Mike Sandusky serves as the campus minister for Southern Arkansas University’s Baptist Collegiate Ministry.
There are many situations in life where people have to consider whether one thing is better than another. What is better, diet or exercise? Country or rock and roll? Vanilla or chocolate?
There are even discussions about which type of discipleship is better, small group or one-on-one. Robby Gallaty, pastor and founder of Replicate ministry is a strong proponent of small group discipleship. Through small group discipleship, you can impact more people at once, you can create an atmosphere that is more comfortable, and you can generate an environment of community. The premise behind small group discipleship is that you meet weekly with three to five people and go through a section of Scripture. By going through a select passage of Scripture, the group members can spend time reading and meditating on the verses.
As group members spend time in Scripture throughout the week, they come to the meeting prepared to share what God has shown them during their time alone with Him. Everyone brings something to the table, and everyone is able to share what they learned or how the Word of God has impacted their lives.
There obviously can be other elements to the time together as well, such as Scripture memory, time in prayer, and other points of accountability.
On the flip side is one-on-one discipleship, where one individual meets weekly with another individual. Meeting with an individual tends to be a more intimate, concentrated time than meeting with a small group. There is also the advantage of being able to cater more specifically to an individual’s particular need or stage of Christian maturity. This type of discipleship resembles the type of life-on-life ministry Paul had with Timothy.
So which method is the best? The answer is ….. Yes! At the heart, whether with a group or with an individual, discipleship is happening which means transformation is happening. Both encourage people to grow in their relationship with God. Both lead to replication and/or multiplication. Both fulfill the mandate issued by Jesus in Matthew 28:18 and by Paul in 2 Timothy 2:2. We have a responsibility as believers to grow in our relationship with God. We also have the responsibility to be helping other people grow in their relationship with God.
This is the type of discipleship you will find across the state through the Baptist Collegiate Ministry (BCM). It is the goal of BCM to engage students in discipleship, both through participation and through execution. The goal is to continue to raise up strong believers who are living out the Christ-life and who in turn, will lead others to do the same. There is nothing greater than to create a spiritual legacy through discipleship.