Mission, Vision, Values of the Global Discipleship Initiative (GDI)

Mission: In partnership with the local church, ­­­­GDI motivates, equips, and coaches pastors and Christian leaders to establish indigenous, microgroup-based disciplemaking churches, both nationally and internationally.

Vision: MicroGroup-based disciplemaking churches to be in every nation of the world.

Values: Defined here.

Executive Summary of the Global Discipleship Initiative (GDI)

Although most pastors and church leaders could identity Jesus’ Great Commission as the reason the church exists, this is an astonishing reality: When asked what their plan is for making disciples, the vast majority have no response.

Our main focus is to answer the critical question HOW to make disciples. Knowing the need for a simple, reproducible approach to make disciples, our mission is to transform and multiply disciples through microgroups (3s and 4s). Of course, there are other ways. We do not have a monopoly on God's various ways to make disciples.

Our reproducible and transferable process with thousands of people of over 40 years in numerous countries, teaches us that the MicroGroup experience, focused on relationships, is an ideal environment to transform and multiply disciples.

Although this method or strategy is definitely not the only way to make disciples, the proven success rate of MicroGroups brings together four environmental conditions when we are in the Holy Spirit’s hothouse of transformation.

1. Open hearts in transparent trust to each other

2. Around the truth of God’s Word

3. In the spirit of life-changing accountability

4. While engaged in our God-designed mission.

In other words, making disciples is not just for pastors to do. Making disciples is for all followers of Christ. YOU do not have to be in ministry, on staff, certified, or have a degree to do this! When Jesus announced Matthew 28:18-20, it was to ALL, not just some, as others may distort these verses. No seminary degree required. No ceremonial hierarchy is needed. YOU, as a Christ-follower are commissioned to accept The Great Commission from Jesus Himself!

Multiplication of Disciplemakers

Every culture varies. Within the US context, these MicroGroups will covenant to meet weekly for 90 minutes to explore a core curriculum such as Discipleship Essentials. The goals are twofold:

A foundational curriculum creates the big picture of what being a follower of Jesus entails. After examining Christ’s all-encompassing claim on our life, disciples engage four areas of growth:

1. Practicing basic spiritual disciplines in order to stay connected to the Vine.

2. Grasping the central truths of the nature of triune God and His rescue plan through Jesus Christ.

3. Understanding the internal transformational work of the Holy Spirit to develop a Christlike character.

4. Engaging the world as witnesses to the life-changing love of Christ.

Committed to Multiplication

From the very first engagement with the covenant, the expectation is created that the participants are committed to reproduce this same process with others following the initial completion of Discipleship Essentials, thus becoming a disciplemaker. A facilitator models for participants the coaching through the first third of the workbook. Then participants take turns "leading" as in an internship with a safe environment to gain confidence that they, too, could be a disciplemaker.

At the conclusion of the group covenant, each member initiates the process of inviting two or three others to join them and simply reproduces the process they have experienced.

Corporate Transformation

As the groups multiply from 4 to 16 to 35 to 80 to 130 MicroGroups (around 500 people) over a five-year period, an entire congregation is transformed from within. During this multiplication process, a number of things can be done to inculcate this practice into the culture of a church so that momentum increases.

Group members gather quarterly to celebrate the life they are experiencing; as group leaders multiply they are recognized publicly, passing a literal baton. Testimonies of transformation can be videotaped to be played publicly in the congregation.

Values Defined

  1. Disciplemaking is the church’s mission, not just one bullet point of the many things a church does.
  2. MicroGroups: Disciples grow best and are empowered to disciple others in gender-specific groups of triads (3) or quads (4), with execptions of 2-5 when circumstances or environment could change. In other words, be flexible in the nonessentials of always having 3-4 as needed. The focus is on relationships not rigid rules for meetings. The group can decide if you want to meet if someone is absent. You do not have to have everyone at every single meeting time. Flexibility and the leading of God's Holy Spirit is the essential focus, not rigidity, because "life happens."
  3. Intentional: Discipleship requires purposeful, covenantal, relational investment.
  4. Transparent Relationships: God’s Word shapes our hearts in an honest, open, and mutually accountable environment.
  5. Biblically-Based Curriculum: Discipleship Essentials covers the foundations for a life in Christ and is the empowerment tool we use to disciple others.
  6. Indigenous: Discipleship movements are becoming self-governing, self-supporting, and self-propagating.
  7. Multiplying: Disciples are made to reproduce.

Statement of Faith

We believe that there is one God, eternally existent in three persons. Father, Son and Holy Spirit.

We believe in the deity of our Lord Jesus Christ, in His virgin birth, in His sinless life, in His miracles, in His vicarious and atoning death through His shed blood, in His bodily resurrection, in His ascension to the right hand of the Father, and in His personal return in power and glory.

We believe in the present ministry of the Holy Spirit by whose indwelling presence and mission is to empower, to convict, regenerate, seal, indwell, guide, and instruct the believer for life and for service.

We believe the church consists of all those who believe in the Triune God and Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior. Believers are called by Jesus in "The Great Commission” to go and make disciples of all nations (Matthew 28:18-20). They also demonstrate their faith by joining together for worship, prayer, fellowship, the proclamation of the Gospel, and observance of the ordinances of baptism and the Lord’s Supper.

We believe the Old and New Testaments to be inspired, the only infallible, authoritative word of God, complete and sufficient revelation of His will for all humankind’s salvation and conduct.

We believe people are created in the image of God. Through disobedience and self-centeredness, they incurred both physical and spiritual death. Thus, all are now born with a sinful nature, separated from God and can be saved only through the atoning work of Jesus Christ.

We believe in the resurrection of both the saved and the unsaved—the saved unto the resurrection of eternal life and unsaved unto the resurrection of eternal punishment.

We believe in the second coming of our Lord Jesus Christ as both personal and visible. This is our blessed hope and serves as an incentive for holy living and faithful service.