How is Xchange unique from other approaches to discipleship?
- Xchange is specifically designed to be a laser-focused, one-to-one experience, not a group study. The life-transforming power of Xchange comes through the relational depth achieved through a one-to-one dynamic.
- We avoid merely "learning" concepts that do not put principles into action. Each of the 24 chapters includes at least one "Lab" that brings the content to life by the phenomenon of a felt experience. The Labs have proven to be extremely effective in driving home the focus of each chapter.
- Each Xchange chapter includes short teaching films or written intros, artistic films, lab experiences, worksheets, discussion questions, journaling prompts and suggestions for additional reading to address all the various ways that people learn. The layout of the material includes dynamic colors and graphics to be eye-appealing and attractive.
- Xchange has a specific, sequential path. It begins by addressing broad, foundational spiritual concepts and then moves into the practical ways we live out our faith. Next, it transitions to a focus on our relationships with others and finishes with developing readiness to become a disciplemaker.
- Xchange includes a list of criteria that should be expected of a disciplemaker. But, it does not require extensive training for the disciplemaker. The material is simple to follow and easy to navigate.
- Xchange includes a heavy emphasis on reaching a depth in relationships beyond what is typical in church culture. This is the focus of the entire third Module.
- Xchange includes a custom, scientifically validated personality assessment tool, called The Xchange Relational Assessment. This assessment is used throughout the third Module as a tool for developing an “iron sharpening iron” relationship between the disciple and disciplemaker. The assessment generates proven, accurate results that provide a unique open door to discuss opportunities for relational growth.
- Xchange not only focuses on making disciples, but producing disciplemakers. The entire last Module prepares the disciple to become a disciplemaker.
- Xchange is available to other churches at cost. We make no financial profit on its use. Our desire is for this material to advance God’s Kingdom, not increase our income.
What is the meaning behind the name Xchange?
The X represents two lives intersecting for the purpose of change. That is, change in the form of growth toward spiritual and relational maturity. An X is also the mathematical sign for multiplication. Spiritual maturity includes making multiplying disciples. The Xchange X contains a red circle. We refer to it as the Red Zone. It’s a term used in football for the last 20 yards before the End Zone, the place where the most focused effort is applied to scoring. So, the name Xchange represents two lives intersecting for the purpose of focused effort toward spiritual maturity that will be multiplied in others.
Why not just “organically” disciple without materials?
While there is nothing inherently wrong with discipling someone without using materials, our experience has been that tools are invaluable. Here are the 4 primary reasons we use the tool of Xchange to make disciplemakers.
- Comprehensiveness - It is our observation that when people are discipled organically, significant areas are never addressed. Without a strategic plan, the topics covered tend to be random and incomplete.
- Remaining On Track - A strategic plan supported by specific tools keeps the disciple and disciplemaker consistent in their meetings and moving forward toward the goal.
- Measuring Progress - Without a plan and specific objectives you can’t determine progress or know when you’ve reached the goal. Each Xchange chapter includes a guide to help the disciplemaker determine if the disciple is ready to move to the next lesson.
- Relational Depth - Many people are simply not as comfortable at relational depth as they would like to be. Since authentic relationships are central to New Testament Christ-followers, this area deeply affects a believer’s effectiveness to accomplish the real work of God. This is a dimension that typically needs to be learned since it doesn’t naturally come easy to most. Xchange repeatedly serves up opportunities that give permission for authentic, relational depth to occur, much like a passport allowing entrance into foreign place.
Is Xchange suitable for new believers?
We have created a primer to Xchange especially designed for new believers. Each session focuses on the basics of our faith: Our New Identity, Baptism, Prayer, the Bible, Community, etc. Once a new believe completes the 12 sessions, they then are better equipped to start the Xchange track.
Is Xchange available in other languages?
Yes. Spanish is available in the store now, with Arabic and Czech coming soon.
Do I need the books in order to disciple someone through Xchange?
The books are great for people who love to have a hard copy for reference, but the Xchange App is available for iOS and Android devices in the Apple App Store and Google Play.
Mobile App Available for Free
For how long and how often do the Disciplemakers and Disciples meet?
Xchange is designed for the participants to meet every other week. This is to allow time for both the disciplemaker and the disciple to work through the materials. We also design this pace to encourage balance between God, family, ministry, work, play, etc. Also, relationships take time to grow to the depth that God desires for us to experience. The third Module is the relational hinge pin in Xchange. Meeting every other week brings a pair to this Module in about six months. This is intentional. It typically takes that long before the pair is relationally ready for the material in the third Module.
In total, there are 24 chapters in Xchange (4 notebooks or Modules with 6 chapters in each). The entire track typically takes 12-15 months. The length of each meeting depends on the pair but typically takes between 1-2 hours.
Would Xchange work in a small group setting?
There is a steep downside to using Xchange in a small group setting because a group can’t produce the unique dynamics of a one-to-one relationship. There are tremendous benefits to the one-to-one approach. Don’t lose them by attempting Xchange in a group! The materials are designed to disciple one-to-one.
How about discipling two or three people at a time?
Although there would be some benefit in using the tool for any size group, there is a unique dynamic, transparency, safeness and individualized pace in learning that cannot be matched outside of a one-to-one relationship.
How about discipling two or three people separately (each one-to-one)?
Most disciplemakers are also involved in other ministries of the church in addition to their work, family and community responsibilities. As their relationship deepens, most pairs become involved in life together outside of the Xchange relationship. We emphasize balance and simplicity. There’s typically not enough time to disciple more than one person well.
What about discipling someone from another church?
We discourage this because one of the primary ingredients in discipleship is two-way observation. The disciple observes the disciplemaker and vice versa. This examination of each other’s life and participation in the local church is critical. This is impossible when the participants are in different churches.
Do we need a point person to navigate Xchange in our local church?
It is important to select a spiritually mature, warm, strong leader to oversee Xchange. In addition to managing the details, this person typically vets participants, connects pairs, meets with disciplemakers and disciples and helps resolve any issues that might arise. This leader can be a volunteer or a staff member depending on the budget and structure of your church.
What happens when you complete the Xchange track?
Because the final Module prepares the disciple to transition to a disciplemaker, the desing of Xchange is for both participants to take on new disciples. But the relationship obviously continues! We ask the disciplemaker to continue to track with the disciple (now a disciplemaker) as they start the Xchange experience with the new disciple.
How are disciplemakers selected?
It is important to hold the bar high when selecting disciplemakers. We have included the criteria that we use for their selection in our own local church. Of course, this can be modified to your preferences.
How do you pair disciplemakers and disciples?
The optimum approach is to pair two people of the same gender who already have a relationship. We first look within the small groups of our church to see if there are two people within a group that would make a healthy Xchange relationship. If a partner is not available within the small group, the potential disciple or disciplemaker is put on a wait list. Our Xchange coordinator (Discipleship Navigator) monitors the list, seeking to connect pairs. When there are two people on the list that appear to make a good pair, we ask them to meet with one another to see if they sense a chemistry.
What if the potential Disciplemaker doesn’t qualify?
We believe in honest dialogue with the goal of growth toward spiritual maturity (Ephesians 4:15). If a potential disciplemaker doesn’t meet the criteria, we explain why and provide action steps that would prepare that person to disciple in the future. Often, we suggest that the person begin by being a disciple, rather than a disciplemaker. Among other things, this serves as a good test of humility.
What would disqualify someone from participating in Xchange?
Based on 2 Timothy 2:2, a lack of faithfulness and consistency is the primary reason a person would not be ready for Xchange . We look for their faithful consistency in the church and in their walk with God. The main way we observe and assess this is through their participation in our small groups. For that reason, a person in our local church must be in a small group to qualify for Xchange.
Is there any support with the optional extra reading?
Along the Xchange track, there is some recommended optional reading. To make these materials more accessible to Xchange participants, we created a lending library in our church with multiple copies of each book.
What type of training do Disciplemakers receive before they begin?
We provide both video and written training materials on the Xchange website. The training is intentionally simple to keep Xchange easy to understand and follow.
You don’t make any financial profit from Xchange. Why is that? What’s the catch?
Inspired by Craig Groschel’s book, It, we made the decision to not receive any profit from Xchange before the materials were even completed. This choice is incredibly freeing. We embrace our responsibility to share what God has freely given to us without any monetary gain. There is no catch and no strings…no joke.
How much should a church charge Xchange participants for the materials?
It is entirely your choice. We charge the participants in our church less than the cost of the materials to keep the price from being prohibitive. Making multiplying disciples is of such high value to us that we choose to underwrite the difference between what our participants pay and the cost of the materials. You are free to cover your expenses or not.
What happens after an Xchange pair completes the track?
We do not celebrate completion. That would make Xchange a short-term course that has an end. The goal of Xchange is multiplication and that is what we celebrate. We expect participants to continue on after completion of the 24 lessons. In addition to beginning with a new Disciple of their own, our Disciplemakers are asked to serve as a coach for their previous Disciple during their first Module as a new Disciplemaker.