THE ADM VISION
(Apostolic Discipleship Method)
ADM meaning: Apostolic Discipleship Method
In the ADM Vision, it is possible for the local church to win a crowd for Jesus caring about every single person without fault. That is the “one to one” discipleship.
The ADM covers all the different issues concerning a local church. Without a doubt, the main point of the Apostolic Discipleship Method is the “one to one discipleship” that everyone in the church can receive. However, this ADM model talks about the panoramic vision that the local church must work on.
1 – The Kingdom of God
Jesus said: “But seek first his kingdom…” (Matthew 6:33).
God is establishing His Kingdom here on the earth and He has given a very clear vision for us to work on:
God had said to man: “Be fruitful and increase in number; fill the earth…” (Genesis 1:28).
Why? Because Adam and Eve used to enjoy a perfect fellowship with God and then they would perfectly reflect the Glory of God. As long as they were obedient to God in increasing and multiplying, all the earth would be full of God’s Glory, as the waters cover the sea.
The original plan of God did not change. Even though the natural man does not reflect the Glory of God because of the sin, the born again person actually reflects His Glory. Therefore, God’s commandment is still the same: “I want my Kingdom being established over the earth and this will happen when my children put My Kingdom in the first place in their lives and when they multiply themselves until the whole world will be full of people whom is reflecting My Glory.”
2 – The church of the Lord Jesus
What is the context in which we have to seek the Kingdom of God? Actually, how does it work?
Jesus said: “I will build my church…” (Matthew 16:18) and another time He said: “whoever does not gather with me scatters.” (Matthew 12.30). In another words, the Kingdom of God is manifested in the earth only centred in the church of the Lord Jesus.
The church of the Lord Jesus is the “heart” of God’s Kingdom.
3 – The Local church
I must know that I am really seeking the Kingdom of God only if I am working with Jesus building up His worldwide church. But, how is the worldwide church built? Throughout the local church.
Therefore, If I am not building a local church, consequently, I am not building the worldwide church of the Lord Jesus. The Bible speaks to us more about the local church than about the worldwide church. Are we working with God or against God? Perhaps, some people didn’t know that. Those who are not in the worldwide church vision, helping a local church to grow, multiplying in quantity and in quality, actually, even by omission are working against God. This is very serious. God values more the local church because the local church is the “heart” of the church of the Lord Jesus on the earth.
The Apostle John, in Revelation 1:10-11, heard the voice of the Lord Jesus behind him. But when he turned around to see the Lord Jesus, firstly he saw seven golden lampstands (Revelation 1:12), and only after that he saw Jesus (Revelation 1:13).
The seven lampstands are the seven local churches (Revelation 1:20). I believe, symbolically, it shows us that to have a full revelation of the Lord Jesus; we also need to have the vision for a local church. Where was Jesus? “In the middle of the seven lampstands” (Revelation 1:13). Among the local churches. It is impressive the way God values the local church.
4 – The Cell Group
It is very important that every Christian from the local church takes part in a cell group, when the life of the Body of Christ is synthesized in all the aspects such as: worship, prayer, evangelism, integration, discipleship, leaders training, fellowship, social assistance, etc.
It is necessary for the cell group to always be open for new people. Like in the human body cell, it should be growing, multiplying and creating new cell groups. This kind of cell group brings back the “church in the house”, and that is why it is vital that everyone from the church attends a cell group, as we believe that it happened in the early church. Cell group is the “heart” of the local church.
All the cell groups we have, heterogeneous or homogeneous, have this characteristic and all members are part of one of these two kind of cell groups. When all of our cell groups grow, they all multiply in three different areas:
- Vertically: all members grow in intimacy with God and multiply it in the life of their disciples.
- Horizontally: All members grow in fellowship with one another and multiply it in the life of their disciples.
- Exteriorly: All members grow numerically winning new people for Jesus, making them disciples and multiplying the “genetic code” of evangelism through discipleship in the life of their disciples.
The cell group grows in membership and multiplies in other new cell groups.
This kind of cell group is the true heart of the local church. In the church based in cell groups, everything happens by the cell group, through the cell group and for the sake of the cell group.
On the picture above, we can see that the heart of God’s Kingdom is the worldwide church of the Lord Jesus; the heart of the worldwide church is the local church; and the heart of the local church is the cell group. You can understand then that all of the effort from Christians to establish God’s Kingdom in the earth must result, direct or indirectly, in building cell groups in the local church context. Now, what is the heart of the cell group?
5 – The One to One Discipleship
Jesus prioritised the discipleship in His ministry in the earth. He prayed for the whole night before He chose His disciples (Luke 6:12-13), and the biggest part of His time was investing in the disciples’ lives. As He used to travel for long hours by walking, probably, He used to teach them along the way, while He was walking with them. Those who have walked for hours know that it is very difficult to walk and talk with many people at the same time.
Actually, Jesus used to teach:
- a) one by one
- b) in groups
Dr Carl Horton, doctor in “Growing Church” by Worldwide Missions School – The Fuller Bible College, showed outstanding results from a research made among a large number of Christian leaders. The point of the research was concerning the preparation of leaders and how and when successful leaders were trained for God’s Kingdom. The research states that:
- 0% of the leaders were formed through the pulpit in public meetings or preaching
- 0% of the leaders were formed in master classes, Sunday school, Bible College, etc
- 10% of the leaders were formed in small groups of discipleship
- 90% of the leaders were formed by one to one discipleship and personal mentoring
The Discipleship group is very good, but it cannot ever replace the one to one discipleship. Without a doubt, it makes the discipleship even deeper, intense and specific.
Of course, for this kind of discipleship, both the disciple and mentor must be from the same gender. In addition, every mentor must be a disciple. The mentor must preserve the integrity of the disciple at all costs, only sharing the confidentialities with the disciple’s permission.
This discipleship must happen within the cell group, the disciple and mentor must be part of the same cell group. The discipleship should not be manipulating. The true discipleship is to help the disciple to grow.
Discipleship is Protection. Discipleship is growth. The disciple must be transparent with the mentor. You will be amazed with the way God will use your mentor to help you deal with sin, spiritually growth, winning souls and being a good mentor.
Therefore, confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective.
Once you are in a discipleship, it is very important to begin to pray, asking God for someone who needs mentoring. When you win somebody for Jesus, you must guarantee that that person will be in discipleship.
Normally, you are the one who must be mentoring that new believer.
Before He ascended to heaven, Jesus left us a Great Commission: “Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptising them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit,” (Matthew 28:19). This must be the priority as it is a very important matter. As long as we meditate in Discipleship as a main point, God reveals to us that “one to one discipleship” is the heart of the cell group. In this relationship between disciple and mentor, we call it micro-cell group.
As the central emphasis of Apostolic Discipleship Method is the “one to one” discipleship, we saw that it would be good to use the same acronym to identify the micro-cell group.
Therefore, in the local church vision we have:
ADM: Apostolic Discipleship Method
The discipleship in a micro-cell group is done “one to one”.
You can observe that the micro-cell group has only two people: the Disciple and Mentor. We believe that the ADM is the minor representation of the church: the micro-cell of the body of Christ. “For where two or three gather in my name, there am I with them.” (Matthew 18:20)
It is very interesting to observe that the context of this passage refers to the local church.
It is vital for everyone to be under the mentor’s covering and also that everyone makes disciples, as we have said before, the discipleship is the heart of the cell group. In other words, the ADM is the heart of the cell group.