Discipleship groups at Brainerd Baptist are founded upon three spiritual disciplines: Bible intake, scripture memory, and prayer. Believers from all over our region meet together to read the Bible and journal daily, memorize scripture weekly, and pray constantly.
1 – Bible Intake
Week after week we are admonished by our pastor to “get into the Word until the Word gets into you.” This saying actually comes directly from scripture. Consider this passage in Colossians.
Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly, teaching and admonishing one another in all wisdom, singing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, with thankfulness in your hearts to God. (Colossians 3:16) ESV
Paul admonishes these believers to “Let the Word of Christ dwell in you richly.” In other words they are to allow the Word to abide in them in full measure. These believers were to get into the Word until the Word gets into them!
The most basic way to get into Scripture is to read the Word and journal.
As you read the Word, God speaks to you. As He speaks to you through His Word, you share and explain the truth of the scripture in your own words, apply it to your life, and respond to God!
We recommend that members of a D-group journal daily. Read More
On the Pressing Need for Discipleship Conversations
Even casual conversations with fellow pastors inevitably turn to the increasingly crucial topic of discipleship. While engaged in one of these with a fellow pastor of a larger church, he spoke about how he was indeed personally discipling a group of men in his church, but beyond that, church wide disciple-making was non-existent. His executive pastor then added his understanding of how to go about making disciples as well: “Discipleship should be organic and not intentional. It should not be planned or prepared.” The executive pastor served previously at a church where the pastor adopted the concrete stance: “If you get people to church, then I will disciple them."
“Unfortunately, Jesus never left discipleship to chance,” was my simple reply. “He was intentional and calculative from the beginning.” Moreover, Jesus’s disciple-making ministry was five things: Intentional, Size-Specific, Transparent, Accountable, and Reproducible.
This pastor’s point in stating, “I will disciple them” was not one of arrogance, but one founded on Church precedent that the Word disciples the people. However, this mentality infects believers with laziness and serves to widen the chasm between the clergy and the laity. Perhaps more frighteningly, it cripples believers from taking responsibility for their relationship with Christ. Discipleship empowers the saints to partake in the work of the ministry, the most crucial step in aptly carrying out the Great Commission. Read More
God gave Spurgeon an extraordinary capacity for work and productivity. And yet, despite the ceaseless, crushing demands on his schedule, at 6:00 each evening, setting aside a to-do list that few could match today, he gathered his wife, twin boys, and all others present in his home at the time for family worship.
After his death, his wife Susannah wrote this glimpse into their lives together with their twin boys, both of whom became pastors:
After the meal was over, an adjournment was made to the study for family worship, and it was at these seasons that my beloved’s prayers were remarkable for their tender childlikeness, their spiritual pathos, and their intense devotion. He seemed to come as near to God as a little child to a loving father, and we were often moved to tears as he talked thus face to face with his Lord. Read More
What gets in our way when it comes to the church’s mission to make disciples? Let’s look at the things we do at church and they way we spend our time as pastors:
Preparing a sermon or teaching message in a given week without spending time in disciple-making relationships.
Spending time meeting with staff and church leaders in a given week in lieu of spending time in personal disciple-making relationships.
Before Jesus left the Earth, what was His final command? Read More
K. Allan Blume:
Brainerd Baptist Church gives their congregation a definition of discipleship. “Disciple making is intentionally equipping believers with the Word of God through accountable relationships empowered by the Holy Spirit in order to replicate faithful followers of Jesus Christ.”
“Discipleship without reproduction is not biblical discipleship,” Gallaty added.
Groups like Sunday School classes, Bible study groups and home fellowship groups have a role in the church. But if they are not reproducing, they are not biblical, he said. “How many generations of groups have you seen replicated in your church? How many groups who have invested in groups, who have invested in groups, who are replicating the process?” Read More
I wonder how many church leaders don’t even realize the success of ongoing discipleship depends partly on how well they develop leaders.
God didn’t design the church to have one person lead everyone else in spiritual formation—far too often the model of evangelical churches. Throughout the New Testament, we see leadership development and delegation—or mass participation—of discipling others.
Paul repeatedly told young pastors to entrust the ministry to spiritual people who could then pass it on to the next generation.
I'm convinced one of the reasons we struggle with discipleship is because we aren’t raising up leaders to make more disciples. Read More