The final Quest task is called “family planning.”

I. The final Quest task is paramount, for it is intended to fulfill the Great Commission and teach disciple making by supervised example. The task is called family planning. This final task helps the differentiating apprentices move beyond merely serving a need to ministering directly to specific people in a relational small group. It moves them from missional service into disciple making as the founders of a spiritual family.

J. The JUMP group on the Quest Family Planning task will develop a strategy to form a spiritual family, a cell group, to minister relationally to individuals with specific needs in the target community. The JUMP group will function as the leadership of the cell with the mentoring leader and 1-3 apprentices. In the Quest terminology, these groups are called JOLT groups.[1]

            Ralph Neighbor refers to this type of cell group as a share group designed to build oikos relationships with the unchurched.[2] A share group opens for a specific duration of time and helps individuals move into a higher level of relational and spiritual commitment. For Neighbor, share groups feed formal cell groups; in this setting, the apprentices interact with share group members with the goal of forming their own JUMP groups rather than cell groups. The JOLT group might continue to operate indefinitely or close down after a period of time as with Neighbor’s Share Groups. The mentoring leader does not lead the JOLT group, but facilitates the leadership of the apprentices as an equipper. The apprentices perform all major leadership tasks while the mentoring leader provides relational support to all participants.

            Example: A JUMP group has two apprentices who are diabetics and who feel a calling to minister to other diabetics. After educating themselves through the Quest process, they form a JOLT group to provide spiritual support to persons with diabetes both inside and outside of the local church.

            If the JOLT group is short term, it might take the form of a series of informational classes on diabetes with the inclusion of health professionals as guest instructors. If the JOLT group is ongoing, it may be a support group to help diabetics with lifestyle changes from a spiritual perspective, perhaps using the Twelve Steps.

            Persons who are ready for a deeper spirituality join the apprentice of their choice in a JUMP group which significantly helps them with their illness. Eventually those new apprentices will begin their own differentiated ministries through their own Quest.

K. After the JUMP group opens their community ministry group, they “graduate” from their Quest and are recognized for this achievement. The Quest is a rite of passage through spiritual adolescence and into spiritual parenting as apprentices form their own spiritual families. The Quest teaches disciple making in the context of the church of origin; if it is not taught in place, people who desire to grow in their spiritual maturity will leave for another church to find it.

[1]JUMP is an acronym for Jesus Understands My Problems. A JUMP group reaches out by becoming the leadership core of a larger JOLT group to address a need in the community. JOLT stands for Jesus Overcomes Life’s Troubles; members of JOLT groups help one another overcome real problems in a supportive community. Apprentices form new JUMP groups out of JOLT groups.





[1] The quote is a selection from David O. Kueker’s Fuller Seminary Doctor of Ministry project submitted in September, 2007, entitled Diagnosis, Dialogue, and Decision: A Threefold Process of Revitalization For the Illinois Great Rivers Conference.
It is shared here in recognition of its 12th Anniversary along with comments to update and provide perspective on the material. The original project was a Training Manual/Study Guide of three Seminars supported by three chapters of research and an Introduction. The material is available for download at In 2009 it was provided for purchase as a softcover book entitled Designing Discipleship Systems: Christian Disciple Making For Any Size Church, Any Theology through

[2][3] [4][5] [6][7] [8]

All Scripture quotations are from the Revised Standard Version of the Bible, copyright © 1946, 1952, and 1971 National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved. Please review the page How and Why We Use Quotes.

[2]Neighbor, Where Do We Go, 105, 220-223, 281-290, 293-300.

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