by Bobby Harrington: Meet Greg Ogden, author/speaker/teacher and Chairman of the Board of the Global Discipleship Initiative (GDI).
We want you to meet Greg because our goal is to help you find the best guides out there, so you can become a more effective disciple maker.
During our interview with Greg, he shared about their unique disciple-making emphasis. Check it out!
Tell us about the name of your ministry.
Global Discipleship Initiative (GDI) exists to coach and train pastors and church leaders nationally and internationally so that churches can become disciple-making congregations. They know what to do, but often, not how.
What is your unique disciple-making emphasis?
Our unique emphasis is the focus on groups of three to four people for a transformative environment where people grow further into Christlikeness.
Our motto is “Transforming and Multiplying Disciples Through Micro Groups” for real change to take place. The strategy for empowering disciples who make disciples is a growing and organic network of reproducing disciples over a period of three to five years. That means we equip the culture of the church so that it becomes a disciple-making body of Christ.
In the relational environment of a micro group, the “curriculum map” is Discipleship Essentials. This 25-lesson basic content serves as the GPS. Then, as a transferable tool (for prospective disciple makers to make disciples who make disciples), we intentionally go slow and stay focused. Relationships matter.
Continuing from the email . . .
The role of the micro group in transforming a church into a disciple-making community is like the first stage of a multi-stage rocket. The first stage of the rocket is the most powerful because it must push through the earth’s gravitational pull. Can you imagine shifting people from passive to active, from consumers to contributors? The inertia of the resting state shifts to the inertia of disciples in motion!
How do you help everyday disciples who aspire to be disciple makers?
From the beginning of a micro group, the expectations are clear. Each one counts the cost of discipleship for taking time to meet together, be accountable to each other, and consider reproducing their experience by starting another micro group when finished. Multiplication is built in.
Each member of the group is given multiple opportunities to lead the group so that they can experience this apprenticeship model, building confidence, character, and transparency. Since the groups are small, the complexity of the experience to coach others is reduced. Extra training is not required to be a teacher, a preacher, or a counselor since question-based coaching is the foundational element of interaction.
The micro group size means we are just having a conversation compared to larger groups. The micro group also differs from the dynamics of a one-on-one relationship, which tends to create a hierarchical, dependent, teacher-student relationship. In the micro group, the leader is more of a facilitator in a mutual discipling relationship where “iron sharpens iron.” As a result, the typical reproduction rate that a church experiences is two-thirds (67%) growth, which numerically translates from 0 to 130 (or more) micro groups in 5 years to “equip the saints.”
Who are the key leaders in your network?
Greg Ogden is the author of Discipleship Essentials (the curriculum map) and Transforming Discipleship. He describes the process of the relational approach how Jesus made disciples to results in a workable local church strategy.
Together with Ralph Rittenhouse (now retired senior pastor of Camarillo Community Church in Camarillo, California), they lead GDI. Ralph adopted a micro-group mindset, and a dramatic transformation occurred over a 5-year period, with church growth from 0 to 150 micro groups.
How can people connect with you?
Greg Ogden, firstname.lastname@example.org
Ralph Rittenhouse, email@example.com
Visit Global Discipleship Initiative, globaldi.org, for free resources, videos, PDFs, testimonies, and Discipleship Essentials in more than 16 languages, the most recent being Arabic, with more in progress.
For King Jesus,
Bobby Harrington, Point Leader, Discipleship.org
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