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The LTG Model: Accountability + Discipleship

Last Updated: April 22, 2015

Luke Gilkerson
Luke Gilkerson

Luke Gilkerson has a BA in Philosophy and Religious Studies and an MA in Religion. He is the author of Your Brain on Porn and The Talk: 7 Lessons to Introduce Your Child to Biblical Sexuality. Luke and his wife Trisha blog at IntoxicatedOnLife.com

Want a good model for meeting together with an accountability partner? The LTG (Life Transformation Group) has been proven to be one of the most effective and challenging models out there.

Neil Cole coined the LTG model in his book, Cultivating a Life for God. You can purchase a pack of LTG pamphlets on his website.

. . . .

A Life Transformation Group:

1. Meets once a week for approximately an hour.

2. Is a group of two or three (adding a 4th person, the group multiplies into two separate groups).

3. Is not co-ed, but gender specific.

4. Has no curriculum, workbook, or training needed.

5. Has no leader needed for it to work.

6. Has three tasks:

  • 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.

. . . .

The Three Tasks

a. Sin is confessed in mutual accountability

Christians need one another (Hebrews 10:24-25). There is strength in relationships that are built around supporting one another. The first thing the LTG does together is ask each other Character Conversation Questions (see below). It may be helpful to start with a question that tends to focus the meeting. Each person take turns answering the same question. As sin is confessed, discussion may result, but most importantly, prayer for one another for specific ongoing struggles.

b. Scripture is read repetitively, in context and community

Each LTG chooses one book of the Bible or a longer passage that they will read that week. Choosing longer portions of Scripture is a good practice because it supplies us with context and increases our internal appetite for the Word of God. We recommend 25-30 chapters a week. For example: the group may choose a smaller book (like Ephesians or Jonah) and read it five or six times in that week, or a medium-sized book (like Romans or 1 Corinthians) to be read twice, or a larger book (like Acts or Proverbs) to be read through once.

When the group comes together they will ask each other if the reading was completed. If one person was unable to finish, then they read the same book over the next week. This is not a bad thing. Reading entire books in repetition and in community will yield great rewards. Once everybody completes the reading they move on to another book.

The focus is not just completing the reading but hearing from God through the Scripture and acting on it. This is why it is important, during the reading process, to take note of the passages that really draw your attention, going back to them to pray through them. Turn those highlighted passages into a dialogue with God, to internalize them and process what they mean, to explain why they are significant to you at that time, and to discover and explain what the Holy Spirit wants you to do about it.

c. Souls are prayed for strategically, specifically and continuously

Each member of a LTG is to identify 2 or 3 people whom the Lord lays on their hearts that need Jesus. The names are written down by each member, and then this acts as a reminder for each person to pray for these people daily in their time with the Lord. As people are prayed for and lives are changed, the individuals who begin to seek Christ become perfect candidates for the next LTG, and the multiplication of the group can occur naturally and spontaneously in a way in which the whole group can rejoice together.

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Character Conversation Questions

These questions are to be asked to one another in a safe environment which values honesty, vulnerability, confidentiality and grace. This list is adaptable, and can modified with many other questions.

1. Have you been a testimony this week to the greatness of Jesus Christ with both your words and actions?

2. Have you been exposed to sexually alluring material or allowed your mind to entertain inappropriate sexual thoughts about another this week?

3. Have you lacked integrity in your financial dealings or coveted something that does not belong to you?

4. Have you been honoring, understanding, and generous in your important relationships this week?

5. Have you damaged another person by your words, behind their back or face to face?

6. Have you given in to an addictive behavior this past week? Explain.

7. Have you continued to remain angry toward another?

8. Have you secretly wished for another’s misfortune?

9. (Personalized Question): ______________________

10. Did you finish the reading we agreed upon and did you hear from God? What are you going to do about it?

11. Have you been completely honest with me?

. . . .

Strategic Prayer Focus

Write down the names of the people that need to know Jesus and use these prayers as a guide to pray for them.

Lord, I pray that You draw __________ to Yourself (John 6:44).

I pray that ____________ hears and believes the Word of God for what it really is (1 Thess. 2:13).

I pray that ____________ seeks to know You (Acts 17:27).

I ask You, Lord, to prevent Satan from blinding ____________ to the truth (2 Cor. 4:4; 2 Tim. 2:25-26).

Holy Spirit, I ask You to convict __________ of his/her sin and need for Christ’s redemption (John 16:7-14).

I ask that You send someone who will share the gospel with ____________ (Matt. 9:37-38).

I also ask that You give me or ___________ the opportunity, the courage and the right words to share with ___________ (Col. 4:3-6).

Lord, I pray that __________ turn from his/her sin and follow Christ (Acts 17:30-31; 1 Thess. 1:9-10).

Lord, I pray that ___________ would put all of his/her trust in Christ (John 1:12; 5:24).

Lord, I pray that ___________ confess Christ as Lord, take root and grow in faith and bear fruit for Your glory (Rom. 10:9; Col. 2:6-7; Luke 8:15).

. . . .

Why the LTG Model?

Cole lists a number of strengths of utilizing Life Transformation Groups in a local church:

1. LTGs Build Community

2. LTGs Foster Accountability

3. LTGs Maintain Confidentiality – It is easier to maintain confidentiality in a group of two or three rather than a larger group of ten or twelve.

4. LTGs Provide Flexibility – It is much easier to coordinate the calendars of only two or three than a typical small group of fifteen.

5. LTGs Model Reproducibility – It is easier to reproduce a smaller, simpler group than a larger and more complex entity.

. . . .

Who should be in an LTG?

Those who decide to join an LTG should be people who (1) feel a desperate need for Jesus and (2) are faithful to the process of the group itself. Compromising these qualities will likely derail the group in its purpose and effectiveness.

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