A Different Approach to Christian Formation
How to disciple in urban areas is becoming an increasingly important challenge for Christians. The nature of present day economies makes it difficult for many people to commit to regular times of prayer, reading the scriptures, and regular mission. I teach pastors, congregations, and interested individuals how to seek first the kingdom of God through a 2-3 person discipleship group; a model that we call “Christian Friendship.”
Markers of this Approach
- Participants are encouraged to pray 2-3 times a week (or more) in order to establish a regular rhythm of openness and seeking God together. This habit lays the foundation for creating regular patterns of commitment.
- Participants are encouraged to naturally deepen their friendship without the weight of traditional accountability models. Knowing that none of us can be the Lord for another, participants are encouraged to be open with their sin without over-responding to what they hear from one another. No friend should seek to be the “more” than the others.
- Participants are encouraged to grow in a regular pattern of reading scripture. Using insight from a range of Christian formation practices, KMS provides rough guidelines that can be used to assist in growing the length of time that someone spends in the word of God. Readings should be done individually in this model.
- Participants are encouraged to settle on one form of outreach that they can all contribute to (volunteering at a homeless shelter, giving to overseas missions, personal evangelism, other types of kingdom building, etc.) Work should be done explicitly in the name of Jesus.
This model of discipleship can sit alongside traditional Church structures (small groups, affinity groups, Sunday School, etc.) and is a transformative way of deepening one’s sense of Christian identity and mission.