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 eighth and final indicator 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.
A woman was sipping on a glass of wine while sitting on the patio with her husband. She said, "I love you so much, I don't know how I could ever live without you."
Her husband asked, "Is that you, or the wine talking?"
She replied, "It's me... and I'm talking to the wine."
What is it that you can't live without? What is your great obsession?
When I read the New Testament, I get the overwhelming sense that Jesus' disciples were obsessed with Jesus. I know a lot of people who like Jesus. I know many who claim they love Jesus. But to be honest, I know very few people who seem to be obsessed with Jesus.
Are you obsessed with Jesus?
To find out why this is so important to disciplemaking, keep reading.
Leading indicator #8 of a Disciplemaking Learning Community: A DLC produces disciplemakers who are obsessed with Jesus.
“Anyone who loves his father or mother more than me is not worthy of me; anyone who loves his son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me; and anyone who does not take up his cross and follow me is not worthy of me. Whoever finds his life will lose it, and whoever loses his life for my sake will find it.” -Jesus in Matthew 10:37-39
“Then they called them in again and commanded them not to speak or teach at all in the name of Jesus. But Peter and John said, ‘Judge for yourselves whether it is right in God’s sight to obey you rather than God. For we cannot help speaking about what we have seen and heard.’” -Acts 4:18-20
Yeah, I know. Obsessed is a strong word-often with negative connotations. But it’s exactly the word I want to use because to be obsessed means that something or someone dominates or preoccupies your thoughts, feelings, and desires.
Frankly, it’s difficult to read the New Testament and not think of people who are obsessed with Jesus. And I mean obsessed. The only obsessions that you and I can have that won’t hurt us in any way is an obsession with Jesus. An obsession with Jesus has been incredibly healthy in every way in my life. To be obsessed with anything else is to inflict damage on ourselves.
According to Jesus, the mouth speaks what is really in our hearts (Luke 6:45). Ouch. So what do you find yourself talking a lot about these days? Could it be that that is your current obsession? What does that say about you?
Think about your DLC. When you’re DLC concludes a gathering, what/who do they talk about most? I encourage you to keep quiet and listen. This will tell you a lot.
At the first gathering of a DLC, I asked everyone to kneel together for a prayer time. I was hoping that kneeling together would show them Jesus was the center of the DLC and all of us are followers of Jesus trying to walk together. I noticed as we prayed together, some were mentioning me because I was the one who had initiated the DLC. About the third time someone mentioned my name in prayer, I sensed God speaking to my heart: “There is way too much Bill in this room.” I realized this was a teachable moment for our DLC. So after our prayer time, I drew something like this diagram to help them understand that a DLC not about me or anyone of us-it’s about us being obsessed with Jesus together.
It's important to not make yourself or any other person in the DLC the center of it. That place belongs to Jesus. Alone. An obsession with Jesus will help you to jealously guard Jesus' rightful place as the center of your DLC. It's a very good sign when people in a DLC walk away from a gathering talking way more about Jesus than:
—you —your ministry —their ministry —any other ministry —new models of ministry —disciplemaking —the great training tools and resources they're getting —a favorite podcast preacher —a new ministry book —a conference —the DLC itself
It's quite possible to think you're making disciples of Jesus when you're really just making disciples of yourself.This is why I keep talking about Jesus-like disciplemaking. Think about it. When you're DLC concludes a gathering, what/who do they talk about? The only obsession that won't hurt us is an obsession with Jesus. A DLC makes disciples of Jesus... not disciples of the person or ministry initiating it.
No obsession with Jesus = no DLC.
Pause, Ponder and Discuss
Pause: When you're DLC concludes a gathering, what/who do they talk about most?
Ponder your DLC: people in the DLC ministry stuff Jesus 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
Discuss your thoughts.
Real Life DLC Stories:
Obsessed with Jesus...
It is great being in a DLC with others who share a deep passion for Jesus-even with all of our faults and struggles. I wish I had a DLC when I was a younger man, but to see the younger guys grasping what it means to be Jesus' disciple and then go make more disciples of Jesus brings me great joy. In my short time left here on this earth, my focus will be making Jesus-like disciplemakers of younger men using the many of the equipping tools I have been given in our DLC.