When making disciples in a church context, it’s important to use the right tool for the job. At our church we’re focusing on two specific tools: triads and huddles. The biggest difference between these tools lies in what they produce.
- Triads are composed of 2-4 people who meet weekly for accountability and encouragement. Participants all read the same Scripture each week, usually 15-25 chapters. Some triads have a set of accountability questions that they ask each other every week. Triads produce people who are intentionally following Jesus and growing in holiness, discipline, and witness. Neil Cole popularized these groups as "Life Transformation Groups". You can read more about them in his book Ordinary Heroes.
- Huddles are a construct of a group called 3D Movements led by Mike Breen. While huddles seek to accomplish much of what is done in a triad, they are also designed to produce leaders. They disciple people in ways that are transferable and equip them to disciple others. Huddles consist of 5-10 people and are led by a trained leader/discipler. They use a series of content tools to help people develop missional and leadership rhythms in their lives that can be passed on to other leaders. A huddle is not just for the transfer of information. It is a leader who is intentionally investing in a group of people and giving them access to his or her life.
So which tool should you use? If a person wants to simply grow in a relationship with Jesus, a triad is a great way to do that. It takes commitment and faithfulness. But I have yet to see someone commit to a triad and fail to make great spiritual progress. If you have identified some people who have leadership gifts, a huddle might make more sense.
What other tools have you used to grow disciples in your church?