Biblically Rethinking Discipleship
Disciple making is not a program or a church growth model, but a life-long process based on Ephesians 4:1-16. Discipleship is more about mentorship and interpersonal relationship building and cannot be achieved simply by pointing folks to a curriculum. It is achieved by intentionally applying sound doctrine within the process of sanctification (spiritual growth) in the life of the believer.
The apostle Paul had confidence that believers who are discipled through sound doctrine are able to disciple others (Romans 15:14), “ And I myself also am persuaded of you, my brethren, that ye also are full of goodness, filled with all knowledge, able also to admonish one another.” Colossians 3:15-16a, “Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to which indeed you were called in one body; and be thankful. Let the word of Christ richly dwell within you, with all wisdom teaching and admonishing one another.”).
The following three parts will be used to guide, define and encourage our discussion of biblically rethinking discipleship:
- Doctrines addressing the INNER LIFE of the disciple; Salvation, sanctification and devotion
- Doctrines addressing the CHURCH LIFE of the disciple; Mentoring relationships through interpersonal discipleship
- Doctrines addressing the MINISTRY LIFE of the disciple; Engaging spiritual gifts within the church and evangelism without
Many modern church growth models emphasize the “doing” aspect of discipleship where ministry life is the priority and defines the spiritual health of the congregation. There is a tendency to focus more on the number of ministries offered and the amount of work that is getting done rather than focusing on the spiritual growth of its members.
Session Plan and Schedule
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Most likely, the subject matter in this material will challenge your understanding and practice of discipleship. For this reason, we have developed this material to be taught in an informal mentoring relationship (in person or by phone/Skype). Rather than providing the complete set of material at the outset, each lesson is studied and discussed before the next lesson is provided.
For our definition, a mentor is a facilitator/teacher who guides you in your study of Scripture through informal discussion, asking questions, and building a biblical consensus.
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