Ministry starts with relationship. Discipleship requires relationship. Disciple-making requires highly-intentional relationship, pouring oneself into another. If we look at the ministry of Jesus, he occasionally worked with the crowds. But his ministry was built on personal relationships and effective community. Along with the empowerment of the Holy Spirit, what we see today is the result of Christ intentionally pouring his life into a small community of believers.
The Christian faith is lived out through relationship and community. A “Lone Ranger faith”—for an individual or a family—is incompatible with Biblical Christianity. How do we mature as disciples of Jesus? We learn from prayer, the Word, the indwelling Holy Spirit—but also through godly counsel and practicing our faith within community. How do we grow into (more effective) disciple-makers? In deep relationships lived out within the complexities and tensions of community.
“Rabbit-hole Christianity” (John Stott’s lovely phrase)—where one’s only contact with the world is mad brave dashes from one Christian event to another—is also incompatible with Biblical Christianity. How do we get “thoroughly equipped” to evangelize and to minister? How do we deal with the World? It can’t be all flee and no engagement. How do we deal with the Flesh? It’s not just avoiding temptation, but having a heart that’s transformed and a spirit that is strengthened. What is your plan for discipling with Jesus? In any case, it will require relationship and community.
DC is built on community—a guided self-study where iron-sharpening-iron discussions occur in weekly meetings and where faith is lived out through 21 months of building relationships. Beyond weekly investments in relationships and community, we recommend at least three socials and three service projects (during the longer breaks), a Spiritual Disciplines Retreat (and possibly another to tell your Family, Work and Spiritual stories), a Marriage Event each Spring, and ultimately a graduation.