Growing up, I had an amazing Dad. He showed me what it’s like to lead well, pursue Christ, and put your family first. He wasn’t perfect, but he did well! To this day, our relationship is solid and he’s still involved in my life! That being said, I never had anyone outside my family who regularly sat down with me and intentionally discipled me. My small group leaders were good, but I got nothing outside of small group. My student pastors were phenomenal, but the smallest group I was in was 95 students, so 1 on 1 wasn’t realistic. Plus, that”s what the small group leaders were for!
There’s a huge movement to discipleship lately, which is something I’m incredibly thankful for. But whether it’s men in our church, small group leaders, high school students, or whoever, there are barriers stopping people from diving in. The reason I struggled with discipling people was I never knew where to start! How do I do this? What does this look like? What do we talk about?
That’s what Downline Ministries noticed. A lack in discipleship due to one of two areas. People either lacked the confidence or the competence to disciple others. Some people weren’t sure enough of themselves or the process. Others were willing, but didn’t have the theological chops, if you will, to accomplish discipleship. Downline wanted to empower and equip Christ followers to make disciples.
Last weekend, I went with some men from my church to a conference in Memphis, TN called the Men’s Downline Summit. Downline is a ministry 100% dedicated to discipling men who disciple men who disciple men (etc…etc…etc.) and women who disciple women who disciple women and on and on. It was inspiring to see over 1500 men from the Memphis area (with some stragglers like us) who are passionate about doing life on life, pouring into men in their community. One of my small group leaders who went with us had been telling me about this new tool Downline was about to “unleash,” and it sounded too good to be true! It’s called The Downline Builder, and I really think this will change the discipleship process in America. Not changing the purpose, means, or methods, but I think it will be a catalyst to see discipleship exponentially grow in the world.
Check out this video…
That’s the vision for the builder. It’s an INSANELY affordable resource to equip anyone to enter into a discipleship process. Before I go on, watch this video demo (by Downline founder Kennon Vaughan), and I’ll close with some of my final thoughts.
COST: $50/year. This includes unlimited “groups” of people you disciple, all the curriculum, and everything. However, in the setting of a small group ministry, it’d be a little more. Say for instance that you have 10 small groups. You’d need 10 subscriptions. If I’m discipling a group of students, and my wife is discipling a group of students, we would each need a seperate subscription. But. If we’re being honest, $50 is INSANELY cheap for a product like this. $50 a year, for unlimited rebuilds, new builds, custom builds, you name it! Sound expensive? Check out HOW TO GET IN below. Imagine this. I am discipling a teenager and we have an 8 week plan set. By week three, the girl he’s been dating for two years breaks up with him. Is the theology behind practical evangelism going to be the best thing to dive into at the moment? NO! So, I just go in, retweek our curriculum, for free, and we’re good to go.
As I spoke on the phone with the lead developer, he said that Downline Ministries recognizes what several marketing firms told them. They are leaving money on the table. It’d be easy to do a subscription, and then subcharges. It’d be easy to do a heavier subscription. Obviously, they’d love for their ministry to gain off of the builder, but not at the expense of nickel and diming people who are wanting to disciple others.
HOW TO GET IN: You can go to their site and request an invitation! If and when your invitation is granted, you’ll pay the $50 subscription and be good to go. My understanding is at that point, you’ll be given the option to share via social networks to get a discounted rate. Additionally, I have a few invitations I can hand out. Each invitation comes with a 40% off coupon and 12 invitations. So pretend Joe Dirt asks me for an invitation. Joe Dirt signs up, and then also has 12 invitations to pass out. Make sense? If you would like one of my invitations, shoot me a message on twitter. There are also group rates, outlined here.
HOW I PLAN TO USE IT: Right now, I’m putting a group of students who are new believers together. I’ll walk them through how to read the Bible and how to pray, and we’ll move forward from there. Next year, I hope to relaunch our small group ministry within our student ministry. I’ve found a huge struggle with our small groups is that I assumed they knew and experienced things that they hadn’t. Several of them have said, “I just don’t know how to know what to study.” We’ll incorporate Builder with our small groups. Each small group will get a log-in (assuming this semester’s trial run goes well) and will be able to use Builder for their groups. Whenever a leader steps out and a new one steps in, the log-in will be passed on. This will also allow me to check in and see where each and any of our small groups are (with the groups that choose to use builder).
Finally, I wanted to link you to some video testimonies of names you may recognize that are fans of Downline Builder.
- Matt Chandler || Village Church
- Robert Lewis || Men’s Fraternity
- Dennis Rainey || FamilyLife
- Lecrae || Reach Records
- Bryan Loritts || Fellowship Memphis
- Tommy Nelson || Denton Bible Church
- Robert E. Coleman || Author, Master Plan of Evangelism
For other video testimonies, as well as more information about the builder, please check out their website. I really do think this has the potential to be the most influential tool in ministry this decade will see.
It’s time for us as pastors to equip and unleash believers to go into the world and make disciples. Click here to go to BUILDER’s website!