In the book Building a Discipling Culture by Mike Breen & 3DM Ministries (a ministry The Vine has teamed with and learns from) the following quote is found: “If you make disciples, you always get the church. But if you make a church, you rarely get disciples.” The Vine embraces this thought as truth. Therefore, we are dedicated to making disciples through a decentralized rabbinical style of imitation/teaching following the pattern in which Christ taught His disciples
A HUDDLE IS…
A place for leaders to receive investment, training, imitation and accountability (in other words…discipleship!). Here’s the big thing to note on this one: It is for current and/or future leaders. The people accepting an invitation into a Huddle should know they are expected to lead something (and maybe they already are, but if they aren’t, the expectation that they will start leading something). This is the principle at work: If you disciple leaders in how to disciple people, everyone in your community will be discipled. Why? Because you’re instilling in your leaders the Great Commission principle that “every disciple disciples others.”
By invitation only. A Huddle is an invitation for 3-8 Christ followers to regularly receive intentional investment by a discipling leader. But it is more than that. It’s also an invitation in that person’s life, not just a 90-minute-per-week gathering point. You have access to the life of the discipling leader outside of just the Huddle time. As we know, the principles of discipleship at work are often better caught than taught.
About multiplication over addition. Rather than adding people to a Huddle, we multiply the discipling culture that is created with the expectation that every leader start their own Huddle at some point. But this isn’t something we spring on them. They should know that by accepting the invitation that this is the expectation. So rather than growing your Huddle to have 10 people instead of the 6 that it started with, we ask that the 6 people you started with all start Huddles of their own. It’s growth by multiplication that eventually leads to exponential growth.
A place for invitation and challenge. The discipling leader, as they invest in the lives of the people in their Huddle, will invite them into their life, their rhythms and have access to their Spiritual capital. But they will also be challenged (gracefully) to live more fully into the Kingdom when their way of life is different or out-of-step with the things we read about in scripture and the Kingdom. The leader and the others in the huddle will consistently be asking, “What is God saying to you?” and “What are you going to do about it?”, holding one-another accountable to the Spirit-led plans they make. Some of these life changes are small, others are momentous! Therefore, high commitment is a must.