(EDITOR'S NOTE – In the July 21 issue we focus on discipleship. What does it look like? Why is it important? Most importantly, we look at how you, your family and your church can get involved in making disciples. We hope you find the information in these stories to be helpful in that journey.)
As an associational missionary, Chuck Campbell began to notice a glaring deficiency in church ministry and in the personal lives of pastors. His concern was not born out of a judgmental position, but from a passion to help pastors become more effective in their calling. He started asking pastors if they could articulate their mission or purpose. Each one struggled to give an answer.
Growing up in a pastor’s home, and even as a seminary student, Campbell never really thought about having a discipling strategy. He followed the typical course of effective pastorates, staying true to scripture and caring for the flock. When God called him to serve the Transylvania Baptist Association in Pisgah Forest, N.C., he felt a stirring in his heart to help church leaders define discipleship.
Campbell began to ask pastors, “What is your discipling process? How do you take a brand new convert and make him into a fruit producing disciple?”
“That’s how my own journey began,” he said. “The Lord began to challenge me about my own home. How do I disciple my own family?”
He began to feel a burden from the Lord to begin discipling his son. He could not get away from Jesus’ words in Matt. 28:20, “Teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you.” He was convicted to ask,
“What are all of the things Christ commanded us to teach?”
Chuck Campbell, second from left, leads his family in Bible study. The director of missions for Transylvania Baptist Association created the G3 model, what he calls “The Imperative Life of a Christ Follower.” Campbell urges disciplers to be concerned about their disciples’ fruit.
Campbell said, “The Lord led me to a study of the imperatives of Christ found in the four gospels. I found over 300 of them. I saw it was too much material to impart to another believer in a discipling relationship.”
“I went through the scripture and looked up every use of ‘follower’ and ‘disciple,’” he said. In an effort to simplify everything, Campbell put the commands into 40 categories and studied parallel passages such as the sermon on the mount and the upper room discourse.
Campbell asked the Lord for favor. “He laid this on my heart: all of these imperatives could hang on 10 distinctives. I was able to arrange them into a systematic process – surrendering, sacrificing, listening, abiding, obeying, being light, loving, serving, sharing and reproducing. These will mark a true follower of Christ.”
About a year and a half ago pastor Jeff Maynard, a former International Mission Board missionary, asked Campbell to teach these 10 distinctives to his church.
Maynard suggested that the material still needed abbreviation into a more manageable, memorable plan.
Together they brain-stormed and came up with three steps:
• GIVE UP: surrender, sacrifice, listen
• GIVE IN: abide, obey, life
• GIVE OUT: love, serve, share
“Reproduce” became an ultimate goal.
The G3 strategy was born. He calls it, “The Imperative Life of a Christ Follower.”
God started bringing young men into Campbell’s life who needed to be discipled. He began meeting with them regularly.
One question pressed on his heart. “How do I know when I have made a disciple?
Graphic by CreationSwap
“From John 15:8, I learned that it’s not about my fruit, but the one I am pouring into. Jesus said, ‘My Father is glorified by this, that you bear much fruit, and so prove to be My disciples.’ If you’re a Great Commission Christian, it’s not about your fruit, but it’s actually the one you’re pouring into. We ought to be concerned about their fruit. When we do that, we have created a reproducible process.”
Campbell believes the G3 model paints a clear picture of a true disciple of Jesus Christ.
“This model has made it very easy for me to come alongside someone, to find out where they are in their unique journey, and then help them to move forward so that they are reproducing themselves in someone else’s life.”
“This creates a sustainable model that Jesus left us over 2,000 years ago. I think what we have done in the church is that we have settled for first generation Christians. … We’re not looking for second, third, fourth and fifth generation Christians … and we wonder why the church is dying today.”
Campbell said, in one church the pastor taught the strategy in a sermon series, then led an evening class where he taught through the different concepts of the G3 model. Campbell believes the concept of surrendering should be the first principle to teach a new convert.
“Surrender gives them the capacity to sacrifice, which gives them the capacity to listen,” he shared.
Campbell plans to have a book this year and a self-discovery tool to help a new believer discover the truths for themselves. Discipling tools for small groups, a website and some apps are in development, also.
He hopes to motivate churches and church leaders to ask, “What is my discipling process?”
“This discipling process can be shared in less than an hour, it can be shared in 13 sessions or three years. It depends on how much time you’ve got.”
“So, it’s not a quick fix. … You’ll live this out the rest of your life,” he said. “This is not a program or an event in the church, but a lifestyle. We have to get away from thinking we’re going to fix everything with the next program. Jesus taught a lifestyle.”
“We measure that a person is actively using the G3 model not only when he is seeing converts, but also, when he is pouring into a person who is soul-winning and reaching into the next generation.”
Campbell believes, “…we’ve made it too complicated and it’s time to come back to a simple approach. Or we’ve done a shotgun approach to discipleship, thinking believers will figure it out. Yet we have more people falling away from the church, not giving and not attending. So we try to draw more people through an event. But what are we drawing them to? If we’re not drawing them to a simple method of making disciples, we’re putting off the inevitable.
“Jesus gave us the method,” he added. “He said go teach the church to observe everything that I commanded you. That is what we’re trying to accomplish through the G3 model. … We’re seeing fruit come from that.”
Contact Campbell at (828) 877-3203 or [email protected].