QUESTIONS ABOUT THE RDS (RELATIONAL DISCIPLESHIP SERIES)
Yes, the RDS, Knowledge-Level One, is for new believers, but not only for new believers. Season believers that are hungry for the Word of God will want to go through level one too.
The accountability. The lessons are good and filled with the scripture. But the uniqueness and strength of the RDS is the student/disciple making him or herself accountable to the discipler/leader. Accountable in turning in the daily accountability logs, memorizing scriptures, attending sessions faithfully, and in praying with a prayer partner weekly. The RDS teaches the student/disciple feed themselves.
There are four levels with ten lessons in each level. [see the discipleship tools tab for a list of lessons under each level]
All four themes in the RDS center around Jesus’ Parable of the Sower. We see four themes in the parable: knowledge, obedience, separation, and fruitfulness.
Yes, anywhere up to a maximum of 12 students for experienced small group leaders. If the leader has very little or no experience leading a small group, then they might start with two or thee students/disciples in the group.
Yes, it has been translated into Spanish (all four levels) and into Haitian-Creole (we have level one and will soon have levels two and three available in Haitian-Creole). We hope to translate into more languages as the need and opportunity manifest itself.
Here is detailed list of steps for starting a rds program in your church:
- Preach or teach on discipleship and then introduce the RD series to the entire church.
- Pray and approach 3 to 5 people individually asking them to attend an introduction meeting. Consider inviting new believers and those individuals that are hungry for the word of God.
- Give opportunity for everyone to sign up for the introductory class but limit it to 10-12 attenders. If you expect more people to sign up than 10 to 12 people, consider offering two or three groups to begin at the same time.
- The leader/discipler should make themselves very familiar with the RDS, Level One book, previewing the contents, the certificate requirements and commitment page, the course disciplines or guidelines, the leader/discipler training lessons, and the introductory lesson (lesson one).
- The leader/discipler should conduct the introductory meeting previewing the level one book giving each person an opportunity to sign a commitment form. The student should sign and leave the top page in the book and then sign and detach the lower page and give to the leader/discipler.
- Schedule your first group meeting one week after your introductory session.
Yes, we plan to begin writing levels 5 and 6 in the winter of 2016-2017. These levels will focus more on equipping the student/disciple for ministry.
Absolutely. It is important however that the leader/disciple see themselves as a learner along with the student. That the leader goes through the course with the student projecting the idea of the both of them growing together.
Only with permission from the author. Groups and leaders are encouraged to purchase level books for each student. We believe students will perform better if they have their own book versus copies of lessons.
In over thirty years of doing discipleship groups, we always ask the student/disciple to pay for their own book or books. We tell them you can put a dollar a week in the offering if you like. We don’t care how you do it or how long it takes you to do it. Just please make the effort to pay for your own book. The church picks up the tab or someone else may for the few who do not. But the student will appreciate the RDS more and perform better if they have invested in the book or books.
Yes, at the end of each level, we have the student and their group who have met the certificate requirements come and receive their certificates before the entire church. We encourage you to give out your own certificates with your church name, mission statement, church logo, etc. Also, use the recognition time as a time of recruitment for the next RDS level you will be offering.
Yes, go to relationaldiscipleshipministries.com and click on the “buy now” tab. They are labeled as “ebooks.”
Anywhere from pre-teens to seniors in their 80’s or even 90’s. As long as the student commits to participate and tries to follow through with their commitment, they should be allowed to participate.
A classroom at a church, a living room, or anywhere you may have some privacy. Meeting in a public place is not recommended for a discipleship group because of distractions. The meeting should take place around a table or tables because of the students having to write in their books.
Here is a recommended class schedule:
- Welcome/Prayer/Students write out last week’s memory verse/Turn in Accountability Log to Class Leader to review and give back – 10 to 15 minutes.
- Teach the lesson – 30 minutes (depending upon class interaction)
- Closing/Give next week’s assignments – 10 to 15 minutes
Yes, ask your students to write out the scripture memory verse assigned for the coming week. Encourage them to look at it through the week putting it to memory a sentence at a time saying it out loud without looking at the card.
Lessons consist of fill-in-the-blanks, discussion questions, multiple scriptural references, and solid doctrinal and relevant principles from God’s word. Lessons are on average approximately two pages in length. Most lessons open up with a lesson memory verse under the title and conclude with assignments for the next week.
Most people remember things that are less familiar or different. For that reason, the Kings James or New King James version might be easier to remember.