Discipleship and the Transfer of Life

By Rob Campbell


“Holistic small groups are the natural place for Christians to learn to serve others—both inside and outside the group—with their spiritual gifts. The planned multiplication of small groups is made possible through the continual development of leaders as a by-product of the normal group life. The meaning of the term ‘discipleship’ becomes practical in the context of holistic small groups: the transfer of life, not rote learning of abstract concepts” (Natural Church Development, Christian Schwarz, p. 32).

May I ask you to read that last sentence one more time? That sentence is one of the most concise definitions of discipleship in the context of holistic small groups that I’ve ever read. Ruminate of that sentence, my friend.

A few questions:

As you partner with God, how do your group members experience the “transfer of life?”

Concerning your equipping track, is it curriculum centered or seminar style? Do you equip one on one or assemble all the leaders together?

What one mistake have you made in equipping leaders that you would like to share with this blog community?



2 thoughts on “Discipleship and the Transfer of Life

  • Many mistakes.
    One of them is to take a guy who is quite willing with an open heart, but not waiting enough to know if the timing is of God. The apprentice says yes and the cell says yes, because we are too numerous. But God did not say “go”. We went and it crashed because the timing was not of God.
    I can compare that to another multiplication where I thought the apprentice was not ready, but God said to me “Go”. I obeyed and this house-church continues to flourish.
    Lesson : move by listening to God.

  • One of the greatest experiences I’ve had in discipleship was a weekly one-to-one connection. This guy’spiritual growth in just a few months was phenomenal to watch! When I think of effective discipleship, I think of those meetings.

    At our church, we are incorporating this idea of 1-2-1 mentoring in the Training Track in addition to the necessary classroom information. I want our new believers to experience the Christian life THEN get more detailed in a class setting. Then, of course, the Cell is the perfect place to express what they’ve learned through experience (ie. mentor about evangelism, do it by bringing a friend to group).

    So I would say that the same concept of life-transfer in the group is just as necessary in the Training Track, and they work hand-in-hand.

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