Can we begin to disciple people before they are saved? Yes we can. In fact, discipling others before they are saved is one of the most natural and simple ways to lead people to Christ.
It is often difficult today to get lost people to attend a church. For this reason it’s important for us to begin discipleship groups outside the walls of the church. The great thing is that we can begin D-Groups anytime and anywhere–at coffee shops, restaurants, homes, parks, schools, and our places of business. As we start D-Groups out in cultural environments, there are many lost and unchurched people who will join in if we invite them to.
A lady recently attended a D-Life Boot Camp and was trained to live the D-Life. Afterward, she wanted to begin a D-Group at her place of business where she works as an administrative assistant with two other women. She was nervous at first, not knowing how the women would respond, but told them what she wanted to do and asked if they would like to join in. Both said they would love to. However, one said she did not own a Bible, but that she would go buy one so she could participate in the D-Group. The three of them began reading their Bibles daily and meeting weekly to discuss one of the Bible stories. One of the ladies invited two friends to meet at the office each week to join in with their group. Now they have five in their D-Group.
In D-Group after D-Group, we are finding that many who are lost or unchurched are more than willing to join in when invited by someone they know. As they participate in the D-Group, they do their daily Bible reading and join in discussing the Bible story and praying with the group every week. They are being discipled before they are saved. Through the fellowship, teaching, and testimonies of the group, there will be many natural opportunities to share the Gospel story and lead them to faith in Christ and to connecting with a church. Afterward, they will continue to be discipled to spiritual maturity by their D-Group.
Everyone who begins a D-Group should pray and look for the opportunity to invite one who is lost or unchurched to join in. Some will turn you down, but there are many who will participate if you invite them.
Confrontational evangelism is a good way to lead people to Christ, but not necessarily the best. Discipling people before they are saved is a great way to lead people to Christ. Isn’t this what Jesus did? Jesus invited Philip to join His D-Group and Philip invited his friend Nathanael. Nathanael was very reluctant at first, but Philip said, “Come and see.” He did come and see. Jesus discipled him before he was saved and led Nathanael to saving faith.
As D-Groups continue to multiply and spread out in cultural environments anytime and anywhere, I pray that many who are lost and unchurched will be invited to join in. I pray that many will be saved as they are discipled into a genuine saving relationship with Jesus Christ. Discipling people before they are saved is a great way to lead others to Christ.