Discipling men can be a daunting challenge, but it is one of the most important tasks of the church. Pastor Mark Gainey shares one success story of discipling men at Deerfoot Baptist Church in Trussville.
I met Cody a year and a half ago. My daughter had become friends with his stepdaughter and invited her to church. She not only showed up, but she brought her entire family with her!
After several weeks of experiencing worship at our church, I got to know him and sensed that he was longing for more. I met with him and his entire family on a Wednesday evening.
He told me the story of how he grew up Catholic and how he was never serious about a relationship with God. He sought significance and purpose in almost every way imaginable. He wanted more.
I shared the Gospel with Cody and his family and that night he and his children gave their lives to Jesus!
Just days after that and his baptism, Cody, who is in the military, was deployed overseas. We remained in contact during his deployment, and he agreed to join a D-Group, or discipleship group, when he returned.
During his time overseas, he read the entire Bible, cover to cover. He soaked up everything he could.
When Cody returned, he joined the D-Group. He has been one of the most faithful members of any group I’ve led. He can’t get enough of God’s Word.
Over the course of the past year, there have been moments of struggle, conflict, confrontation and crisis of faith for him.
Through it all, I’ve watched Cody grow and mature as he remains teachable and passionate about following Christ. Each week, our D-Group, which is made up of four men, gathers at Panera Bread to pray together, hold each other accountable, discuss God’s Word, do evangelism and ministry, and learn principles of following Christ together.
The group is preparing to multiply and each person will start their own D-Group in April. These men have grown spiritually and have grown in connection with one another. Cody has been a constant source of encouragement and an example to our group.
During the course of the year, a need arose in our church for someone to pour into the lives of some of our high school boys. Cody was thrilled to volunteer!
He began meeting with some of the young men and, everything he learned in our D-Group he passed along to these young men. God has used him to make an eternal impact on these students even as he grows and learns. He is also going to start his own adult D-Group soon.
Just a few weeks ago, Cody brought up in our group his desire to help others learn about disciple-making. He recently earned his bachelor’s degree and desired to learn more. He is in the process of enrolling in seminary to earn his master’s in discipleship studies.
God has used the disciple-making process in Cody’s life to bring him from far from God to a fully-devoted follower of Christ who is growing from the inside out and who is making disciples of others.
–Mark Gainey, senior pastor, Deerfoot Baptist Church, Trussville