We will divide into work groups and assign one case study to each group. You have 25 minutes to reach a conclusion. Record your rationale for the decision or plan you're recommending, and appoint one of your members to give a 3-5 minute report to the class.
Case Study 1: This boy was won in Dwell high school group and walked for a few years. He left the Lord, then came back and is now your disciple in college. He seems to be growing, but doesn’t witness, even though he has an out-going personality and is well-liked. You sense he is afraid to try witnessing, and he confirms that he is afraid of what people think about him. He gets defensive when you bring it up. For a number of months now, you have made no progress. He still doesn’t witness.
Devise a plan for creating motivation and getting him to witness. Include a follow-up plan if he does witness, imagining several scenarios.
Case Study 2: This guy is a long-standing believer in your home church, but often a negative force. He is cynical and rebellious, often shooting holes in directions suggested by leaders. He also talks smack about some leaders. He doesn’t invest in others, seems selfish, and is never around at the ministry house. You worry that he may be negatively influencing younger brothers because a couple have shown up saying similar things.
On the other hand, he hangs out with non-Christians and occasionally shows up with one or two. A couple have received Christ. He even meets with a guy he reached, although you naturally wonder whether any true discipleship is going on. His discipler (a fellow leader) seems soft because this pattern has been going on for a year and a half, and they still meet every week, but no change. You’ve suggested the fellow leader take a strong stand with him, even threatening to end discipleship and take other measures, but he is reluctant.
After discussing and analyzing the variables in this case, devise a plan to motivate this trouble-making brother and his soft discipler.
Case Study 3: You are a co-leader in a girls’ cell group (9 girls) that is struggling. They don’t witness much, often squabble, lack unity, and some of them drink and party too much. They could all live in the ministry house, but several prefer not to move in for vague reasons. Sometimes a number of them don’t come to cell and give lame excuses. After cell, the girls often have things to do and don’t hang out together. Several girls seem like they could be good, but you don’t sense that most of them are really putting out to progress in ministry. One or two seem to be progressing better than the others, but they don’t seem to have much ability to influence the others. Recently, a leader from another home church asked if your girls aspire to become leaders in their own right. After reflecting a moment, you said “No, maybe in a loose sense, like ‘I might do that someday,’ but not in any strong sense.”
Analyze this group of girls and determine what is probably wrong with them. Form a plan to respond victoriously.
Case Study 4: You are consulting a home church that had good success at one time but has been unsuccessful for the past year. Not surprisingly, it turns out that the leaders in this group have a fairly dim view of each other’s competence in ministry. Through discussions with individual leaders, you see that each can easily itemize real failures in the others but find it hard to describe significant successes. Leaders’ meetings are weak in communication, and they apparently have suspicions about each other in terms of the motivations for comments made. They feel reluctant to share openly because they feel they will be criticized or misunderstood. Leaders commonly tell other leaders, “you need to do a better job with so and so on this or that,” but it’s hard to take because the same ones giving the admonition have problems just as serious or even worse in their own ministries that they don’t seem to be doing much about. Low-key pessimism seems to be slipping in.
Analyze this group. What is the heart of the issue(s) leading to this behavior? What are some possible insights, steps, etc. that you are going to recommend to this group?
Case Study 5: Lori has been coming to your group for the past three months on and off. She was brought out by Jeanne, another new person, but Jeanne has disappeared, and you hear she is moving to New York for a job opportunity. Lately, Lori has become more regular and more excited, and women in the church now have determined that she has received Christ. In your leaders’ meeting, you are going to discuss who should be put on Lori as the point person for ongoing follow-up and discipleship. Since she is a neutral person, several people are plausible for this role. Leaders’ meeting is tomorrow, and you need to consider who you will favor to get this assignment.
- Kate is a leader who has done good discipleship, but two of her disciples were sent off in the last church plant as leaders. She is trying to disciple a fairly low potential gal now, but she has pointed out before that she can’t get this gal to move, and is skeptical about her chances.
- Becky is a sit-in leader who needs a disciple because she just lost a woman and her other woman isn’t doing too well and could be lost at any time.
- Suzanne is a younger member who has done good work in the initial follow-up with Lori. She had coffee several times with Lori outside the meeting. They seem to hit it off. Suzanne has no disciples, so this would be her first.
- Elaine brought the new person who in turn brought Lori. She has another disciple, but she probably is assuming that Lori should be her disciple because she was the bringer.
All four women would be happy to get this assignment, and all four have had positive interaction with Lori during the past few weeks. Also, you have detected that your leaders are going to have different opinions about who to choose. For each woman, list factors that would be positive or negative in terms of assigning that person to try to enlist Lori as her disciple. To make this decision, you also need to weight the factors—is this factor highly important, or not so important?
Based on these factors, each of you should list the women in priority 1, 2, 3, or 4 as your opinion for who should get this assignment. Explain your reasons. Try to agree as a group.