Under the coaching of George Patterson, with influence from friends like Neil Cole and Floyd McClung, Erik Fish followed the Holy Spirit in starting a “Jesus movement” among a variety of First Nations peoples that continues spreading today. Erik and his family then spent over two years on the road, visiting 42 states to train people in following Jesus and drawing others to do the same.
Through this process Erik distilled DiscipleX as a relational model for reproducing disciples and “seed churches” that appears particularly well-suited to engaging unchurched believers in reaching the lost in our North American context.
DiscipleX emphasizes “Seven Experiences with Jesus” in place of “Seven Commands of Christ,” and starts with inviting people into relationship—gathering some of their friends or family to a place where they feel comfortable to get better acquainted by exploring together over meals how the ancient teachings of Jesus might apply to their lives today.
DiscipleX incorporates the same biblical principles found in other contemporary models for disciple-making movements, but with a stronger emphasis on
- “experiencing” God’s kingdom through deepening relationships around meals,
- seeking the gifts, fruit and empowering of the Holy Spirit, and
- connecting with the lost where they are comfortable, in fun and natural ways.
DiscipleX training may be especially helpful for believers who aren’t comfortable with more scripted approaches, or who are looking for a fruitful, relational approach to use with lost friends and family resistant to Christian lingo and a gospel “message” or “presentation.”
DiscipleX centers on cultivating four rhythms of life:
- Pray/love God—walk with the Father, Son and Holy Spirit to raise up laborers.
- Go/love your neighbor—where the lost are comfortable, though you may not be.
- Gather/love one another—build relationships, experiencing Jesus at meals, etc.
- Guide/disciple all nations—teach others to follow Jesus well.
Erik describes the background and principles of DiscipleX:
Erik describes how this works in practice
Erik describes “Simple Church”:
One simple tool Erik has developed for starting conversations are “20 second teachings of Jesus.” Here are two examples:
Learn more about Erik and DiscipleX at Erik’s website.
Erik has produced a small, simple guide to the seven experiences:
[pocket] Disciple is slightly larger than a 3×5 card. It is available from Erik’s website, and in two forms of Chinese, with other translations in progress.
Amazon review—I just finished going through Erik Fish’s Disciple with a new believer.
I have always desired to have a simple yet inclusive and comprehensive tool to use in discipleship relationships. The content covers what seems to me to be the core values and the basics of walking with Jesus… with everything from the basics of the Gospel, the Father heart of God, living sexually pure, living supernaturally, to making disciples of all nations. The book led my friend and I into beautiful conversations and encounters with God together.
My friend, a new believer, finished the book feeling equipped to make her own disciples and take a friend of hers through the book. Now, she is starting her own house church with her friends.
I highly recommend purchasing 2 copies of Disciple and going through the book with a friend or a person you are discipling. I plan to use Disciple in the future as I disciple others.