Equipping Others for Discipleship

November 24, 2015 Blog

As pastors and teachers, we have the world’s most important job. I think we could rightfully say, as goes our job so goes the world. If we do our job well, the world will be a better place. If we fail to do our job, the world will grow darker and darker.

It is of first importance to understand what our job is. Our job description is clear. Paul says, “He gave the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, the shepherds and teachers, to equip the saints for the work of ministry, for building up the body of Christ (Ephesians 4:11-12).

According to Paul, doing the work of ministry is NOT our main job. Some may do the work of ministry really well. However, we fail greatly if this is all we do.

Our job is “to equip the saints for the work of ministry.” We are to train and equip a vast army of believers to do the work Jesus has called us to do. There is one main thing He has called all of us to do. We are to make disciples. This is our great mission (Matthew 28:18-20).

As pastors and teachers, let’s be honest. How are you doing at this? Do the average members of your church or ministry know how to make and multiply disciples? Are you training an army of believers to make disciples as a way of life? Are you satisfied with the job you are doing in equipping them for this?

Honestly, for the greater part of my ministry I was not satisfied with these things at all. Frustrated would be a better description. Frustrated that the majority of those under my ministry knew the Gospel, but seldom shared it. Frustrated that most in our church enjoyed attending Bible studies, but did not know how to make disciples. Frustrated by trying to grow God’s church by addition, but seeing very little multiplication. I’m sure I am not alone in these frustrations.

The sad thing is that frustration can lead to inaction. It’s easy to settle for doing the work of ministry yourself and to give up on the work of equipping others.

Dear pastors and teachers, let me encourage you. Don’t give up. Don’t settle for just doing the work of ministry. Your job is the most important one in the world. It is essential to equip others for the work of discipleship. There is a way to do it and there is a excellent plan to help you do it successfully. Let me share with you about D-Life.


D-Life is a highly effective plan for equipping men, women, and teenagers to live a lifestyle of discipleship. At NorthPark Church, we started D-Life two years ago with six D-Groups. In one year, six D-Groups multiplied into sixty. As our church prepares for its third year of D-Life in January 2016, one-hundred and twenty men, women, and teenagers are committed to lead D-Groups. This will result in 720 ministry and evangelism projects outside the walls of the church next year. That’s sixty per month!

D-Life is multiplying in churches of all sizes throughout Alabama, Georgia, Florida, Tennessee, Texas, Indiana, and even in other countries. Here are a few things others are saying about D-Life:

Bill Wilks led my Education Staff through the D-Life training. We were absolutely amazed! It is simple, yet profound. It has the basic ingredients of fellowship, Bible study, and prayer; but finally, a discipleship strategy that incorporates ministry, accountability, and . . . drum roll please . . . multiplication! If you are looking for a discipleship process that both makes and multiples disciples of Jesus Christ, then this is it” (Allan Taylor, Former Minister of Education, First Baptist Church of Woodstock, Atlanta, GA).

I can’t wait to get started with D-Life in our small group Bible study ministry.  The D-Life process is so simple yet profound. Anyone, anywhere can become a disciple maker with D-Life (Tim Childers, Minister of Education, Roswell Street Baptist Church, Marietta, GA).

We use D-Life on a weekly basis. In my opinion it is THE MOST effective and simple discipleship tool of this century (Micah Harbison, Student Pastor, First Baptist Church, Piedmont, AL)!


D-Groups meet weekly for fellowship, Bible study, and prayer. A D-Group of three to eight people can meet anytime and anywhere.

D-Groups read the Bible daily and meet weekly for an interactive Bible study. The Bible reading plan is to read through the New Testament or story through the Old Testament in one year by reading one chapter a day five days a week. The D-Group’s weekly Bible study will come from one of the chapters read each week.

D-Groups pray together and practice the discipline of prayer in their daily lives. D-Groups pray for one another and for spiritual revival.

D-Groups share in ministry to one another and in “outside the walls” ministries and evangelism. Every D-Group is to carry out at least one community ministry and evangelism project every two months. That is six ministry and evangelism projects by each D-Group every year.

D-Groups will multiply within one to two years. It is not the goal of D-Groups to remain together. It is through multiplication that D-Groups fulfill the purpose of making disciples who make disciples.

D-Groups hold each other accountable to the six practices of D-Life. Loving spiritual accountability is vital in relationships committed to spiritual growth and character.

The Bible and the D-Life Web Site are the only tools one needs to live the D-Life. The possibilities are endless for making and multiplying disciples. Since D-Life is not a program, it does not require a change in any of your existing ministries or programs. D-Life is not a program changer; it’s a lifestyle changer.

Let us help you begin equipping others for discipleship. Please contact me to discuss the possibilities of beginning D-Life at your church.