Like holistic medicine, which considers the body as a whole, holistic discipleship recognizes that while all believers need overarching biblical truths, some need discipleship that focuses on a particular area of need. One size does not fit all. Therefore, holistic discipleship can’t happen through institutions alone. True discipleship, as Jesus demonstrated with his twelve, is born out of personal relationship. Read More
When we look at discipleship, we see some challenges in the church today, particularly in the Western world. But we do see some bright spots across the globe.
Throughout history, and around the world today, disciples are made by leaders who make a goal of spiritual maturity, provide a clear path of spiritual transformation for their people, and get involved in the lives of those whom they serve. Most importantly, they are aware of their own need to grow deeper in Christ.
Ed makes a great point with this article. The Church is often viewed through the lens of business principals Read More
Leaders are asking questions like, “What should we do?” and “How should we do it?” They want to know the best ways to turn this discipleship deficit into the kind of robust discipleship that will matter along the way.
The Internet is full of discipleship models—some good, and some not so good. But what can we learn about discipleship from the Scriptures? In this series of articles, we are looking at four discipleship principles found in the Bible.
Maturity is a goal for disciples.
God wants you and your church on a clear path toward spiritual growth.
God involves us in our own growth, as well as our church’s growth.
God calls you and your church to be spiritual leaders. Read More
Don’t Waste Your Time with 1-on-1 Discipleship. Start a D-Group to Maximize your Investment
Now that I have your attention, let me say that one-on-one discipleship is not a waste of time. However, there is a better way to invest your chronological clout.
Anyone in business will tell you that the secret to success is working smarter, not just harder – because investing your time and resources in the right areas will yield the biggest returns.
Solomon, King David’s son, was a financial genius: the Warren Buffett of his day. Twenty-five hundred years before Wall Street ever existed, he advocated the diversification of assets (Ecclesiastes 11:1-2).
Wise people do not invest all of their funds in one stock for fear of losing their entire life savings, should the company collapse. Instead, good stewards invest in a variety of stocks, bonds, and commodities.
The same can be said of your time. It’s precious. You only have so many hours each week to devote to discipleship, so invest in the right areas. After a decade of discipling, critiquing, evaluating, and implementing discipleship groups in various contexts and churches, I have identified 8 convincing reasons to start a D-group of 3 to 5 instead of one-on-one. Read More
For some, the first meeting of a D-Group can feel pretty awkward. You’ve all met (probably), some may have known each other casually for a little bit, but sometimes that’s the extent of your connection. Today I am going to give you a game plan for those who feel as if they need one.
The first thing that I do is lay out an outline for the year. Three areas of growth are developed around the Bible:
We will read through the F-260 Bible reading plan (Click Here to Download the Plan) and log H.E.A.R. entries each day.
Second, we will memorize the Scriptures associated with each week. They coincide with the daily reading.
Finally, we will read books throughout the year to spark conversation and shape our spiritual development: Growing Up, Firmly Planted (March 2015), and Bearing Fruit (Winter 2015).
During the year, I may interject 2 other books if we have time. Normally we read a biography—this past year I read Spurgeon’s biography— and an applicable book about their current situation. Read More
At Brainerd Baptist Church we define disciple making as:
“Equipping believers with the Word of God through accountable relationships - empowered by the Holy Spirit - so that they can mature in their faith, and replicate the process.”
Believers throughout the church are meeting in gender sensitive accountability groups of 3-5, so they can become more Christlike and help others to do the same.
But what is accountability, and why is it so important?
What is accountability?
According to Webster’s dictionary accountability is: “The obligation to report, explain, or justify; being responsible or answerable to someone.”
Practically speaking accountable relationships can happen when we give others the right to walk alongside us, observe our manner of life, and share with us those things that don’t measure up to Christ. Read More
In years past, someone’s spiritual maturity has been measured largely by their church attendance.
Many churches even select deacons based on how faithful they are to attend services, e.g. Sunday morning, Sunday School, Sunday night, or Wednesday night.
Unfortunately, merely showing up doesn’t always equate to spiritual maturity. In the same manner, simply hearing or learning biblical information doesn’t produce spiritual growth.
Spiritual maturity doesn’t just happen through introduction of new information or Biblical facts, but through repetition and reiteration.
Many churches across the world have created a problem in their body. I call it the “Bloated Christian Syndrome.” Christians get fed so much information but are unable to digest any of it. I tell our people often, “You don't need to attend another Bible study. You need to start investing in others the Bible you already know!”
Imagine this: you come to church on a Sunday morning to hear a message about a topic, then you head to Sunday School to hear a different message about a different topic, and then you come back that evening (like a “good Christian”) for yet another message on a different topic. Then, three days later, you attend a Wednesday night prayer meeting with a devotional about a different text on a different topic! If you had time, you might have headed to a Tuesday morning bible study about something different, on top of your daily Bible reading, Scripture memory, and discipleship group books.
I’m overwhelmed just talking about it.
We have bought into the idea that growth happens through introduction of information. It’s more than that. True transformation doesn’t happen through transfer of information, alone. Read More
“We’ve been using the wrong metric,” said Brandon Ware, senior pastor at Green Street Baptist Church in High Point. “Traditionally we have defined success as bigger buildings, bigger budgets and more bodies. That’s been our primary focus, and we circumvent the whole discipleship process.”
A focus on discipleship, he said, doesn’t mean the church shuns evangelism.
Have you been putting off taking the Growing Up Challenge? Now is the BEST time to start.
We have taken the guesswork out of the process for you. Over the next 13 weeks, you will experience a closer walk with Christ, a better understanding of the Bible, and more meaningful relationships with others as you walk through this step-by-step process for spiritual growth. Read More
Guest Post by Mark Gouge
Timing is everything.
We find this maxim to be true in countless ways, whether it be a promotion at work, the item you need the most being on sale, or your golf swing having been miraculously corrected in time for the tournament with your friends.
Timing also plays a factor in what we focus on. We buy new tires for our cars when our old tires begin to wear. We prepare meals when we are hungry and need to eat. You get the idea. Read More