Life Transformation Groups (LTGs)

Life Transformation Groups (LTGs) are a great tool that God is using in the disciple-making process. An LTG is made up of two or three people, all of the same gender, who meet weekly for personal accountability for their spiritual growth and development. It is recommended that a group not grow past three but rather multiply into two groups of two once the fourth participant has proven faithful to the process.

Developed by
Neil Cole and presented in his books Cultivating a Life for God and Ordinary Hero, LTGs are a simple, yet powerful, way to reproduce disciples.

The Life Transformation Group system is a grass roots tool for growth. Through this simple system the most essential elements of vital spiritual ministry are released to common Christians without the need for specialized training. It taps the disciple’s internal motivation and provides the support needed to grow in the essentials of a spiritual life. The LTG empowers the common Christian to do the uncommon work of reproductive discipling.

Dave with Roy Shinn and Chris Schmaltz – church planters who are committed to making disciples who make disciples.

Here is a simple overview of what an LTG is:

  1. LTGs meet once a week for approximately an hour.
  2. LTGs are groups of two or there (the 4th person is the beginning of the second group and multiplication is imminent).
  3. The groups are not co-ed, but gender specific.
  4. There is no curriculum, workbook or training involved.
  5. There is no leader needed in the group.
  6. Only three tasks are to be accomplished:
  • Sin is confessed to one another in mutual accountability.
  • Scripture is read repetitively, in entire context, and in community.
  • Souls are prayed for strategically, specifically, and continuously.

What are the strengths of Life Transformation Groups?

1. Community—Life change does not happen in a vacuum; it happens in relationship with others. “Though one may be overpowered, two can defend themselves. A cord of three strands is not quickly broken” (Eccl 4:12 NIV).

2. Accountability—Few things would get done in life without some degree of accountability. “If your brother sins against you, go and show him his fault, just between the two of you. If he listens to you, you have won your brother over. But if he will not listen, take one or two others along, so that ‘every matter may be established by the testimony of two or three witnesses.’ If he refuses to listen to them, tell it to the church; and if he refuses to listen even to the church, treat him as you would a pagan or a tax collector” (Matt 18:15–17 NIV).

3. Confidentiality—It is easier to maintain confidentiality in a group of two or three rather than a larger group of ten or twelve. “If you argue your case with a neighbor, do not betray another man’s confidence, or he who hears it may shame you and you will never lose your bad reputation” (Prov 25:9–10 NIV).

4. Flexibility—It is much easier to coordinate the calendars of only two or three than a typical small group of fifteen. “For where two or three come together in my name, there am I with them” (Matt 18:20 NIV).

5. Reproducibility—It is easier to reproduce a smaller, simpler group than a larger and more complex entity. “And the things which you have heard me say in the presence of many witnesses entrust to reliable men who will also be qualified to teach others” (2 Timothy 2:2 NIV).We have seen LTGs meet in the morning at Starbucks or Jack-in-the-Box or wherever people can gather. We have not tried to keep track of how many groups are meeting or who is in the groups. We recognize that groups start and end as the Spirit leads. There is a need for a greater emphasis on LTGs for the continued multiplying of disciples. It is not enough for a new believer to complete a workbook or join an LTG! Every believer must engage in the process of spiritual reproduction. The end result of implementing a Disciplemaking Strategy will be disciple-makers who have made a life- time commitment to multiplying disciples.

In the movie Pay It Forward, junior high student Trevor McKinney presents an idea that he thinks will change the world. He suggests that you do a favor that really helps someone and tell him or her not to pay it back, but to pay it forward to three other people who, in turn, each pay it forward to three more—and on and on into a global outpouring of kindness and decency.

Disciple-making has an even greater potential to change the world if Christians will just pay it forward!

As they learn and grow through the input of spiritual nurturing and encouragement, they need to pass it on to someone else who will, in turn, pay it forward to someone else. And as each person continues this process over and over again, it will have a lasting impact on our church and community.

Disclosure of Material Connection: Some of the links in the post above are “affiliate links.” This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, I will receive an affiliate commission. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will add value to my readers. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

Author

Dave DeVries

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Dr. Dave DeVries is a coach, trainer, author and founder of Missional Challenge. He is passionate about coaching and training church planters and missional leaders. With 30+ years of church planting and leadership development experience, Dave brings his passion and encouragement to those he trains and coaches.
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