For Jesus, discipleship meant inseparable proximity. For three years he lived with his disciples – he ate with them, traveled with them, changed the world with them. He really invested in twelve, really really invested in three, and really really really invested in one. Sure Jesus ministered to the masses, but twelve heard sermons, watched miracles, and received challenges that no one else did; Peter, James, and John, experienced more than the rest; Peter got even more than James on John.
Jesus gave the 12-3-1 progressive challenges. Early on he gave them nothing but observation – just told them to come and follow; watch him in action. Eventually he started explaining the spiritual depth behind his actions. Then he sent them in pairs to practice his actions. Piling on the teachings disclosed the ultimate plan for these actions, and then he commissioned them to carry the plan to completion.
Jesus’ discipleship plan in short: invest incrementally in 12-3-1 same sex persons with a pattern of observeàexplainàpracticeàteachàcommission.
Praises: Inseparable proximity exposes every other discipleship model as watered down. Only in inseparable proximity will the whole of one life be translated to the whole of another.
The observeàexplainàpracticeàteachàcommission pattern is great in that education cannot be isolated as discipleship when it only comes after practical action. According to Jesus’ model, discipleship is two parts education and three parts action.
Critique: I do not know of anyone outside of the colleges or occasionally career age singles who are even remotely bordering on a carbon copying Jesus discipleship. G-12 may have tried, by my understanding is that they are not either. Our culture has to make a huge leap if our model of discipleship is to happen in communal living.