]Ogden, Transforming Discipleship, 9-10, 15, 140-149. You will encounter the triad based ALife Transformation Group@ by Neil Cole in Unit 6.

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