A Starter is a believer who not only shares the gospel with unbelievers but also takes responsibility by training them as disciples. This may begin as a one-to-one relationship, but generally involves a small group of people who are on a similar spiritual level. Starters are named for their work in starting new groups and churches that teach people the basics of being a follower of Jesus.
Starters do amazing work as they start new groups to disciple people. But one thing they fail to do is teach disciples how to go and start their own groups. The group members develop a dependency on the Starter, rather than becoming Starters themselves. There is great potential for influence, but the inward focus stifles any movement past the second spiritual generation.
We see Barnabas fulfilling the role of a Starter when he went to Antioch and gathered the believers to form a new church there—the church from which he and Paul were later sent out.
Reaching Down: Help the Witness to become a Starter
If you are a Starter, remember that Witnesses need your help to learn how to do what you are doing. Find a few and encourage them to work through the Witness level of training to help them become Starters.
Reaching Up: Moving from Starter to Trainer
If you are a Starter, find a Trainer who can help you multiply disciples, groups, and leaders. To advance forward, you must must transcend the Vision Barrier with a keen eye toward multiple generations.
Skills and activities that will help you move Starters to become Trainers:
Accountability to One Another
- Learn about small group sizes
- Learn the principle of the Dead Sea and Sea of Galilee
- Find Witnesses to be a model for them (let them use Models)
- Spend 15 hours with Trainers, observing how they do their work, using Models
- Learn and study the Church Identity Triangle
- Lead an Acts 2 Study
- Learn about the sequence of Model-Assist-Watch-Leave
- Learn an effective Coaching Plan
- Read "Fathering the Next Generation"
- Read "Banyan Trees and Banana Trees"
Intimacy with God
- Do the blind spot test
- Learn of spiritual warfare with the Two Forces diagram
- Learn the Know-Be-Do diagram
- Read the article, The Left Side of the Graph
- Define the target area or people group that God is leading you to reach
- Begin praying and fasting for the people in your city or people group
- Read "The Teaching"
- Read through books of the Bible: Joshua, 1 Timothy, Titus
Multiplication of the Kingdom
- Define key areas of engagement in your city or people group
- Diagram the spiritual generations that you observe in Matthew 28.19-20 and 2 Timothy 2.2)
- Watch the film Ee-Taow, Part 2
- Lead an obedience-based group or church
- Watch or participate in the Multiplication Exercise
- Watch or participate in the Seven Generations Exercise
- Read "Strategic Points"
best done as a group exercise
something disciples can do on their own
A disciple becomes a Trainer when they begin to consistently train other disciples, and some of their disciples are training others.