So I want to put this question of one-to-one discipleship in its big context. So on Sunday morning, in the gathered worship of the church and in preaching, we experience the formative discipline of the church that so together, we’re all formed with the same theological gospel worldview foundation. That’s getting us all on the same theological gospel tracks.
In the small group and in one on one discipleship, you have the corrective discipline of the church. Now, here’s what happens. In the small group and in individual discipleship, you have that formative foundation, now applied in correcting ways to my individual life. We do that together with the small group. That gets a little more intimate. It’s a little more personal and correction takes place there.
But the most intimate of those is the one on one, where it’s a person with a person. This person now is getting to know me, getting to know me at heart level, seeing the gaps of my understanding of the things of God and the inconsistency of my living. In its most powerful, that one on one discipleship is able to identify the contradiction between my confessional theology and my functional theology. That’s what discipleship is about, so that I would function in the way that is consistent with what I say I actually believe. I’m learning how to live as a disciple of the Lord Jesus Christ.
Now, you can’t argue that I need one of these in my life. That, “Man, if I’m just faithful on Sunday, I’ve got it nailed,” because each one of these contributes an element that is needed in the life of every believer. We all need that formative foundation. We all need corrective and protecting relationships. And we all need discipleship, which brings our living into more consistent commonality with our theology.
All those are God’s gifts to us. All those are necessary and all of those together are needed to contribute to a life of long-tern spiritual health and fruitfulness.