A Witness is a believer who not only attends Christian gatherings, but they share the gospel verbally and lead people to Christ. They love their fellow believers but are driven to reach people who are far from God. Even though they may have some initial fears in sharing their faith, they receive great joy in seeing others come to faith in Christ.
But Witnesses stop there. They don't train the disciples, but are more likely to invite them to church and hand off the disciple-making responsibility to someone else.
A prime example of a Witness is Philip. He was faithful to bring the Ethiopian eunuch to faith, but he didn't take any responsibility to disciple him (and that was only because the Holy Spirit took him away. Acts 8.39-40). We should make disciples whenever we are able!
Reaching Down: Help the Attender to Become a Witness
A Witness obeys Jesus' command to share the gospel with others. But the vast majority of Christians do not witness. One of the best things they can do is to invest in a few Attenders and help them learn how to share their faith. If you are discipling a Witness, encourage that person to find some Attenders and begin training them and modeling for them.
Reaching Up: Moving from Witness to Starter
When we find someone who is a Witnesses, we can help that person to become a Starter. The core practice of a Starter is starting new group to train disciples—especially those they've led to Christ. To advance from this stage, we need to help them transcend the Permission Barrier affirming that they are only allowed, but commanded to make disciples.
Skills and activities that will help you move Witnesses to become Starters:
Accountability to One Another
- Find Attenders to be a model for them (let them use Models sheet to record what they learn from you)
- Spend 10 hours with Starters, observing how they do their work, using the Models sheet to write what you learn
- Co-lead an obedience-based group or church
- Learn the AIM Pattern and the Bold Parts
- Learn Triangle & Square
Intimacy with God
- Participate in a prayer retreat
- Develop a prayer team (a listing of people committed to pray for you) to give support to your work
- Read through books of the Bible: Genesis, Luke, Acts, James
Multiplication of the Kingdom
- Develop proficiency using two or three gospel tools, and teach someone else how to share their faith using one or those tools
- Learn the Acts 17 study of the Traffic Light to understand receptivity and how to respond
- Teach someone else how to share their personal testimony (2-minute and 15-second verisons)
- Do a study of Luke 10 and study the identity of the person of peace
- Lead or co-lead a discovery Bible study group
- Watch the video EE-Taow, Part 1
- Study Paul's Discipleship Model (2 Tim. 3.10-11)
- Learn about the comparison between raising children and making disciples
- Read "The Parable of the Cornfield" to learn about receptivity
- Read "The Substance of Paul's Preaching"
best done as a group exercise
something disciples can do on their own
A disciple becomes a Starter if they have started at least one new group and are training other disciples consistently.