Crossway and 3DM

We have been on a journey with 3DM for the last four years as a church community. The genesis of the journey was a growing realisation that in the midst of a packed ministry and program schedule we had lost our way in a lot of ways in living out Jesus’ call to make disciples. We had busy leaders. We had busy families. We had busy volunteers. And the challenge to refocus our efforts in building a discipling culture at the start felt like “just another thing to do.

Numbers of our team connected with 3DM leaders here, in the US and in the UK, and their delightful integrity, character and practice was tremendously challenging. Our conviction is that in the post-Christian West, in contexts across Western Europe and the United States, that 3DM represent best practice. For us, they have been a wonderful example to try and follow.

For the last two years our senior leaders have carved regular time out of their schedules to participate in leadership “huddles” with 3DM staff. These small clusters have developed levels of transparency, authenticity and challenge that we haven’t often known before. It’s been so exciting to learn to hear God’s voice in the everyday and to challenge each other to lovingly obey Jesus every step of the way.

One of the profound things we have learned is that developing relationships that both challenge and spur each other on, as well as invite each other to “do life together”, give us a real context to build an authentic discipling culture.

Our partnership with 3DM has given us language and basic disciple-making tools that have crystallised our understanding of Jesus’ teaching and example in making disciples that multiply. We have learned that personal spiritual formation is important but that reproducing that growth in others is an even higher value. We have learned that so often God is already at work in people’s lives and that often our challenge is simply to join Him on mission. We have learned that a “balanced life” lives out the values of loving God, loving people and engaging in mission in the world. It’s been simple stuff that most of us had heard before, but our experiencing in simplifying our lives, inviting people to walk with us as we follow Jesus, has been truly transformational.

We are really encouraged in our journey so far. We feel like we’ve come so far, but we also feel like we have a very long way to go.

Tim Piesse is the Discipleship Pastor at Crossway Baptist Church