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The 7 Rhythms Played Out

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We discover from the Gospels that Jesus modeled 7 recurring “relational rhythms” as he made disciples. Here are the rhythms, and then, below that is a message we received recently from a partner who has been following the rhythms as he disciples Chinese new believers:

The Rhythms Listed:

  1. Grounded in and flowing from FASTING and PRAYING in relationship with his heavenly Father.
  2. Actively loving people and INVITING ALONG those who WELCOMED him into their lives to love others together.
  3. SERVING with those he invited along.
  4. EATING and debriefing with those he invited along.
  5. RESTING/SABBATHING and retreating and resting with those he invited along.
  6. LEARNING and living the gospel of his kingdom with those he invited along in all of these relational rhythms.
  7. MATURING them WHILE MULTIPLYING with Jesus to one day send them off to make disciple-makers too.

The Rhythms Played Out

(The following was written by a disciple maker.)

Hi Bobby & Jason, 

I have been meaning to share my experience of following the seven rhythms of Jesus over the past ten months with my disciple making group. I began my journey with six Chinese brothers in January following Bobby’s Trust and Follow Jesus: Conversations to Fuel Discipleship.

My group is composed of a diverse group of brothers including a PhD civil engineer, assistant director of computing services, IT analyst, electrical engineering professor, mechanical engineering PhD student, and construction management PhD student. The ages of my guys range from 26-57. They are all first-generation Christians. Two of them are new Christians.

One of the young men was not a Christian when he joined our discipleship training. I still remember his reaction when I invited him to join our group. He said, “I’m not even a Christian. Do I need to be baptized first?” I said, “No, just join us.” He is now our brother in Christ.

Let me share a story about this new Christian (“Alan”). We had many special opportunities to serve together, but one especially touched my heart.

This year, as our church was preparing to host our annual Chinese New Year celebration, Alan stepped forward and offered to play the accordion to entertain everyone. We were all very surprised to hear how talented Alan was with the accordion. 

A couple months later, our discipleship group chose to go out and serve an American sister (“Lucille”) who was dying of cancer. Our plan was to go to her home and lay hands on her and pray over her. To my surprise, Alan asked if he could also play the accordion for Lucille. What a great idea. I can’t tell you what a moving experience this was for us all. Lucille was brought to tears of joy at Alan’s expression of love. Lucille has since gone to be with the Lord, but we will always treasure the memory of that night together. 

So what makes practicing the rhythms of Jesus so different? It is all about doing life together.

The shared experiences of learning together, eating together, resting together, and serving together all contributed to a transformation of life. Praise God for his indescribable gift!

Our group is at a critical juncture where it is time for us to each start our own discipling making groups. God is also stirring our sisters with a desire to go deeper with Jesus. I presented the seven rhythms model to two of our Chinese ladies last night. They are now praying for whom to invite on this journey. I am very excited about what God is doing.

In closing, I want to share that we just returned from a preaching tour in Singapore, Malaysia, and Taiwan. In each country, we made a big push for people to practice the rhythms of Jesus. I am happy to say that several Chinese brothers and sisters have expressed genuine interest in taking this disciple making journey with us. We will begin coaching several new people in starting new disciple making groups following the rhythms of Jesus.

Thank you, brothers, for your good efforts to grow the kingdom by equipping others to make disciples.

Please keep us in your prayers as we follow the lead of the Holy Spirit to train disciple makers among our Chinese brothers and sisters.