Updated: Mar 21, 2021
Matthew 28:19-20 establishes making disciple-makers as one of the most important things that we do.
‘Then Jesus came to them and said, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptising them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.” (Matthew 28:18-20)
This is a top priority for every church and every Christian. Proverbs adds,
‘As iron sharpens iron, so one person sharpens another.’ (Proverbs 27:17).
Running partners are groups of 2 or 3 brothers or sisters who support one another to grow as disciples.
They do not take the place of Community Groups, rather, they supplement those relationships.
May we help one another to do as God urges us,
‘Do you not know that in a race all the runners run, but only one gets the prize? Run in such a way as to get the prize.’ (1 Corinthians 9:24)
STARTING A RUNNING PARTNERSHIP
These groups will normally be formed from members of your Community Group, although this will not always be the case.
To start a group simply arrange an initial gathering with 1 or 2 brothers or sisters. Do this prayerfully, don't just pick people that you are best friends with!
Talk and pray together about forming a group.
WHEN, WHERE, FOR HOW LONG?
You need to agree on when, where and for how long this discipling relationship will last; Weekly, for 6-months, for a walk/Zoom is ideal. However, the rhythm and methods need to work for you. A Little weekly is better than more but irregularly.
The content will develop over time, and depending on the needs of the group. Simply reading a bible passage together, discussing it and praying out of it would be a simple way to get the conversation going. Whatever approach or material you use, the aim is to go deep and share our lives together; this takes time and regularity of meeting to develop.
Another more structured approach could be to use our church vision as the basis of our sharing. Our vision is:
‘BRINGING PEOPLE TO JESUS: MYSELF, ONE-ANOTHER, MY COMMUNITY’
When you meet, you might want to talk around all or some of the following three areas:
i) Have you done what you committed to in our last meeting?
ii) What is God speaking to you about and what will you do in response?
iii) Are you praying and worshipping out of the bible as a lifestyle? How do you want to develop in this?
iv) Do you have sin that the Holy Spirit convicting you of?
i) Where are you serving/leading in the church and what steps are you taking to develop in this role?
ii) Who will you disciple?
i) Where and in whom are you serving, investing and inviting?
ii) When was the last time you shared the gospel message?
iii) What about your character, work ethic etc. does and does not make Jesus attractive?
It’s important to have ‘I see in you’ moments; talk about the gifts and opportunities that you see in the person you are meeting with.
Finally - Write down the action that you intend to take from your meeting.
OTHER AREAS TO TALK AND PRAY ABOUT TOGETHER
Prior to your meeting, you might want to agree to talk, additionally, about one of the following:
Are you being filled with the Spirit and using the gifts that He has given you?
What are you memorising from scripture?
Do you regularly meditate on scripture?
What book, podcast etc. are you learning from and what are you learning?
What is your standing before God positionally? How assured are your of that? Why?
Have you been sexually pure in deed and thought? What caused you to stumble? What is the way of escape that God in His faithfulness provided but you decided not to take?
How would those whom you spend the most time with you describe your character?
What causes the most angst or worry in your life?
What are your strengths? How are you stewarding them for the kingdom of God?
What area of ministry do you feel you are growing in proficiency at? What is an area of leadership which you feel least experience and would like to grow in?
Is your love for fellow Christians growing? How?
Is there anyone that you need to forgive?
Are you giving generously? (Tithing is a good start).
Who are you currently investing in, and what are your hopes and prayers for them?
How have you sacrificially invested in a brother or sister in Christ in the last month?
Are you judgemental or gracious toward weaker Christians?
In what contexts do you engage, and what do you enjoy about corporate prayer?
Have you been praying intercessory prayers for brothers and sisters?
Who are you consistently praying for in terms of salvation?
Given your personal circumstances & context, where do you see the greatest opportunities for witness? Are you taking these opportunities? How? if not, why not?
In temperature terms (cold, tepid, lukewarm, hot) how would you describe your passion for the gospel to be proclaimed?
What about the gospel do you find easiest/hardest to share? Why?
Are there behavioural or character issues that you think may weaken your Christian testimony to those around you
OTHER CONTENT IDEAS
A book/character/theme from the bible
You may decide to study a book/character/theme from the bible. Again, it’s helpful to consider myself, one-another and community for application.
A Christian book
You may decide to read a book together. A really helpful resource is ‘Multiply’ by Francis Chan. Go to multiplymovement.com
There are many good basic theology books and video resources. For example J. I. Packer’s ‘Concise Theology’ or Wayne Grudem’s ‘Christian Beliefs’.
You could use current or past devotionals on our blog. For example, you could explore prayer using the New King, New Kingdom devotionals.
The Youversion App has many excellent bible studies that you could use with your Running Partners. Here are few that I thought looked helpful:
Advance - sharing our faith
For those new to Jesus, and new to the Bible.