Discipling Others (Questions as a Leader)

Member Involvement and Attendance

1. How do I handle a member who is attending several Dgroups?

Clarify their intentions by asking them why they are doing this. It may be possible that the person simply wants to have many mentors, but you can remind them that the goal of a Dgroup is discipleship, which involves commitment and accountability. If this is the case, it is best that they select one group to commit to.

2. How do I handle members who are active with their downline but not with their upline/D12?

Talk to them about the importance of being spiritually fed and their need to be accountable to a discipler. Remind him or her that one cannot pass what one does not have – including spiritual feeding and accountability through a discipleship relationship.

3. If a member expressed the desire to join but rarely joins Dgroup meetings or has never been present for a long time, do we remove them from the Dgroup list? How about members who do not respond anymore?

Don’t be discouraged — sometimes people are in certain seasons in their lives that cause them to act this way, make them busy, or affects their schedules. You cannot control the person’s response, but continue praying for them and show them love when the opportunity arrives. If possible, speak to them heart to heart and ask why they’re having a hard time attending. Be patient with them and treat your members like your children. We simply don’t remove our kids from our family — perhaps the only time you remove them from the list is when they indicate that they want to transfer or leave your group.

4. I’m slowly losing motivation to disciple others who are rejecting invitations. Any tips?

Focus on being a good relative or friend to them. Continue to pray for them regularly. Practice pray, care, share. Be patient and wait for God’s timing. Remember Galatians 6:9-10 — Don’t lose heart, keep doing good! In due time you will reap. Just remember that the goal is not to get someone into your group, but to show them God’s love in action so that the Holy Spirit can work in their hearts.

5. How do I handle members who are constantly promising to attend our Dgroup meeting but are not showing up?

Talk to them. Lovingly tell them that you value truth, honesty, and keeping the word. If the person feels that they cannot commit to attend, then it’s okay to let the person go. You can help them find another Dgroup more suitable for them as well.

6. I’m already a Dleader but I don’t have active members. Sometimes I get busy and lose the drive to disciple, as I’m also facing struggles. What should I do?

Spend time with the Lord regularly. There’s no substitute to real Spiritual growth than immersing oneself in the word. You may want to take a short, personal retreat between you and the Lord to seek His direction for you. Also be transparent to your Dleader about your condition.

Potential Leadership

1. How do I handle members who are not yet willing to lead even though they have already been attending Dgroup for few years?

Give more time to those who are willing, as it is only fair to “move with the movers.” But keep seeing the reluctant ones for who they can become, not as they are now. Do not despair; continue to cast vision and model servant leadership. Have a heart to heart talk with them and keep praying for them. You may encourage them to attend GoViral and see how simple it is to facilitate a group, or have them co-lead a group until they are confident to handle one of their own.

2. How do I handle a member that I see as a potential leader but says they are unready because they have something to deal with internally first?

Keep on training, encouraging, and building up the person; believe in their potential and continue to cast vision. Be patient, let God work in them and allow the Holy Spirit to stir their heart towards discipling others. Do all possible to know exactly what is going on in the life of that member so you can be of genuine and practical help.

3. One of my members has expressed intention to lead a Dgroup but she is pregnant out of wedlock, with plans to get married because of this. Should I allow her to start a Dgroup?

For the sake of the body of Christ, the person should not be given the responsibility to lead a Dgroup yet. Give her some time to grow and develop in character first. But by all means, encourage her that God uses all sort of imperfect people – including you, her leader – and that the Lord can redeem her situation and use it for His glory.

Relationship with Disciples

1. Can I share my challenges to my members, or does it always have to be addressed to my D12/upline?

The leader should be as open to their disciples, and vice versa. Discipleship is not a one way street — we can learn from both our D12/upline and downlines.

2. What can I talk about with my downline during a one-on-one session to make it more meaningful and not just chatter?

We have a list of accountability questions that can help you have a more meaningful one-on-one with your disciple:

  • Do you have regular quiet time, Bible reading, and prayer?
  • How is your relationship with your spouse and children, parents and siblings?
  • Did you share the Gospel last week? Who are you discipling?
  • How is your thought life? Have you looked at any questionable material?
  • Have you been in a situation where your feelings towards a man/woman became inappropriate?
  • How is your financial life? Any debts? Have you been faithfully giving your tithes to the Lord?
  • Are there any challenges or struggles in your personal life, family, work, or ministry?

3. How do I respond to my members when they repeatedly call or address me as “Pastor”?

Remind them that you are not, and that you are all are the same — that you are brothers in Christ.

Discipling Christians from Other Churches

1. How should I disciple a Christian who is attending another church but wants me to disciple them?

Disciple them as you would any other disciple. Helping others to grow in the Lord is always good! Best of all, challenge that person to teach what he learns about discipleship back at his church so they can also pursue the Great Commission.

2. How do I handle a member who belongs to a certain traditional religion and have expressed that they are not ready to change their religion?

Be patient with them. Respect their decision, but constantly teach them God’s word and allow it to convict them. Most of all, remind them that the issue is not religion but their need for a personal relationship with the Lord.

3. I have members who are from other churches and they tend to get bored with our pattern of Dgroup. How do I address this?

You can do breaks or create a way to spice up your meetings. Rather than having a regular program, think of ways to make the meeting more fun. But in the end, the goal of the group is discipleship and transformation, not entertainment. Don’t be pressured to embellish your group meetings, especially if the ones giving feedback may not be in total agreement with the whole idea of small group discipleship.

4. My disciple’s parents don’t want them to participate in a Dgroup because they’re from another Christian church. This church does not have a discipleship ministry, and their Bible studies are meant for the general congregation, with little accountability and intentionality. My disciple is keen on attending but is conflicted because of this. How do I handle this?

Indeed, children are to obey and honor their parents. What you can do for now is to pray that God would open the hearts of their parents so they would see the need for discipleship and accountability. If your disciple cannot attend anymore because the parents prohibit them, you can suggest that they ask their parents if they would allow one-on-one with you instead. As you continue to disciple the person, help them build Christ-like influence towards their parents. Hopefully they would see the importance of discipleship in your disciple’s changed life.

Discipleship During COVID-19

1. I have a member who is not able to adapt to a virtual set-up and is more comfortable in sharing in person. How do I respond to them when they want to meet in person instead of online?

You may meet with them in person if you are comfortable with it. While it is good to meet physically, it is important for you to consider the government’s safety protocols and guidelines for meeting physically. This is important since we want to obey our authorities especially during this time of lockdown.

2. Given our current situation, how will I encourage disciplers in my group who are emotionally tired and seem to have a hard time keeping up with the weekly meetings?

Continue to pray for them, and check in with them personally to find out how they are doing. You may join them once in a while during their Dgroup meeting to encourage them. Zoom fatigue is real, so you can suggest that they hold their Dgroup every other week or shorten their meetings to maximize impact and minimize stress.

Group Growth

1. When we start a new group using GoViral thru Zoom, when and how can we be considered an official CCF Dgroup?

Be sensitive to the members before registering the group. If they are regularly watching CCF services and understand that the group is a CCF Dgroup, you may register through smallgroups.ccf.org.ph. But if they are new believers, they may not be comfortable with being considered as a CCF Dgroup member. Help them grow, and then get them more connected with CCF over time.

2. I have a group that I consistently meet online during Sunday services and discuss the questions with after. How do I transition them to a Dgroup?

You can tell your Sunday group what a CCF Dgroup is all about and let them know you want to continue meeting them in that capacity.

3. Is it okay to include live-in partners in a couples Dgroup?

Definitely! A couples Dgroup would be the best venue to influence unmarried couples to follow God’s design for marriage and for family. You may lovingly encourage them to make it right with God by getting married. Please feel free to ask your Area Pastor for help and advice.

Being Discipled (Questions as a Member)

1. How do I deal with a leader who is critical, discouraging, and thinks they are always right?

It is best to talk to them directly and inform them that some members are already being hurt by his actions. If the matter needs to be elevated, do so with your pastor.

Spiritual Growth

as a discipler

1. How do I continue leading when I am struggling with a habitual sin? Am I qualified to lead a group in this state?

None of us is perfect. We all sin. What is serious is living a lifestyle of deliberate and rebellious sin. Ask God for forgiveness and truly repent, then sit down with your upline/D12 leader and seek counsel by share it with them. They will guide you through whether you should continue leading your Dgroup or take a break. It will also be best to come clean to your Dgroup and share what you’re going through.

 

The key to your sin is to FLEE. You can have victory over this. You are not hopeless. God who lives in you gives you the power to say NO. Surrender and yield to Him.

2. I know the importance of being spiritually fed but I feel like I’m not growing because I’m not being discipled properly. The discussions with my D12/upline are shallow, and it’s more focused on attendance rather than growth and transformation. I’m thinking of joining a different group but I don’t know how to proceed.

It’s okay to be honest to your D12/upline leader about how you feel. Talk to them, explore options, and find the best solution so you can be helped spiritually.

of my disciples

1. How do I handle members who are constantly struggling with the same sin? They know how to say the right thing during Dgroup but then I find out later that they have committed the same sin again.

This can be tricky and frustrating. But if there is clearly no evidence of transformation, you may need to view that person as if he is not yet truly saved. Graciously warn him that willful sin will have consequences sooner or later. When a person keeps staying and dealing with the same sin, they may not understand the way God looks at them and how precious they are in God’s eyes. When they see how loved they are and how God has given His Son for them, this will change their understanding and cause them to desire to do what God wants them to do. You may want to teach them Ephesians 1 and ask them to meditate on it as well.

 

Don’t judge him but look at him with compassion as you would someone who is lost. Listen to their heart as to why they are struggling and help them see how God truly loves them and wants the best for them. Be patient with them as God has been with you, and keep reaching out to them with the love of God.

2. I just started leading a Dgroup and I have a disciple who is having suicidal thoughts every day. How can I approach them effectively?

If people share suicidal thoughts, we need to take it seriously. If you feel it is difficult to deal with, you can ask help from your upline/D12 leader, area pastor, or the Pastoral Care Department.

3. I have a member who is in a same sex relationship. How will I tell them to obey God without hurting them?

Speak the truth in love. Assure the person that you still love him/her regardless of his/her decision.

4. Is it a sin to feel lonely/loneliness as a Christian?

No it is not a sin. The Lord Jesus himself was very transparent about his emotions. He got angry, He cried, He got lonely, but He never sinned. He processed His emotions by drawing closer to the Father. We encourage you to do the same. Jesus loves you. He promised that He will never leave you nor forsake you.

 

Matthew 11:28-30 — “Come to Me, all who are weary and heavy-laden, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For My yoke is easy and My burden is light.”

5. How do I handle a member who is living in with their partner?

Encourage your member to get married in obedience to God’s word and to show their commitment to their partners. Marriage is a picture of Jesus’ relationship with us which is a committed relationship.

6. One of my members is hesitant to do Obedience-Based Bible Study (OBBS) because they are not comfortable in doing it and they think paraphrasing the Bible in your own words is not right. How do I explain in a loving manner?

Explain that all Tagalog or English translations of the Bible are paraphrases. But if the person is still uncomfortable with the process, don’t force them.

1. How should leaders in the ministry respond to ministry volunteers who have committed but are not actually following through?

Talk to them and try to understand their situation better. Be patient. Give them another chance if they’re still willing to serve. But if they are still not available after several chances, it’s best to look for other volunteers who can really commit to serving.

2. If a fellow Christian who had just moved to CCF from another Christian church joined a Dgroup, are they immediately allowed to serve in ministry?

They have to consistently attend Dgroup first and understand the mission and DNA of CCF. They should be under a Dleader who keeps close accountability with them and is aware of what their disciple is doing or teaching. If they are doing something unbiblical or teaching unbiblical truths, let their Dleader know immediately.

3. What if my ministry work is being affected because of work-related stress, or vice versa? Which one should be prioritized?

Your work or job should take priority over your ministry. Keep in mind that your job is also your ministry. Minister and share the Gospel to your co-workers.

1. Is it okay to disciple your parents/older siblings, provided that you are more spiritually mature than them?

Most definitely. If they continue attending your Dgroup, that confirms their respect and acceptance of your leadership. Keep going!

2. How can we encourage other family members (especially dads) to be more participative in family devos?

We can’t change people but we can certainly pray for them. In his case, I will focus on showing Christianity rather than talking about it.

3. How can I influence other family members that are still not open to join the family Dgroup? How do I approach them in a manner that will not make them shy away from knowing God’s promise for them?

Our Family Ministry holds weekly webinars that may help you. You may want to attend these webinars live or watch past episodes to hear from various panelists. You can also look for a webinar that suits you from the Welcome Wednesdays Family Webinars.

4. How do I respond to unbelieving family members who say that the primary reason why we’re showing Christ’s love or being Christlike to them is because we’re just putting on a show because we want them to believe in Jesus, even when we are just genuinely showing love and care to them?

Respond in love and let the Holy Spirit work in their hearts. Yes, indeed our burden is to reach out to our families to make sure that they will have a personal relationship with Jesus. For parents, this where your level of relationship with your children comes into play. If you have a good relationship with them, you may invite them for a family weekend gathering perhaps and share the gospel with them. If your relationship is not so good, you may have to work on improving your relationship with them first.

Church Oversight

1. Can CCF Discipleship Management intervene if a certain group is not meeting or if the leader is not actively involved in initiating gathering even online? Can my discipleship family address this or report it to them?

The best way to approach this is to have an honest conversation with the leader or group involved. Try to understand their situation, remind them of the importance and purpose of discipleship, and encourage them with practical that they can take so they can benefit from the blessings of Jesus’ model of discipleship in a small group – even if it happens online. If you feel there is still little or no progress, then involve your upline D12 leader and, if necessary, your Area or satellite pastor. Reporting such situations to CCF Discipleship Management should be your absolute last resort. One clear advantage of the Dgroup system is these issues can be attended to on a decentralized basis, making the process more efficient. Addressing issues through the Dgroup family or network also capitalizes on relationships to help bring about resolutions. 

2. How do we address sensitive issues formed in a small group, and who will be responsible from CCF in addressing those issues?

It is best that a Dleader is able to address issues, but many issues can also be prevented by being proactive in helping ensure that relationships are healthy and that the Dgroup focuses on discipleship and open, honest accountability. You may approach your upline D12 leader – or your Area or satellite pastor, if necessary – and ask them for help. 

3. How do I know my pastoral area?

You may ask your discipler or their D12/upline leader. If your Dgroup is registered with our Small Groups website, smallgroups.ccf.org.ph, we will be able to assist you further.

4. Can I be mentored by someone from another church?

There is nothing wrong with having other mentors. However, if you are leading a CCF Dgroup, your primary mentoring or Dleader should come from CCF.

Church Position

1. What is the stand of CCF and Christians regarding the sexual allegations against Dr. Ravi Zacharias?

Tell them that an investigation is still on going. Keep focusing on Jesus no matter what happens to others. Let’s withhold judgment for now until the complete truth has come to light.

2. Is Rick Warren a good source for materials?

Rick Warren is a good pastor and preacher. But like all Christian leaders, keep in mind that he is fallible, being a man. It is wise to always validate his material against what the Bible is teaching.

1. Are there Tagalog resources I can use to disciple or tell my disciples to refer to and download for use?

We’re working on getting more and more of our resources translated into Tagalog. You can refer to glc.ccf.org.ph for a full list of available Tagalog resources.

2. Does CCF have materials for visually impaired persons?

We do not have these yet, but we are working on making our materials more accessible to our members who are visually impaired and hearing impaired.

3. Can we make the worship services understandable for people who have hearing impairments?

We have a group of volunteers called Silent Praise who do sign language translations of our services. You can find them at facebook.com/groups/267480310106471/

4. Can Gospel tracts be ordered online and physically delivered to our homes?

You may order gospel tracts by sending an e-mail with your desired quantity to [email protected]

5. Where can we buy the Motivate book?

You may purchase the M.O.T.I.V.A.T.E. book online at ccf.org.ph/motivate.

Church Ministries

1. When will Elevate Luzon Hub have their own youth services?

You can stay updated via the Elevate South Luzon Facebook page at www.facebook.com/elevatesouthluzon. Regarding physical services, our pastors are considering safety and health protocols of the local LGUs.

2. Do we have ministries who get in touch with prisoners?

BIYAHE Jail Ministry reaches out to inmates in jails. You can reach them through Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/groups/CCF.org

1. What does Jesus mean in Mark 13:20-23? Who is the elect?

20 “If the Lord had not cut short those days, no one would survive. But for the sake of the elect, whom he has chosen, he has shortened them. 21 At that time if anyone says to you, ‘Look, here is the Messiah!’ or, ‘Look, there he is!’ do not believe it. 22 For false messiahs and false prophets will appear and perform signs and wonders to deceive, if possible, even the elect. 23 So be on your guard; I have told you everything ahead of time.

 

The word “elect” refers to Christians.

2. Should obedience to the government override obedience to the Holy Spirit and God’s word?

We need to be balanced and be sensitive to the Holy Spirit. If the government is not allowing us to worship in order to stifle the spread of the gospel in opposition to the word of God, we cannot obey. But if the reason is for the common good and the safety and health of citizens, we should consider their guidelines.

3. I can only speak for myself, but I’m particularly conflicted with the M.O.T.I.V.A.T.E. series in terms of how Scriptures are being used/relegated to justify a series of truth claims. I recognize and submit that the intent of the series is wholly pure, but may I encourage the leaders to have more sermons geared towards expository preaching?

We will consider this. Over the last year almost all of our messages have been exposition of biblical texts. But expository preaching is not the only form of biblical preaching. Neither Jesus nor Paul used the expository method of preaching, but they certainly communicated God’s truth effectively.

4. What does Matthew 13:31-32 mean?

He told them another parable: “The kingdom of heaven is like a mustard seed, which a man took and planted in his field. Though it is the smallest of all seeds, yet when it grows, it is the largest of garden plants and becomes a tree, so that the birds come and perch in its branches.”

 

It’s an analogy of the kingdom of Jesus. Like a mustard seed, it may appear insignificant now, but it will be the most powerful kingdom when Jesus returns.

5. How do you respond to those who are seeking a “deeper meaning of the Bible” or are into Reformed teaching?

There are resources on the CCF website that outline our perspective on theological systems. We encourage you to access those to help you respond.

6. Why is CCF not discussing about the end times? Multiple pastors/preachers feel that the end is near, yet there are no discussions about it.

We have discussed this topic many times in the past. We also stress urgency by sharing the Gospel in almost all our messages.

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