How do we as youth workers train others how to do discipleship? Do we talk about it? Do we teach it in a large group setting? Are we making disciples in a way that teaches them how to make disciples? I have thought a lot about this the last two days.
I recently attended “Live 2|6” training. Live 2|6, as in “Live out 1 John 2:6,” is a new format of the original Sonlife training, now called Sonlife Classic. Sonlife was founded by Dann Spader with a focus on helping youth workers to develop disciple-making ministries of their own. It was really great to spend a couple of days with guys and gals who have been doing youth ministry using the Sonlife model since the early 80’s. It was encouraging to see these folks, many of whom are in their 50’s, still passionate about making disciples of Jesus Christ. They were all comparing notes about which Sonlife book, or trainer, or seminar that caused them to dedicate their life to disciple-making.
Sonlife went through a number of changes over the years. These changes range from small tweaks to the whole company folding. Sonlife was recently restarted, trying to reclaim its initial focus. Many of the original Sonlife “disciples” did not enjoy the big shifts in the movement, and were ecstatic about the re-launch of Sonlife Classic. Now, they are re-launching with one major difference, the delivery.
I have always thought it strange that we try to teach/promote/sell relational ministry in a non-relational way. Hey, we are going to really emphasize small groups by doing large group seminars to promote it! Or Read this book to learn how to Mentor a person. Live 2|6, i.e. Sonlife, is still about making disciple-makers modeled after Jesus’ ministry. Only now, it is done is in the context of small groups of leaders who are modeling the way they intend to make disciples. The Live 2|6 strategy is to find leaders who can teach other ministry leaders how to create/run/manage their own disciple-making ministry in a discipleship context. These Live 2|6 groups are made up of youth workers and last a year or more.
The strategy is based on Jesus’ ministry and focuses on devotional reading centered on the life of Jesus. I like the new format and I am planning to start my own Live 2|6 group in the next few months. I am not much for many formal strategies, but I like the idea of teaching people how to make disciples so they can teach others how to make disciples… who of course, make disciples…
Hopefully, we can model the values that we are trying to instill in our students. We can tell them the same thing Paul told his “students,” “…and you should imitate me, just as I imitate Christ.” (1 Cor. 11:1, NLT)