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:
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.
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 answer is found in the accountability. The lessons are good and filled with the scripture, but the uniqueness and strength of the RDS is the student/disciple making themselves accountable to a discipler/leader. Students weekly complete daily accountability logs, memorize scriptures, attend and participate in a weekly lesson, and pray with a prayer partner. The RDS teaches the student/disciple to feed themselves daily the word of God that results in the work of Christ’s righteousness from inside out.
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) in the first edition and all five levels in the second edition. Presently, we offer the RDS second edition, first level in Portuguese. We also offer the RDS first edition, levels 1-3 in Haitian-Creole. We hope to translate RDS into more languages as the need and opportunity presents itself.
Here is detailed list of steps for starting a rds program in your church:
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.
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.
There are two editions of the Relational Discipleship Series (RDS). The first edition consists of four levels centering around four themes found in the Parable of the Sower. The four levels (ten lessons per level) are Knowledge, Obedience, Separation, and Fruitfulness.
The second edition of the Relational Discipleship Series consists of five levels (seven lessons per level). The five levels are as follows: Know, Grow, Believe, Serve, and Go. Many of the lessons in the first edition are included in the second edition, however, the second edition, third level (Believe), focuses on Pentecostal doctrine. Additionally, there are lessons in level four (Serve) that define the spiritual gifts in the New Testament along with access to a spiritual gifts survey.