Team D-- the NCC Discipleship Team-- is writing a series of blogs about things that no one ever told us about small group leadership. Today, I challenge you to be committed for the long haul.
Once upon a time, someone stumbled upon my blog because they had done a Google search on "how to shorten the discipleship process." I promptly wrote a new post
to inform that person they should quit their job. This ain't FedEx; it's discipleship.
Jesus instructed us to make disciples. Not find them. If the people in our groups are not growing, it's our fault. If we get discouraged after one month or one year or even three, we haven't yet grasped that discipleship takes time. Twelve Galilean guys spent three focused years with Jesus himself and still didn't show up for the prayer meeting on the most important night in history.
I think it's tough to be a small group pastor in a church culture that loves the event. It's easy to share wins about events-- we have instant success, instant data, instant results. Life change happens much more slowly and imperceptibly, and it requires us to be committed for the long haul. If you think making disciples happens within the context of a once-a-week small group in a semester, you are crazy.
Change happens slowly. Gradual, consistent change over time is the best kind and the most lasting. Keep investing, keep praying, keep plowing the ground. Eventually, you will see fruit.