Read Acts 14:21-28
Do you find it interesting that Paul “made disciples” and preached the gospel in Derbe? The Great Commission calls us to make disciples of all nations. What does that look like? It involves going as sent missionaries into our individual contexts, baptizing people into the family of God and the life of the church, and teaching everyone to obey what Jesus commanded.
Let’s see another aspect of disciple-making with Paul here in Acts. In this process, Paul was strengthening their souls, he was encouraging them in their faith, he was teaching them about suffering, he was raising up leadership (elders), there was prayer and fasting and then when he returned to Antioch, he gathered the entire church together and shared what God had done in His grace.
So where does true encouragement come from? How can we strengthen one another? How is new leadership raised up in the church? Where can we truly pray for one another? How can we give testimony to one another of God’s grace in our lives?
We can possibly do this in a Sunday morning worship service to some extent, but to truly impact one another’s lives and grow in community, we can best experience this in a disciple-making small group.
As you pray today, I ask that you have an open mind and heart to how Emmanuel is moving toward disciple-making small group ministry that may look very different than a traditional Sunday School or Growth Group model that is primarily focused on knowledge acquisition (head). Ask God to prepare your heart to receive what the elders and I sense God is leading us toward in a disciple-making small group ministry.
Father in Heaven,
You created me for fellowship and deep relationships with other believers. I was made for friendship, and I need the encouragement and the strength that comes from other believers. I may not know what this whole disciple-making small group ministry is all about, but please give me an open mind to think about how I can grow in Christ. I want to grow in you and I want to express my identity in You and my obedience to You in a context with other believers in community.
By Your Grace,