DLC = Disciplemaking Learning Community. DLC‘s are Cadre's way of implementing the training of disciples in a way that reflects Jesus lifestyle as he incarnated and invested in disciplemaking friendships over three years. Mark 3:13-19, Luke 6:12-13.
What does a Jesus-like Disciplemaking Learning Community look like in our twenty-first century Western culture?
This is the third inicator in a series about Disciplemaking Learning Communities, which we believe are crucial to becoming a disciple who makes disciples who makes disciples. These are not meant to be definitive or exhaustive, but simply indicators—to help you begin to wrestle what a Jesus-like Disciplemaking Learning Community looks like for you.
Keep in mind that it takes a minimum of two people to wrestle. And a real wrestling fan knows the best wrestling matches have more than just two people in the ring at the same time. So put a few people into the ring with you and dig into this...together...with Jesus.
Leading indicator #3 of a Disciplemaking Learning Community: A DLC is a place of deep community and friendships.
"He appointed twelve-designating them apostles-they they might be with him." —Mark 3:14
"A new command I give you to you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this all men will know you are my disciples, if you love one another." —Jesus in John 13:34-35
Jesus showed his disciples how to love God, love people, and make disciples by living in community with them.
While Jesus did have one-on-one encounters with people, Jesus clearly sought to make disciples in a small community of disciples who became disciplemakers. We call this community of disciplemakers a DLC. It's so important, we'll say it again: A Disciplemaking Learning Community is not simply an ingredient for making disciples like Jesus—it's how Jesus made disciples. In our Disciplemaking Is Relationshipstraining, we refer to this deep community with each other and the Holy Spirit as mutual community. Jesus-like disciplemaking is first and foremost about relationships—being with God and each other—together. Therefore, a DLC must become a place of deep community and friendships.
This means that an authentic DLC is not a topic-driven gathering. For example, if someone doesn't come to your DLC gathering primarily because he/she isn't interested in the topic you're havering over that day, then you know that person doesn't understand what it means to be a part of a DLC. On the other hand, a person who understands the true communal nature of a DLC will come to a gathering primarily because of his/her commitment to Jesus and to the community of people in the DLC—regardless of the topic for that gathering.
Because of this strong sense of biblical community, the feel of a DLC is "withness."
A DLC is not something we do "to" people or "for" them, but rather we humbly experience it "with" God and them.
Stop and think about this for a moment. Our normal mode of operation tends to be do something "for" or "to" people. True confession: For years when I taught Sunday school or tried to lead my family in a short Bible study, it felt like I was doing it "to" people or "for" them. Did I teach the Word? Yes. Did we all experience a deep place of community and friendships? No. Why? Withness—humbly trying to follow Jesus together—was missing. It's this sense of "withness" with God and each other that helps foster a biblical sense of community. A sense of "withness" helps us to connect to Jesus and each other at the heart-level. A sense of "withness" is required for a DLC. When was the last time you experienced this sense of "withness"?
Let me clarify: A biblical sense of community requires not just an abundant amount of encouragement but also loving accountability.
Accountability to what? Loving God, loving people, and making disciplemakers like Jesus. It's precisely on these points that a real DLC will speak lovingly and truthfully into each other's lives. Everyone desires encouragement. Few are willing to risk speaking lovingly and truthfully into each other's lives. A DLC requires both—encouragement and speaking the truth in love because both are required for community and deep friendships. This is what puts the communityinto a Disciplemaking Learning Community.
Stop and consider the disciplemaking genius of Jesus.
How many were in Jesus' DLC? Now ask yourself, "Why?" I believe that everyone in a DLC is more apt to experience community, learn, and multiply what they're learning if the DLC is smaller rather than larger. It's counterintuitive to our 21st century Western minds but it's true: a larger group is more likely to impede the potential for community, learning, and multiplication. Again, I ask you to consider the disciplemaking genius of Jesus.
No deep community and friendships = not a DLC.
Pause, Ponder and Discuss
Pause: A DLC is not something we do "to" people or "for" them, but rather we humbly experience it "with" God and them.
Ponder your DLC: to for with 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
Discuss your thoughts.
Real Life DLC Stories:
A younger disciplemaker writes to an older disciplemaker in his DLC:
I'm thankful for your input into my life. I'm thankful for your participation in our DLC. Iʼm thankful for the example you have set for us younger guys about how to love your wife, raise your family, and intersect these relationships with Jesus. Iʼm thankful for the opportunity to get to know you. Now, I am most excited for more people to have the privilege of spending time with you as you step into another DLC.