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Discipleship curriculum  my collection Discipleship curriculum my collection Document Transcript

  • (Combining and Refining thoughts) Outline on Discipleship The need in the present day Church and PBC “There is a fatal defect in the life of Christ’s Church in the twentieth century: a lack of true discipleship…. But for many of today’s supposed Christians---perhaps the majority---it is the case that while there is much talk about Christ and even much furious activity, there is actually very little following of Christ Himself.” James Montgomery Boice “Today discipleship is a standard subject for study in churches and groups. Seminars on discipleship abound, and there is no question of the importance of the subject. But when the lives of many Christians are put alongside the lifestyle Jesus prescribed for disciples and demonstrated Himself, there is a vast discrepancy. It is one thing to master the biblical principles of discipleship, but quite another to transfer those principles into everyday life.” J. Oswald Sanders “ Christianity without the living Christ is inevitably Christianity without discipleship, and Christianity without discipleship is always Christianity without Christ (Dietrich Bonhoeffer)…Unfortunately nondiscipleship “Christianity” dominates much of the thinking of the contemporary church…. and sadly, whenever the difference between the church’s and culture’s definition of morality ceases to exist, the church loses its power and authority.” Bill Hull “Discipling men and women is the priority around which our lives should be oriented…It shouldn’t seem strange that Jesus Christ should place such a high priority on discipling. After all, Jesus was simply asking His followers to do what He had done with them. Robert Coleman Discipleship Defined: Discipleship is the process demonstrated in the life of Christ through His relationships with His disciples as a biblical model to extend His kingdom on Earth. It is a purposeful effort of developing deeply spiritual relationships which focus upon biblical teaching that applies Scripture to life, growth leading to spiritual maturity, and learning to solve problems biblically.It is emulating someone who is a godly example of obedience, and is not mere academic achievement. Discipleship involves time and personal involvement and is conveyed from the life of one to another. The church must provide an environment of discipleship at every level from the pastor to the newest convert as it is commanded by Christ for us to follow, and it is our privilege and responsibility to do. Discipleship is the basis for Men’s Ministries for building men as leaders in the church. Mat 28:18-20 And Jesus came up and spoke to them, saying, "All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth. "Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit,teaching them to observe all that I commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age."
  • “Words are not the problem (what some call discipleship). What is lacking is the thing itself…this would be puzzling to the saints who lived before us. If they could observe us today, they would never understand how we can profess to follow Jesus and at the same time ignore self-denial, because to them self-denial would seem to be the very essence of what it means to be Christ’s.” James Montgomery Boice Jesus taught that faith means to follow. That was His first test of a person’s faith. Following, however, isn’t short term. Discipleship isn’t a program or an event; it’s a way of life. It’s not for a limited time, but for our whole life. Discipleship isn’t for beginners alone; it’s for all believers for every day of their life. Discipleship isn’t just one of the things the church does; it is what the church does!... Discipleship ranks as God’s top priority because Jesus practiced it and commanded us to do it, and His followers continued it!” Bill Hull 1.) Opening Statement as to the importance of Discipleship Today, we do not have to go far to see that the dilemma is still in healthy existence as the bookshelves of the local Christian Bookstore are full of books addressing the subject of “Christless Christianity” as evidence by a “consumer mentality” as the worlds culture has infiltrated the church’s worship service, and the teaching. The need for discipleship is as great as ever, and it is clear that the task is one of which has resisted the church’s efforts to embrace it as a fundamental teaching. The idea of “Christian Disciplines” have the connotation of punishment as we lose our understanding of the concept of training (gymnos) as taught by 1 Timothy 4:7-8 ..there's something about discipleship movement that has never quite made it into the heart of the church. Perhaps certain words put people off: influence, vision, submission, accountability, vulnerability, confession, study, sacrifice, and discipline. Great Christian apologist CS Lewis wrote that the word he detested most was "interference". If you want to grow in a meaningful way, you not only must tolerate another person's intimate knowledge of you, you must also willingly invite that person into your life. Even more startling, you'll grow to love and depend on this "interference" The great commission is never completed until new converts are made into disciples sad, but true, discipleship is often the undiscovered part of the church. Churches are filled with "babes" while sadly needing the more mature to accomplish its mission in the world. Few are the simple, practical programs for making disciples. Discipleship training is an attempt. What is discipleship? Discipleship is the purposeful effort to disciple and make disciples where the investment in one individual’s life will result in an impact on other lives, and so on. This was clearly demonstrated in the life of Christ and His relationship with His disciples, the apostles. The Apostles then repeated this process while fulfilling the great commission in the early church. Discipling others is the process by which a Christian with a life worth emulating commits himself for the extended period of time to a few individuals who have been won to Christ, the purpose being to aid and guide their growth to maturity and equip them to reproduce themselves in a third spiritual generation. -Allen Hadidian Christianity without the living Christ is inevitably Christianity without discipleship, and Christianity without discipleship is always Christianity without Christ. In other words: an intentional leader + relational environment + reproducible process = infinite number of disciples.
  • Intentional leaders understand what they are trying to teach his followers. Jesus understood the mission he and the disciples were to accomplish and they needed to do in order for them to complete. 2.) Discipleship Defined: This ultimately is the point of discipleship: their disciples make other disciples, and so on. Discipleship reaches into the domain of darkness and brings people into the kingdom of light; this is the whole purpose of discipleship. As preachers proclaim the powerful gospel, God makes disciples who will in turn proclaim that same powerful gospel to others. The discipling chain continues unbroken until the day of Jesus Christ. The characteristics of classic discipleship included one on one mentoring, a discipline program of Bible study, Scripture memorization, and training in witnessing and speaking. (Classic discipleship) Discipleship involves saving people from themselves and eternal oblivion, permitting the transforming power of God teachings them from the inside out. Discipleship means adherence to Christ, and, because Christ is the object of that adherence, it must take the form of discipleship. Simply, discipleship means learning from and following a teacher discipleship ranks as God's top priority because Jesus practiced it and commanded us to do it, and his followers continue to do. Jesus told us to be disciples and to make disciples.Discipleship is every believers privilege and responsibility which falls upon every believer. Discipling – discipling is the teaching and encouraging of spiritual "babes" through systematic, personal and spirit – directing training, holding them accountable for discipline. Accountability – the major ingredient. For to whom much is given, of him shall much more be required… To whom and have committed much, of them they will ask for more. THE DISCIPLE-MAKING IMPERATIVE This chapter has endeavored to show that discipleship and disciple-making are not an option; they are a clear command from Scripture. One summary of the mandate’s pervasiveness is, “The consensus in the history of the church—ancient and modern—is that the concept of discipleship is apparent everywhere in the New Testament, from Matthew through Revelation.”21 Jesus taught that the means to follow. This was his first test of a person's faith, Luke 923 through 25. Following, however isn't short term. Discipleship is a program or an event; it's a way of life. It's not for a limited time, but for whole life. Discipleship is in for beginners alone, it's all believers for every day of their life. Discipleship isn't just one of the things the church does; it is what the church does. The church is not an arena where a professional minister is cheered on by lay people who are nothing more than spectators. The church should be discipling and training Christians for ministry. Church members, not just staff, are supposed to be ministering. That is the point of Ephesians 4:11, 12. Apostles, prophets, evangelists, and pastor-teachers are given to equip the saints to do the work of ministry. 21 21.Wilkins, Following the Master, 293.
  • All of this results from discipleship. Discipleship is the ministry of developing deeply spiritual friendships focused on teaching biblical truth, applying Scripture to life, and thus learning to solve problems biblically. It must be reinforced by a godly example, not just delivered as a set of academic precepts. Therefore, discipleship involves time and personal involvement with people. Jesus’ earthly ministry to His own disciples is the biblical model. The church must provide an environment that encourages that kind of discipleship at every level, from the pastor to the newest convert. Our role as pastors also demands that we be disciplers. We cannot be pulpiteers who preach at our people but have no involvement in their lives. The process only begins with the proclamation of Scripture. It finds its real fruition across the entire spectrum of the shepherd’s work—feeding, leading, cleaning, bandaging, protecting, nurturing, and every other aspect of a tender shepherd’s loving care. This is the process of discipling. Jesus said that every disciple, when fully trained, will be just like his teacher (Luke 6:40). That places a very heavy weight of responsibility on the discipler to be like his Master, Jesus Christ. We cannot demand that men and women follow us unless, like Paul, we can confidently say that we are imitators of Christ (1 Cor. 11:1). Certainly any man who falters at this point has no business in the pastorate. Moreover, any pastor who is not discipling others is abdicating a primary responsibility of his calling. God has not called us to be professional clergymen; He has called us to be disciple-makers. The real test of every pastor’s mettle is how he does in the arena of personal discipleship. It is there that people get to know him best and see him for who he really is. It is there that he will test his biblical knowledge most thoroughly. It is there that he is most accountable. And it is there—helping others grow more and more Christlike—that he will become more like the Master.1 ****the principle behind discipleship does involve one person influencing another, which does result in change in heart and mind….Rather discipleship occurs when a transform person radiates Christ to those around her. It happens when people so deeply experience God's love that they can do nothing other than affect those around….The heart of being a disciple involves living in intimate union in daily contact with Christ. Discipleship – the effort both to be a disciple and to make other disciples – is about the immense value of God at work in one individual's life and the resulting impact on other lives.**** 3.) Roles and Relationships in Discipleship a. God b. DisciplerTimothy 2:2 Qualifications of Disciples and Disciplers “First, we must remember that those we disciple are really disciples of Jesus---not of us. They must imitate us only as we imitate Christ. Second, as disciple-makers we play a part in the process and we are responsible to do things Jesus’ way; however, young disciple-makers, and even experiences ones, can forget they are not solely responsible for the failure—or success---of those they disciple…always remember that Fod is the primary agent of salvation and change in a person’s life….As disciple-makers, we need to remember that we cannot do God’s part, nor can we do the other person’s part, we can only do our part.” Bill Putnam Discipler- A Christian with a life worth emulating, and who is Spirit filled and Spirit led, and who is willing to make a longterm commitment to another with the express purpose of directing and guiding their growth and maturity unto Christlikeness which can then be reproduced in a third spiritual generation. The discipler must be an example The discipler makes a commitment to pour his life into the disciple. This includes prayer, helping him through hard times, coming along side, serving, assisting, and just being there. 1 MacArthur, John, F., Jr ;Mayhue, Richard ; Thomas, Robert, L.: Rediscovering Pastoral Ministry : Shaping Contemporary Ministry With Biblical Mandates. Electronic ed. Dallas : Word Pub., 1995 (Logos Library Systems), S. 322
  • The discipler and disciples must make a time commitment. This time commitment is relative to where the disciple is and how fast he grows to maturity. I have always felt that this is undefined because we need to wait on the Holy Spirit who causes the growth. I would have to evaluate the relationship if the disciple was not contributing his part to the relationship. The discipler should provide direction and guidance. This would include teaching him, pushing him by way of encouragement and admonishment, watching over him, protecting him by warning him of consequences in paths he may choose, correcting doctrinal errors, providing life experience knowledge to him, and helping him find the answers if the discipler doesn’t know the answers. The goal is to bring a brother to a point of maturity where he can continue the discipleship process. It is only when the discipler prayerfully commits himself to the serious business of discipling his disciple in which our task of fulfilling the great commission may be made possible. (Matthew 28:19). A mature Christian might be one who:  exhibits Christ-like character, fruits of the spirit  Is dependent on Christ, moving from independence from Christ to dependence on Christ.  Is independent of others in his relationship with Christ, is self-motivated. His relationship with Christ and the power of Christ working in his life is enough to motivate him.  Has a consistency of walk whose processes and overall direction is growth, despite periodic stumbling.  Is spirit-filled who has a continual intake of the Word and applies the Word to his life?  Has stability in his life due to a clear understanding of biblical truth. 1. (Eph 4:14) As a result, we are no longer to be children, tossed here and there by waves, and carried about by every wind of doctrine, by the trickery of men, by craftiness in deceitful scheming; 2. (Col 2:8) See to it that no one takes you captive through philosophy and empty deception, according to the tradition of men, according to the elementary principles of the world, rather than according to Christ. 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. Disciple words must be born again Christians who are living in a growing relationship with Christ. We should see their spiritual gases including begins to teaching and or exhortation. We should have some discipleship training beyond the one they will be training. They must be faithfully committed to the life and growth of the local church you must be willing and accountable to their elders and pastors from the development preparation and followup with disciples. 6. They must love people and earnestly desire their growth and maturity in Christ. Accountability – this is were discipleship training succeeds or fails. Those who do not keep up with discipleship training, attendance in a timely manner must be in front. The firm yet flexible. Everyone will have that week, the consistent failure is a seasoned. You will be doing your disciple a great disservice if you do not hold them accountable to meet the expectations you have set. Discipleship relationship – 1 Thessalonians 2: 7 – 12 Paul addresses himself to the nature of the relationships established with the converts after reminding them of his manner and motives among them. He uses to analogies one is that of a nursing mother and a loving father, he lets us in on the true nature of the discipleship relationship. The discipler should disciple with: 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. loving affection (verse 7-8) laborious toil (verse 9) living example (verse 10) life-giving instruction (verse 11) lofty motivation (verse 12)
  • c. Disciple: The disciple is learner The follower of Christ must always be a learner, one who is opening teaching. The disciple realizes that he does not have all the answers. This is a crucial area, we are in great danger if we think we have nothing more to learn in our Christian life the disciple of Jesus Christ is always willing to learn something new from someone else are you the disciple is opening teachable, both by the Lord and other Christians. He is a person who says to others "I can still be taught in a willing to learn from you." A lack of a teachable spirit can cost great difficulty in many lives. Many a missionary has been had to be sent home and not able to return to the field because they never learn to take review clear instruction from another believer. Proverbs 6:23; Hebrews 12:11; Proverbs 27:5. The disciple is an apprentice to a mentor. MA WHO IS A DISCIPLE? He who does not take his cross and follow after Me is not worthy of Me. MATTHEW 10:38 A disciple is someone who confesses Christ as Lord and Savior, believes that God has raised Him from the dead, and declares that belief publicly through baptism. He is not some sort of “upper–level” Christian. You don’t have to wait to become a disciple at some future time in your Christian life when you have reached a certain level of maturity. According to Matthew 28:19–20, a disciple is made at the moment of salvation. DISCIPLESHIP IS SERIOUS For which of you, intending to build a tower, does not sit down first and count the cost. LUKE 14:28 a disciple, mathetes, is a learner or follower – usually someone committed to a significant master. A disciple then, is a reborn follower of Jesus. There is no biblical evidence for a separation of Christianity from a disciple. One may ask, are disciples born or made? I contend that they are born to be made. A disciple is one who follows Jesus being changed by Jesus, and is committed to the mission of Jesus. As a result of disciple loves God and loves others. Knowing about and following Christ is only part of what it means to be a disciple. As a result of knowing who Jesus is we will follow him as we follow him we are being changed by him the biblical profile of a disciple: 1. The disciple is learner – open in teachable. Proverbs 9:8 – 10; Matthew 4:19; John 6:60 – 66; or Isaiah 54:13. 2. The disciple put Christ first in all areas of his life. Matthew 6:9 – 13; Luke 9:23; John 13:12 – 17; 2 Corinthians 5:15 3. The disciple is committed to a life of purity and is taking steps to separate from sin. One Corinthians 6:19 – 20; Ephesians 4:22 – 5:5; Colossians 3:5 – 10; one Thessalonians 4:3 – seven; Titus 2:12 – 14 4. The disciple has a daily devotional time and is developing his prayer life. Psalm 27:4; 42:1 – two; Mark 1:35; Luke 11:1 – 4; one Thessalonians 5:17 – 18; James 1:5 – seven; 5:16. 5. The disciple demonstrate faithfulness and the desire to learn and apply the word of God through hearing he preached and taught, reading it frequently, Bible study, scriptural memory, and meditation on the Scriptures. John 8:31; acts 2:42; 17:11; Colossians 3:16; two Timothy 2:15. 6. The disciple has a heart for witnessing, gives his testimony clearly, and presents the gospel regularly with increased skill. Matthew 28:18 – 20; acts 1:8; 5:42; 14:21 – 23; 22:14 – 15; Romans 1:16; one Corinthians 15:3 – 4 note; first Thessalonians 2:4
  • 7. The disciple attends church regularly to worship God, to have spiritual needs met, and to make a contribution to the body of believers. Psalm 122:1; acts 16:5; one Corinthians 12:12 – 27; Colossians 1:15 – 18; Hebrews 10:25. 8. The disciple fellowships regularly with other believers, displaying love and unity. John 17:22 – 26; acts 2:44 – 27; 4:31 – 33; Ephesians 4:1 – 3; Hebrews 10:24; one John 1:1 – 3. 9. The disciple demonstrates a servant heart of helping others in practical ways. Mark 10:42 – 45; acts 6:1 – 4; 2 Corinthians 12:15; Philippians 2:25 – 30; first Thessalonians 2:8 – 9. 10. The disciple gives regularly and honors God with his finances.Haggai 1:6 – 9; Malachi 3:10 – 11; one Corinthians 16:1 – 2; two Corinthians 8 – 9; Philemon 14. 11. The disciple demonstrates the fruit of the Spirit by an attractive relationship with Christ and his fellow man. Acts 16:1 – 2; one Corinthians 13:4 – 7; Galatians 5:22 – 23; one Peter 2:18 – 23; two Peter 1:5 – 8. 4.) Discipleship vs. Mentoring and/or Apprenticeship You can pay nothing to earn salvation; yet living for Christ is a serious matter of discipleship. To be a Christian means to rely on Christ’s power rather than your own and to be willing to forsake your way for His. (John 15:20; John 16:22; 16:33). As a new Christian, an individual doesn't take the second step towards becoming a disciple. Instead he embarks on a seamless journey of growth that passes through spiritual childhood, adolescence, and adulthood to maturity. A disciples heart consistently earns for and desires to please God. A disciple, then, is the normal Christian who follows Christ. it's the job and privilege of every Christian to be a disciple of Jesus, and it's the responsibility of every church to make disciples. Believers must never forget that we are a people with a mission, and when discipleship is intentional, spiritual growth happens quickly. Jesus was an intentional leader in every sense He did his disciple making in a relational environment. The followed a process that can be learned and repeated. not every Christian is as mature as they think they are. …knowledge of the word and the Christian life must move from head to heart where it generally affects her character and is from the heart to the hands where it effects our actions. Christians who are spiritually mature our relational – they love God and they love others. Their resources, abilities, time, and money are at his disposal so that he can complete his mission three. Again, disciples are committed to the mission of Christ with all that they have – with their actions (their hands). In the same way in order for a church to be successful at making disciples, we must understand the process and the steps necessary to help somebody grow. Intentional leaders are able to evaluate the skills and needs for a disciples growth. The need to identify the right people with the right abilities in the right places with emphasis on spiritual giftedness. Deuteronomy 6:7 as spiritual parents we are to "talk about the Commandments when you sit at home and when you walk along the road and when you lie down and when you get up.” True discipleship, as demonstrated by Christ with the 12, is a transference of lifestyle which requires that much time we spent with disciple. This includes counseling the disciple according to specific needs and problems; it demands honesty and openness between the disciple and discipler; it is an intense fellowship with a long-term commitment. It is important that they personally relate to each other, express an interest and concern with one
  • another as brothers in Christ. This includes being available to pray with you for one another, and maintain confidentiality. Colossians 3:12 – 14 addresses the attitude which we should approach this. a. Discipleship is Christ-centered i. Biblical Discipleship cannot occur outside of Christ and is unique to Christianity b. Discipleship may include mentoring but mentoring will not include discipleship c. Mentoring and Apprenticeship are usually related to business relationships Discipleship—or Mentoring? In the Great Commission (as it is frequently labeled; Matt. 28:19), Jesus commanded His disciples to “Go… and make disciples.” The objective was not that they attract their own disciples, but that they win new followers of Jesus. Acts tells the story of how the Spirit-filled apostles obeyed that command. But closely related to the making of disciples is the mentoring of leaders. “Mentoring” has become a buzzword among Western business and professional people. But the concept is as old as Homer’s Odyssey (c. 900–810 B.C.), in which Odysseus entrusts to his friend, Mentor, the education of Telemachus, his son. A mentor, then, is a trusted counselor or guide—typically an older, more experienced person who imparts valuable wisdom to someone younger. Countless figures throughout history have recalled the powerful influence of mentors on their development. The Old Testament is filled with mentoring relationships: Jethro, a wealthy livestock owner, helped his overworked son-in-law, Moses, learn to delegate authority (Ex. 18:1–27); Deborah, judge over Israel, summoned Barak to military leadership and helped him triumph over Jabin, a Canaanite king, bringing forty years of peace to the land (Judg. 4:4–24); Eli, a priest of the Lord (but a failure as a father), raised young Samuel to succeed him (1 Sam. 1:1–3:21); the prophet Elijah, who oversaw the evil end of Ahab and Jezebel, passed his office on to young Elisha, who received a double portion of his spirit (2 Kin. 2:1–15). Barnabas, a wealthy landowner in the early church, became an advocate and guide for Saul, the former enemy and persecutor of the movement (Acts 9:26–30). Over time, with Barnabas’s coaching and encouragement, Saul (later called Paul) became the central figure in the early spread of the gospel. Close observation reveals four key functions of a kingdom-style mentor: 1. Mentors care about those who follow them. Their primary interest is not what they can gain from the relationship, but with what they can give to it. They also realize how much they have to learn from their proteégeés. Ultimately, they fulfill Paul’s admonition to look out not only for their own interests, but also for the interests of others (Phil. 2:4). 2. Mentors convey wisdom and skill. Through modeling and coaching, and eventually by turning over responsibility to their followers, kingdom-style mentors seek to make their disciples more capable than the mentors have been (Matt. 10:25). 3. Mentors correct their followers when they are wrong. An excellent example is Barnabas’s challenge to Paul over taking John Mark along on the second missionary journey (Acts 15:36–39). Later Paul changed his perspective and asked Timothy to bring John Mark to him (2 Tim. 4:11). Kingdom-style mentors do not avoid confrontation. 4. Mentors connect their followers to significant others. As Acts 9 shows, Saul’s entreée into the early church was Barnabas. Kingdom-style mentors introduce their proteégeés to relationships and resources that will further their development and increase their opportunities. Passing on the Mantle The New Testament offers models of “making disciples” and mentoring. However, neither discipleship nor mentoring were invented by the early church. The principles involved had been around for centuries. Take the relationship between Elijah and Elisha as an example. When Elisha literally took up the mantle of Elijah (2 Kin. 2:13), he was taking over Elijah’s role as the main prophet of Israel, a role for which Elijah had helped to groom him (1 Kin. 19:16). A number of similar mentoring relationships can be found in the Old Testament: • • Jethro and Moses. Jethro drew alongside his overworked son-in-law and helped him organize leaders over the people of Israel (Ex. 18). Moses and Joshua. Moses helped Joshua prepare to assume the leadership of Israel when the people were ready to enter Canaan (Deut. 31:1–8, 34:9).
  • • • Samuel and David. Samuel anointed David into leadership and stood by him when Saul was trying to hunt David down (1 Sam. 16; 19:18–24). Mordecai and Esther. A Jew living in Persia, Mordecai mentored his cousin when she found herself in a surprising role as queen, with the opportunity to rescue her people from their enemy, Haman (Esth. 1–10). Mentoring involves a voluntary investment in others for their growth, development, and success. It is rooted in faith in the value of the other person. The goal is the gain of the one being mentored, whether or not the mentor benefits. Thus mentoring often requires loving sacrifice. Is there someone you could serve—especially someone younger—by giving them your friendship, experience, and knowledge? As you reflect on your own development, can you identify those who have given themselves to you? In what ways have you thanked them? The Price of Discipleship As John points out in John 12:42–43, the Pharisees held a powerful grip on Jewish society in Jesus’ day, stifling dissent through fear. Apparently Jesus had some support even at the highest levels of society. But it did Him no good, as fear of rejection overcame the impulse for justice and truth. Have you ever been embarrassed or afraid to identify publicly with Christ because of possible rejection by others, especially superiors? Scripture is clear that one price of authentic discipleship will almost certainly be some rejection and persecution (John 15:18–25; 2 Tim. 3:12). To believe that you can avoid any tough choices between acceptance by the world and loyalty to God is both naive and dangerous. If God does not hold your highest allegiance, how real can He be to you in any meaningful way?2 Barnabas—A Model Mentor Barnabas’s example serves as a textbook case in kingdom-style mentoring. This model mentor… • • • • • • • • • Befriended Saul (Paul) as a new believer (Acts 9:26–27). Recruited a forgotten Saul from his home in Tarsus to help him stabilize a new group of multiethnic believers at Antioch, a year-long project (Acts 11:25–26). Helped organize an international team of leaders in prayer, fasting, and decision-making. Result: he launched out with Paul to bring the gospel to peoples in the western empire (Acts 13:1–3). Moved Paul to the forefront of leadership. “Barnabas and Saul” (Acts 13:7) became “Paul and his party” (Acts 13:13). Contended with ethnic hostility, personal attacks, and idol worship (Acts 13:46–14:20). Resisted well-meaning but misguided attempts at Lystra to make him and Paul into gods of Greek culture (Acts 14:8–18). Took the lead with Paul in defending Gentile believers before the Jerusalem church council (Acts 15:1–4, 12). Stood up to Paul over a negative assessment of young John Mark (Acts 15:36–38). Notice: Encouragers like Barnabas need not avoid conflict. Gave John Mark a second chance, taking him with him to Cyprus (Acts 15:39). He was vindicated several years later when Paul described John Mark as “useful to me for ministry” (2 Tim. 4:11). Mentoring, Kingdom-style Paul describes the powerful process of mentoring in 2 Timothy 2:2. Just as he had helped Timothy during a formative stage in his development, he challenged Timothy to mentor others, who in turn could become mentors and keep the reproductive cycle going. Christians today need to recover this pattern of older believers working with younger ones, which dates to the earliest days of the faith. Here are a few examples from the New Testament: Priscilla and Aquila with Apollos. Manufacturers of mobile living units (tents), Priscilla and Aquila drew alongside gifted but confused Apollos, tutoring him in the faith and then sponsoring his ministry (Acts 18:1–3, 24–28). Paul with Timothy. Pioneering leader Paul recruited young Timothy and built on the foundation laid by the young man’s mother and grandmother (2 Tim. 1:5). Enlisting him as a fellow-traveler and tutoring him in the faith, Paul guided him in his first major assignment, the multiethnic start-up at Ephesus (Acts 16:1–3; Phil. 2:19–23; 2 Tim. 1–4). 2 Thomas Nelson Publishers: What Does the Bible Say About-- : The Ultimate A to Z Resource Fully Illustrated. Nashville, Tenn. : Thomas Nelson, 2001 (Nelson's A to Z Series), S. 109
  • Paul with Philemon. Paul helped Philemon, a wealthy leader in Colosse, deal with a runaway slave who had broken the law. He recommended full acceptance—even as a brother in the family—rather than insisting on the usual retribution.3 PERSISTENCEKeep On Keeping On Do you intend to overcome evil? If so, make sure to replace it with good or else, as Jesus warns, the evil may return with its friends, producing more evil than ever (Matt. 12:43–45). This teaching warns us to persevere in the journey of faith. That can be hard to do when everything in us wants to quit, the way an exhausted long-distance runner wants to drop out of a marathon. Besides (we reason), look how far we’ve already come! Yes, but God’s goal is not just to make us nicer people or better people, but to make us Christlike people. That won’t happen completely until we’re with Him. For now, He wants us to keep growing in that direction. Stopping short can bring disaster. In a warning similar to Jesus’ words here, the writer of Hebrews urges us to “go on to perfection” and describes in sobering words the fate of those who “fall away” (Heb. 6:1–12). Fortunately, God lends us help to prevent us from falling back. As Hebrews also says, He disciplines us for our good. His stern efforts can feel harsh, but they are the loving protection of a caring Father (Matt. 12:3–11). Living by Faith Few phrases of Scripture have had as far-reaching an impact as the Lord’s declaration to Habakkuk that “the just shall live by his faith” (Hab. 2:4). If you are a Protestant today, this verse is an important part of your spiritual heritage: Martin Luther adopted it as his watchword during the Protestant Reformation of the early 1500s. However, Habakkuk probably had little idea of the explosive truth contained in God’s statement. It came as part of a prelude to a taunting song that the prophet was instructed to give against Babylon (Hab. 2:1–6). The Lord was explaining why the Babylonians would be judged. Fundamentally, they were a “proud” people in the sense that they had no fear of God. By contrast, the “just” person—the individual deserving of God’s approval and blessing—would find favor because of his “faith” in God. Actually, the Hebrew word used for “faith,” emunah, means “steadfastness” or “faithfulness.” An Israelite who faithfully pursued the covenant by following God’s Law was considered a “just” or righteous person (Ps. 15). The issue was not one’s ethnicity as a Jew, but obedience to God. Thus the problem for the Babylonians was not that they were Gentiles, but that they were committed to a lifestyle of wickedness and idolatry. They arrogantly lived as if their own self-interests were all that mattered. For that reason, the Lord would humble them according to the five “woes” pronounced by Habakkuk (Hab. 2:6–20). In the New Testament, Paul picked up on the idea of the just living by faith (Rom. 1:17; Gal. 3:10–12). Because of the coming of Christ, he was able to deepen the understanding of this phrase. “Living by faith” does not mean outward observance of the Law, as many of the Jewish leaders of his day had come to assume. Rather, it involves a heart commitment to the Lord and a recognition that Christ alone is able to make one righteous before God. This does not take away the need for “faithful,” godly living; if anything, it establishes a proper basis for it. It was this perspective of Paul’s that Martin Luther reclaimed for the church in the sixteenth century. People had forgotten the place of faith and obedience toward God. Instead, their religion boiled down to empty ritual, legalistic standards, and attempts to buy God’s favor and forgiveness with money. Luther cut through all of that with the powerful truth that God announced to Habakkuk: the just shall live by faith—faith alone! In our own day, the advantage of “living by faith” is that we can put into perspective the troubles of the world around us. Despite appearances to the contrary—when evil forces appear to have the upper hand, or when economic woes, ill health, or family circumstances appear to be doing us in—we can trust that God remains in control and that His sovereign purposes are being worked out. We need not fear that life will come undone; indeed, we need not fear death itself. We know that God has said: “The just shall live by faith.” Persistence Pays Off Jesus took His disciples to the seacoast towns of Tyre and Sidon (Matt. 15:21), probably to rest (Mark 7:24). As far as we can tell, He had no intention of preaching or healing in that area. But as so often happens when one has no intention 3 Thomas Nelson Publishers: What Does the Bible Say About-- : The Ultimate A to Z Resource Fully Illustrated. Nashville, Tenn. : Thomas Nelson, 2001 (Nelson's A to Z Series), S. 260
  • of being available, someone interrupted His vacation. Today, phone calls prove to be the major source of interruptions. But in ancient times it was worse: interruptions arrived at one’s doorstep and stayed until someone answered. In this instance, a woman who supposedly had no claim on Jesus’ attention begged Him to deliver her daughter from demons. She had probably already tried to heal the girl and failed. In ancient societies, women usually tended the sick and nursed the dying. Jesus hardly encouraged this woman. As He pointed out, she had no ethnic or religious claim on Him. But somehow she recognized that He was capable of doing what she could not—heal her daughter. In the end, her courage, faith, and sheer persistence won out. How persistent are you in crying out to God for people who matter a lot to you? Like the woman, will you keep coming back to God in faith? Unfinished Business Spiritual growth is often likened to a journey. A person comes to faith and then begins walking with God, step by step, year by year, traveling into ever-higher regions of spiritual maturity. However, for many people, the journey seems to peter out along the way. Perhaps they feel that it has become too difficult. Perhaps they get sidetracked by distractions, or detoured by sin. Perhaps they feel that they have reached a dead end and can go no further. Whatever the case, their spiritual life remains at a standstill. The journey is incomplete. The people of Jerusalem in Haggai’s day had an unfinished project. Around 538 B.C. they had returned from Babylon and had enthusiastically laid a foundation for a new temple with great fanfare. Yet two years into the project, the work came to a standstill. The reasons why may or may not have been legitimate, but for sixteen years nothing more was done. The people went about the rest of their lives, making a living, establishing families, building houses, setting up businesses—but the temple remained unfinished. Finally the Lord sent the prophet Haggai to tell the people to consider their ways and get back to work (Hag. 1:6–7). They needed to complete what they had started. Not only did their spiritual lives depend on it, but their physical lives as well (Hag. 1:9–11). Perhaps like the temple, your spiritual life has become unfinished business. Perhaps you have stopped growing as a believer, for whatever reason. If so, “consider your ways!” You can take steps to get back on track. Perhaps you need to repent of long-term sins. Perhaps you need to reestablish contact with fellow believers who can encourage you and hold you accountable. Perhaps you need to renew some of the spiritual disciplines that foster growth, such as Bible reading, prayer, and fasting. Whatever steps are needed, Scripture encourages you to finish the journey (Heb. 6:11)! God is ready to help you (Phil. 1:8), but He cannot do your walking for you. Only you can take the steps of faith and obedience that lead to maturity in Christ. For more on this topic, see FAITHFULNESS, “Finishing Well,” page 146. 5.) Discipleship in The Word of God a. Biblical Examples of Discipleship i. Old Testament Discipling in the Old Testament Moses learned well from his father-in-law and told the men of Israel in the wilderness, “How can I alone bear the load and burden of you and your strife? Choose wise and discerning and experienced men from your tribes, and I will appoint them as your heads” (Deut. 1:12–13, Deut. 6:6–9; cf. 11:18–21; 16:18–20). Moses instituted a discipling process between fathers and sons (and even grandsons) that would ensure godly leadership in the home and society for God’s people, both then and in the future. He discipled Joshua with the result that “the LORD exalted Joshua in the sight of all Israel; so that they revered him, just as they had revered Moses all the days of his life” (Josh. 4:14; cf. Exod. 24:13; 33:11; Num. 11:28). Moses handed down an administrative principle: Reproduce yourself in others so that the leadership of God’s people will continue throughout your generations. Through the rest of the Old Testament, the same principle was very obvious in the training relationship between Elisha and Elijah (1 Kings 19:19–21; 2 Kings 2:3; 3:11) and in that between Baruch and Jeremiah (Jer. 36:26; 43:3). Samuel seemed to have a group of prophets under his oversight too (1 Sam. 10:5–10; 19:20–24).
  • One suggestion has been that these “individual master-disciple relationships within the leadership of the nation enabled the leadership function to be passed from one leader to the next until God had accomplished his purposes through them to meet the need of his people.”1 Discipling, whether called that or not, is the heartbeat of wise counsel in the Old Testament: “Iron sharpens iron, so one man sharpens another” (Prov. 27:17). ii. New Testament Discipling in the New Testament Following these examples from the Old Testament, pastors should keep endeavoring to build themselves into others. This is not just a worthwhile option; it is a mandate from the Word of God! The mandate from Jesus. Jesus Christ Himself commanded that His disciples (and in turn all who follow in their lineage) make disciples3 of others. Matt. 28:18–20 records that nonnegotiable imperative:4 Because of the context, it is possible to say that Christians and disciple-makers are synonymous terms. If all Christians are disciple-makers, how much more should pastors/elders lead the way in doing the same in nurturing disciples toward Christlikeness. To borrow John’s terminology, “fathers” have the responsibility to disciple “young men,” as young men would “little children” (1 John 2:12–14). Jesus spoke of the “yoke” of his discipleship: “Take my yoke upon you, and learn from Me, for I am gentle and humble in heart; and you shall find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my load is light” (Matt. 11:29–30, emphasis added). Elsewhere He said, “I gave you an example that you also should do as I did to you” (John 13:15). In exhorting believers in Ephesus to live in righteousness and not as they had lived before, Paul wrote, “You did not learn Christ in this way” (Eph. 4:20, emphasis added). Regarding humility, Paul reminded the Philippians, “Have this attitude in yourselves which was also in Christ Jesus” (Phil. 2:5). The mandate from John and Peter. “leaving you an example for you to follow in His steps” (1 Pet. 2:21, emphasis added). The apostle John instructed that “the one who says he abides in Him ought himself to walk in the same manner as He walked” (1 John 2:6; cf. 3:24; 4:13–15; 2 John 9; 3 John 11). The writer to the Hebrews tells his readers to be “imitators of those who through faith and patience inherit the promises” (Heb. 6:12; cf. 13:7, 9). The mandate from Paul. Paul also exemplifies the pastor’s mandate to disciple-making. He wrote the Corinthians, “I exhort you therefore, be imitators of me” (1 Cor. 4:16). It was not simply Paul they were to imitate, however, because he later wrote, “Be imitators of me, just as I also am of Christ” (1 Cor. 11:1, emphasis added). Further, he exhorted the Ephesians to “be imitators of God, as beloved children” (Eph. 5:1). He encouraged the brethren in Philippi to “join in following my example, and observe those who walk according to the pattern you have in us” (Phil. 3:17). He also told them, “The things you have learned and received and heard and seen in me, practice these things” (Phil. 4:9 2 Tim. 2:2: “And the things which you have heard from me in the presence of many witnesses, these entrust to faithful men, who will be able to teach others also.” Commenting on this verse, Adams has written, Men who qualify for the work of ministry are men who can keep the gospel torch burning brightly, so that they are able to pass it on (undimmed) to those who follow.… The people that Paul has in mind are men who “have what it takes” 1 1. Michael Wilkins, Following the Master: Discipleship in the Steps of Jesus (Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 1992), 63. 3 3. Wilkins helps in defining the term disciple. He speaks of general and specific senses of the term: the “specific sense is seen most clearly toward the end of Jesus’ earthly ministry, in the Great Commission, and in the early church”; the general sense is “a committed follower of a great master”; the Christian sense is “one who has come to him for eternal life, has claimed him as Savior and God, and has embarked upon the life of following Him … grow*ing+ as a Christian in every area of life” (ibid., 39–41). 4 4. Mark 16:15–16; Luke 24:44–48; Acts 1:8–11 give similar commands.
  • from God to do the work of the ministry. They are men with the gifts who have learned to use them skillfully in the work of shepherding.6 And they receive much of their skill by being discipled by other godly men. “Paul sees the whole Christian life as a recapitulation of the existence of Jesus and hence as an exercise of what other authors call discipleship.”7 iii. Select Verses discipleship verses 1 Thessalonians 2:1 – 12 1 Corinthians 4:14 – 17 2 Corinthians 3:2 – six Matthew 28:19 Matthew 11:28 Luke 6:40 1 Corinthians 11:1 Philippians 3:17 6.) Guidelines or Roadmap for Discipleship 1. disciples need a vision to inspire them – our goal should be to absorb the example of Christ into ur lives by studying and meditating on the characteristics of his life. Because the core character trait of Jesus is humility, that's the place to begin. The vision can pull us into the future, inspiring us for all of life. 2. Disciples need accountability to receive training 3. disciples need structure to empower them 4. disciples need relationships where we experience love applied. Most of us have never experienced the true power of community. True community means living in submission to one another. It requires the work of the Holy Spirit to submit to others and to allow others to play a meaningful part in our growth. Submission involves trust Three necessities to help others become productive disciples in the ministry of Jesus Christ. 1. He must have clearly in mind what he wants them to know and understand the things of God; he must know what are the basic ingredients in the life of discipleship. 2. You must have a clear picture when he lost his disciples to become. You must know what are the bedrock elements of Christian character must be there is and what kind of people they should be. 3. He must have a vivid vision of what he wants them to learn to do a workable plan to help them accomplish. Five stages of the disciples growth stage I: a person is spiritually dead, characterized by the word unbelief, dead in trespasses and sins. Stage II: spiritual infant. Newly verse excited and eager to learn. Aware of their change in relationships 6 6. Jay Adams, Shepherding God’s Flock (Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 1975), 16, emphasis added. 7 7.Wilkins, Following the Master, 306.
  • stage III spiritual children, basic understanding of the language of faith, excited about the, innocence. Stage IV spiritually young adults. They have experienced tremendous growth, are eager to serve, think independently, and look much like adults, however, still have much to learn about responsibility and how to care for the spiritual needs of others. Zealous for God and can be characterized as being "God focused" and others minded. They are becoming intentional and strategic in sharing their faith with a great desire to see people converted, but they're not yet able to disciple and to make disciples. Stage V: spiritual parents who were parents here is used purposely as opposed to adult. As Christians were called to make disciples to reproduce our faith in others. Adults are able to reproduce, but that does not mean that they are reproducing. Those who have prioritized discipleship in their lives around the mission of Christ will be those who make disciples. Accurate assessment is critical The principle of association Jesus chose these men to be with him. Elijah chose Elisha to help him carry on after he was gone. Elijah did not find himself in the school of profits, studying and meditating, but in the field working (one Kings 19:15 – 16, 19) the disciples also were called from their daily work to go to be with Jesus. Matthew 4:18 – 22; 9:9. Every person must count the cost and enter into discipleship training willingly it is true that those who would lead must first learn to serve area and it's equally true that trainmen a person must be willing to spend time with those many hours of conversation and Association in the normal affairs of life. One common mistake is to try to do too much, too quickly, and with too many. The Old Testament gives ample evidence that on-the-job training was not a new idea in Jesus's day. The Association of Moses and Joshua is another illustration of this point God given Joshua the Moses answered Moses prayer and one of the first things Moses. Was put some of his honor on Joshua. The principle of instruction in addition to making this man is disciples by being with them everyday work of the ministry, Jesus also had special times of instruction with them. He told them things such as the secret of the kingdom of God which has been given to them but to those on the outside everything is set in parent's. Mark 4:11 the all new what they're in for. “I am sending you a sheep among the wolves.” The new was not going to be as easy as an outing in the park. It is well men do not enter discipleship training with their heads in the clouds. Be real and share with them some of the trials and tribulations that you have experience. Explain the cost of discipleship. Jesus trained them out where the battle raged. He would take his man aside for some special times together as well most of his training was on the job. Jesus was available to his men. He was audible visible and touchable. a. Christs Method
  • The Twelve were personally selected and called by Christ. He knew them as only their Creator could know them (cf. John 1:47). In other words, He knew all their faults long before He chose them. He even knew Judas would betray Him (John 6:70; 13:21–27), and yet He chose the traitor anyway and gave him all the same privileges and blessings He gave to the others. Think about the ramifications of this: From our human perspective, the propagation of the gospel and the founding of the church hinged entirely on twelve men whose most outstanding characteristic was their ordinariness. They were chosen by Christ and trained for a time that is best measured in months, not years. He taught them the Scriptures and theology. He discipled them in the ways of godly living (teaching them and showing them how to pray, how to forgive, and how to serve one another with humility). He gave them moral instruction. He spoke to them of things to come. And He employed them as His instruments to heal the sick, cast out demons, and do other miraculous works. Three of them—Peter, James, and John—even got a brief glimpse of Him in His glory on the Mount of Transfiguration (Matthew 17:1–9). It was a brief but intensive schedule of discipleship. And when it was over, on the night of Jesus’ betrayal, “all the disciples forsook Him and fled” (Matthew 26:56) To get an appreciation for the brevity of their earthly time with Christ, consider the fact that Jesus’ entire ministry from baptism to resurrection lasted only about three years. And the intensive training time with the disciples was only about half that long. In A. B. Bruce’s classic work, The Training of the Twelve, he points out that by the time Jesus identified and called the Twelve from the larger group of His followers (Matthew 10:1–4; Luke 6:12–16), half of his earthly ministry was already over: The selection by Jesus of the twelve … is an important landmark in the Gospel history. It divides the ministry of our Lord into two portions, nearly equal, probably, as to duration, but unequal as to the extent and importance of the work done in each respectively. In the earlier period Jesus labored single-handed; His miraculous deeds were confined for the most part to a limited area, and His teaching was in the main of an elementary character. But by the time when the twelve were chosen, the work of the kingdom had assumed such dimensions as to require organization and division of labor; and the teaching of Jesus was beginning to be of a deeper and more elaborate nature, and His gracious activities were taking on ever-widening range. The strategy sounds risky in the extreme. In earthly terms, the founding of the church and the spread of the gospel message depended entirely on those twelve ordinary men with their many obvious weaknesses—and one of them so devilish as to betray the Lord of the universe. And the entirety of their training for the task took less than half as long as it typically takes to get a degree from a seminary today. But Christ knew what He was doing. From His divine perspective, the ultimate success of the strategy actually depended on the Holy Spirit working in those men to accomplish His sovereign will. Those men were merely instruments in His hands—just as you and I can be God’s instruments today. God delights to use such ordinary means—“the foolish things of the world to put to shame the things which are mighty; and the base things of the world and the things which are despised God has chosen, and the things which are not, to bring to nothing the things that are, that no flesh should glory in His presence” (1 Corinthians 1:27–29). The two-thousand-year triumph of the apostolic endeavor is a testimony to the wisdom and power of the divine strategy. Sometimes in Scripture the Twelve are called “disciples”—mathetes in the Greek text (Matthew 10:1; 11:1; 20:17; Luke 9:1). The word means “learners, students.” That is what they were during those months they spent under the direct and personal tutelage of the Lord. He had multitudes of disciples, but these twelve were specifically called and chosen to a unique apostolic office. Therefore they are also designated “apostles”—apostoloi in the Greek. The word simply means “messengers, sent ones.” They were given a unique ambassadorial office of authority and spokesmanship for Christ. Luke especially uses this term in his gospel and throughout the Book of Acts, and he reserves the term almost exclusively for the Twelve. Matthew speaks of “apostles” only once (Matthew 10:2); elsewhere, he refers to “twelve disciples” (11:1; 20:17) or “the twelve” (26:14, 20, 47). Likewise, Mark uses the term “apostles” only once (Mark 6:30). Other than that, he always refers to the apostles as “the twelve” (3:14; 4:10; 6:7; 9:35; 10:32; 11:11; 14:10, 17, 20, 43). John, too, uses the word apostolos just once, in a nontechnical sense (John 13:16—where most English versions render the expression, “he who is sent”). Like Mark, John always refers to the apostolic band as “the twelve” (John 6:67, 70–71; 20:24). ___________________________________________________________________________________
  • Luke 10 describes an incident where seventy of Jesus’ followers were chosen and sent out two by two. They were obviously “sent ones” and some commentators therefore refer to them as “apostles,” but Luke does not employ that term to describe them. The Twelve were called to a specific office. And in the Gospels and Acts, the term apostoloi almost always refers to that office and the twelve men who were specifically called and ordained to the office. Acts 14:14 and the Pauline epistles make it clear that the apostle Paul was likewise called to fill a special apostolic office—that of “apostle to the Gentiles” (Romans 11:13; 1 Timothy 2:7; 2 Timothy 1:11). Paul’s apostleship was a unique calling. He obviously had the same authority and privileges as that of the Twelve (2 Corinthians 11:5). But Paul’s apostleship is not subject matter for this book, because our focus here is on the twelve men who shared Jesus’ public ministry with Him as His closest friends and companions. Paul wasn’t converted until after Christ’s ascension (Acts 9). He was an apostle “born out of due time” (1 Corinthians 15:8). He spoke with the same authority and manifested the same miraculous ability as the Twelve—and the Twelve embraced him and recognized his authority (cf. 2 Peter 3:15–16)—but he was not one of them. The number twelve was significant, because Luke describes how, after Jesus’ ascension, the apostles chose Matthias to fill the office vacated by Judas (Acts 1:23–26). The role of an apostle (including the special office to which the apostle Paul was called) involved a position of leadership and exclusive teaching authority in the early church. The New Testament Scriptures were all written by the apostles or their close associates. And before the New Testament was written, the apostles’ teaching was the rule in the early church. Beginning with the very first converts at Pentecost, all true believers looked to the apostles’ leadership (Acts 2:37). And as the church grew, its faithfulness to the truth was described in these terms: “They continued steadfastly in the apostles’ doctrine” (Acts 2:42). The apostles were given a supernatural power to work signs and wonders (Matthew 10:1; Mark 6:7, 13; Luke 9:1–2; Acts 2:3–4; 5:12). Those signs bore witness to the truth of the gospel, which the apostles had received from Christ, and which they introduced on His behalf to the world (2 Corinthians 12:12; Hebrews 2:3–4). In other words, their role was a pivotal, foundational role. They are in a true sense, the very foundation of the Christian church, “Jesus Christ Himself being the chief cornerstone” (Ephesians 2:20). In John 1:35–51, for example, Andrew, John, Peter, Philip, and Nathaniel encounter Jesus for the first time. This event occurs near the beginning of Jesus’ ministry, in the wilderness near the Jordan River, where John the Baptist was ministering. Andrew, John, and the others were there because they were already disciples of John the Baptist. But when they heard their teacher single out Jesus and say, “Behold the Lamb of God!” they followed Jesus. That was phase one of their calling. It was a calling to conversion. It illustrates how every disciple is called first to salvation. We must recognize Jesus as the true Lamb of God and Lord of all, and embrace Him by faith. That stage of the disciples’ call did not involve full-time discipleship. The Gospel narratives suggest that although they followed Jesus in the sense that they gladly heard His teaching and submitted to Him as their Teacher, they remained at their full-time jobs, earning a living through regular employment. That is why from this point until Jesus called them to full-time ministry, we often see them fishing and mending their nets. Phase two of their calling was a call to ministry. Luke 5 describes the event in detail. This was the occasion when Jesus pushed out from shore to escape the press of the multitudes and taught from Peter’s boat. After He finished teaching, He instructed Peter to launch out to the deep water and put in his nets. Peter did so, even though the timing was wrong (fish were easier to catch at night when the water was cooler and the fish surfaced to feed), the place was wrong (fish normally fed in shallower waters and were easier to catch there), and Peter was exhausted (having fished all night without any success). He told Jesus, “Master, we have toiled all night and caught nothing; nevertheless at Your word I will let down the net” (Luke 5:5). The resulting catch of fish overwhelmed their nets and nearly sank two of their fishing boats! (vv. 6–7). It was on the heels of that miracle that Jesus said, “Follow Me, and I will make you fishers of men” (Matthew 4:19). Scripture says it was at this point that “they forsook all and followed Him” (Luke 5:11). According to Matthew, Andrew and Peter “immediately left their nets and followed Him” (Matthew 4:20). And James and John “immediately … left the boat and their father, and followed Him” (v. 22). From that point on, they were inseparable from the Lord. In doing so, Jesus affirmed the often heard but less often practiced concept of people and their development as the most important task of a manager. Certainly He gave the seventy workers detailed instructions before sending them off (10:2–12). But a study of His discipleship methods shows that he was just as concerned with their growth as he was that the task be accomplished or done in a certain way.
  • Jesus accomplished the work He came to do. He hardly needed seventy neophytes to help Him! But He was clear that people matter, and that His disciples would grow only if they held real responsibility and authority. No wonder the seventy returned “with joy,” excited by their experiences (Luke 10:17). They would never be the same again. Jesus, the greatest disciple-maker, utilized four reproducible principles in His ministry, which remain equally relevant today. They are prayerful meditation, careful selection, purposeful association, and powerful proclamation. CHRIST’S METHOD FOR DISCIPLING The best method for discipling others is that of the Master discipler. Faithful pastors should look to Him to discover a methodology. When they do so, they will discover four key principles followed by Jesus; principles that when applied, will revolutionize their making of disciples. The most succinct expression of those principles is in Mark 3:13–15, “And he went up to the mountain and summoned those whom He Himself wanted, and they came to Him. And He appointed twelve, that they might be with Him, and that He might send them out to preach, and to have authority to cast out the demons.” Prayerful Meditation The first principle Jesus used was that of prayerful meditation. He spent the whole night in prayer to God. And when day came, He called His disciples to Him.”....Mark records explicitly that Jesus did pray! And if Jesus Christ Himself spent all night in prayer for His disciples, how much more should church leaders? Paul commands us to pray without ceasing (1 Thess. 5: 17), and selecting those for discipleship certainly deserves this unceasing attitude of prayer. Careful Selection Historically, Jesus Christ commanded men to follow Him. The pastor committed to discipling others can have three distinct assurances in implementing this process. First, he has the assurance that Christ has commanded those whom He wants for discipleship. Second, those whom Christ summons will be “those whom He Himself” wants (Mark 3:13). It is only by the will of God that anyone becomes a disciple of Christ and that anyone receives discipleship training in Christ (John 1:12–13; 3:6; 6:44, 63, 65, 70; 8:36; 10:3–4, 16; 15:5, 16; 1 John 4: 19). Subject to that same sovereignty, spiritual leaders should carefully select and disciple those to whom God chooses to impart eternal life. Just as the apostles led the congregation in selecting servants in Acts 6:1–6, so leaders today must carefully select others to nurture and teach for service in the body of Christ (Eph. 4:11–16). The third assurance a pastor can have in careful selection of prospective disciples is in Mark’s phrase, “and they came to Him” (Mark 3:13). These will be willing to take up their cross daily (Luke 9:23)12 and will evidence their readiness for discipleship. However, a word of caution is in order. Eims has warned, “Whoever is thinking about or is now involved in a ministry of making disciples … should think soberly about this matter of selection. It is much easier to ask a man to come with you than to ask him to leave if you learn, much to your chagrin and sorrow, that you have chosen the wrong man.”13 The chooser must, therefore, be sober and vigilant in his choice. Church leaders must not forget that men, not programs, are the method of Jesus. Eims has cautioned, “I have watched men catch the vision of reaching the world for Christ. I have caught this vision, and have dedicated my life to this grand and glorious aim. But I have seen some men become so goal-oriented that to achieve their goals they roughly shoulder their way past people who need help and encouragement”. People are the raw material of heaven. If we become enamored with projects, goals, and achievements, and never lend a hand to people along the way; and if we say, Similarly, Hull says, 12 12. For an in-depth analysis of this and other crucial passages in these contexts, see John MacArthur, Jr., The Gospel According to Jesus, rev. ed. (Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 1994); also MacArthur, Faith Works: The Gospel According to the Apostles (Dallas: Word, 1993). 13 13.Leroy Eims, The Lost Art of Disciple Making (Grand Rapids: Zondervan, Colorado Springs: Navpress, 1978), 29.
  • Most Christians believe that men are indeed the method of Jesus, but precious few are willing to invest their lives by putting all their eggs in that one basket. Believing this people-oriented philosophy and practicing it are entirely different matters. A large problem in Christendom is that we don’t want to take the risk or the time to invest in the lives of people, even though this was a fundamental part of Jesus’ ministry. We fear, that the basket is really a trap to ensnare us.15 “He preferred devoted men who had none of these advantages to undevoted men who had them all” Accurate assessment is critical Selection Process: The master plan of evangelism, by Robert Coleman provides a list of qualities that Christ looked for in the selection of his disciples which should also be the pattern for us to follow. The initial objective of Jesus plan was to enlist man who could bear witness to his life and carry on his work after he returned to the father. Second Timothy 2:2 "and these things which you heard from me in the presence of many witnesses, reason trust people man, who will be able to teach others also." A second area Christ looked for were men who were willing to learn, he did not look for the intellectual man but faithful man with a teachable attitude. Third area for Christ focus was he concentrated on a few good men. Four. Is it Christ state his whole ministry on a few men that God the father and unit in importance life into that. In John 17 you'll notice of Christ did not pray for the world but for men who change the world. The principle of selection room “the lost art of disciple making" by Leroy Eims the man whom Jesus chose were ordinary men he did not hastily rush out and grab the first people who show interest. To him this was a momentous decision that would have far-reaching consequenses. Jesus chose men with very human tendencies and feelings? Not only were the common man, they were individuals. They were not all alike, 12 photocopies of each other. You are making disciples, we should not select only those who are like us in temperament and personality. Jesus selected Gallileans; people who are hard-working in comparison to philosophical dreamers and scholars of the big city. They did not already know it all, so they were more teachable, then the culture class whose home was in Jerusalem. Purposeful Association Mark tells of a third crucial principle for disciplers: spending purposeful time with disciples. Mark 3:14 notes that Jesus “appointed twelve, that they might be with Him for the very purpose of being with Him. The Greek text clause, 15 15. Bill Hull , Jesus Christ: Disciple Maker (Old Tappan, N.J.: Revell, 1984), 22. For two similar works by the same author and publisher, see his The Disciple Making Church, 1990 and The Disciple Making Pastor, 1988.
  • hinaōsinmetaautou, could mean, “For the purpose” (or “so,” or even “with the result”) “that they be with Him.” Acts 4:13 later records the fruit of the apostles’ time spent with Christ: “As they *the rulers, elders and scribes+ observed the confidence of Peter and John, and understood that they were uneducated and untrained men, they were marveling, and began to recognize them as having been with Jesus” (emphasis added). (Mark 6:31–32). Any effective pastoral ministry will emphasize spending valuable, Christ-honoring time with those who will eventually follow their pastor by entering the ministry. Paul’s heart for Timothy was filled with a desire to have fellowship together in the things of the Lord. He said in 1 Tim. 3:14 that he was “hoping to come to *Timothy+ before long.” Then in 2 Tim. 1:4, he said that he was to see Timothy and “be filled with joy.” Paul pleaded with Timothy to “make every effort to come to me soon” (2 Tim. 4:9) and to “make every effort to come before winter” (v. 21). …“When he had said these things, he knelt down and prayed with them all. And they began to weep aloud and embraced Paul, and repeatedly kissed him, grieving especially over the word which he had spoken, that they should see his face no more” (Acts 20:36–38). What pathos between Paul and his men! Whitney writes, If you suddenly realized you had no more time, would you regret how you have spent your time in the past and how you spend it now? The way you have used your time can be a great comfort to you in your last hour. You may not be happy with some of the ways you used your time, but won’t you be pleased then for all the times of Spirit-filled living, for all occasions when you have obeyed Christ? Won’t you be glad then for those parts of your life that you spent in the Scriptures, prayer, worship, evangelism, serving, fasting, etc., for the purpose of becoming more like the One before whom you are about to stand in judgment (John 5:22–29)? What great wisdom there is in living as Jonathan Edwards resolved to live: “Resolved, that I will live so, as I shall wish I had done when I come to die.”17 Similarly, Bounds has written, We are constantly on a stretch, if not on a strain, to devise new methods, new plans, new organizations to advance the Church and secure enlargement and efficiency for the gospel. This trend of the day has a tendency to lose sight of the man or sink the man in the plan or organization. God’s plan is to make much of the man, far more of him than of anything else. Men are God’s method. The Church is looking for better methods; God is looking for better men.19 Powerful Proclamation As Jesus purposed to spend time with His disciples, so He also purposed for them to go out and preach with authority. b. Pauls MethodPaul demonstrates discipleship Paul’s model of Discipleship Paul and Timothy’s reward What results can expect to see from discipleship? How does this work in the Bible Study, at PBC, in the Church? *Paul’s model of Discipleship- Paul and Timothy demonstrate some of the characteristics found in the definition of discipleship in Thessalonians. *Paul and Timothy had a life worth emulating (example) - Paul instructed them to follow his example, devout, upright, blameless, the results were they became imitators of Paul and of God. o 1Th 1:5-7 for our gospel did not come to you in word only, but also in power and in the Holy Spirit and with full conviction; just as you know what kind of men we proved to be among you for your sake. You also became imitators of us and of the Lord, having received the word in much tribulation with the joy of the Holy Spirit, so that you became an example to all the believers in Macedonia and in Achaia. o 1Th 1:9For they themselves report about us what kind of a reception we had with you, and how you turned to God from idols to serve a living and true God, 17 17. Donald S. Whitney, Spiritual Disciplines for the Christian Life (Colorado Springs: Navpress, 1991), 132. 19 19. E. M. Bounds, Power Through Prayer (Grand Rapids: Zondervan, n.d.), 11.
  • o o o o o 1Th 2:4 but just as we have been approved by God to be entrusted with the gospel, so we speak, not as pleasing men, but God who examines our hearts. 1Th 2:10 You are witnesses, and so is God, how devoutly and uprightly and blamelessly we behaved toward you believers; 1Th 3:12 and may the Lord cause you to increase and abound in love for one another, and for all people, just as we also do for you; 2Th 3:7-9For you yourselves know how you ought to follow our example, because we did not act in an undisciplined manner among you, nor did we eat anyone's bread without paying for it, but with labor and hardship we kept working night and day so that we would not be a burden to any of you; not because we do not have the right to this,but in order to offer ourselves as a model for you, so that you would follow our example. 1Th 2:14 For you, brethren, became imitators of the churches of God in Christ Jesus that are in Judea, for you also endured the same sufferings at the hands of your own countrymen, even as they did from the Jews, *Paul and Timothy were committed to the Thessalonians (commitment) – Paul and Timothy had such a love for the Thessalonians that they longed to know how they were doing and to be with them. They gave their lives to the Thessalonians and prayed for them always. o (1Th 2:1-2) For you yourselves know, brethren, that our coming to you was not in vain, but after we had already suffered and been mistreated in Philippi, as you know, we had the boldness in our God to speak to you the gospel of God amid much opposition. o (1Th 2:8) Having thus a fond affection for you, we were well-pleased to impart to you not only the gospel of God but also our own lives, because you had become very dear to us. o Th 2:2 but after we had already suffered and been mistreated in Philippi, as you know, we had the boldness in our God to speak to you the gospel of God amid much opposition. o 1Th 2:17-18 But we, brethren, having been taken away from you for a short while--in person, not in spirit-were all the more eager with great desire to see your face. For we wanted to come to you--I, Paul, more than once--and yet Satan hindered us. o (1Th 3:1-6)Therefore when we could endure it no longer, we thought it best to be left behind at Athens alone, and we sent Timothy, our brother and God's fellow worker in the gospel of Christ, to strengthen and encourage you as to your faith, so that no one would be disturbed by these afflictions; for you yourselves know that we have been destined for this. For indeed when we were with you, we kept telling you in advance that we were going to suffer affliction; and so it came to pass, as you know. For this reason, when I could endure it no longer, I also sent to find out about your faith, for fear that the tempter might have tempted you, and our labor would be in vain. But now that Timothy has come to us from you, and has brought us good news of your faith and love, and that you always think kindly of us, longing to see us just as we also long to see you, o 1Th 1:2 We give thanks to God always for all of you, making mention of you in our prayers; o 2Th 1:11 To this end also we pray for you always, that our God will count you worthy of your calling, and fulfill every desire for goodness and the work of faith with power, o 1Th 3:10 aswe night and day keep praying most earnestly that we may see your face, and may complete what is lacking in your faith? o Stayed the course *Aided them by encouraging and equipping them. - Paul cared for them, as a nursing mother, he taught them and imparted his own life to them, he exhorted and encouraged as a father. He sent Timothy to check on them, to strengthen and encourage them in their faith, when they were afflicted. He instructed them on how to walk and please God and he encouraged them to excel still more. o (1Th 2:7)But we proved to be gentle among you, as a nursing mother tenderly cares for her own children. o (1Th 2:11) just as you know how we were exhorting and encouraging and imploring each one of you as a father would his own children, o (1Th 2:8) Having thus a fond affection for you, we were well-pleased to impart to you not only the gospel of God but also our own lives, because you had become very dear to us.
  • o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o (1 Thessalonians 2:13) For this reason we also constantly thank God that when you received the word of God which you heard from us, you accepted it not as the word of men, but for what it really is, the word of God, which also performs its work in you who believe. (1Th 3:2) and we sent Timothy, our brother and God's fellow worker in the gospel of Christ, to strengthen and encourage you as to your faith, 1Th 4:1 Finally then, brethren, we request and exhort you in the Lord Jesus, that as you received from us instruction as to how you ought to walk and please God (just as you actually do walk), that you excel still more. 1Th 4:10 for indeed you do practice it toward all the brethren who are in all Macedonia. But we urge you, brethren, to excel still more, Paul instructs them how to live  1Th 4:11 and to make it your ambition to lead a quiet life and attend to your own business and work with your hands, just as we commanded you,  1Th 4:12 so that you will behave properly toward outsiders and not be in any need.  1Th 5:11-28 Paul instructs them about life in the body of Christ.  2Th 1 Paul teaches about God’s work in their afflictions  2Th 2 Paul exhorts the Thessalonians to stand fast in the faith, and not to be alarmed at the rumors they heard concerning the reign of Satan on earth and the second coming of Christ.  (2Th 3:12) Now such persons we command and exhort in the Lord Jesus Christ to work in quiet fashion and eat their own bread. *Paul protected them by warning them and instructing them – Paul exhorted, encouraged, and implored them as a father would his own children. We saw how he instructed them to abstain from sexual immorality. He instructed them when they were mourning and confused about their departed loved ones. He also instructed them in the second coming of Jesus and the reign and judgment of Satan (1Th 2:11) just as you know how we wereexhorting and encouraging and imploring each one of you as a father would his own children, 1Th 4:2-8 - abstain from sexual immorality 1Th 4:13-5:10 – Paul comforts those who mourned for their relations, and friends that died in the Lord and the second coming of the Lord 2Thes 3 – dealing with brothers in the body, disobedient, undisciplined brothers, *Paul’s purpose was growth to maturity - so that you may walk in a manner worthy of God, complete what was lacking, grow in love for one another, establish their hearts blameless before God, worthy of their calling, standing firm holding to the traditions taught them. (1Th 2:12) so that you may walk in a manner worthy of the God who calls you into His own kingdom and glory. 1Th 2:14 For you, brethren, became imitators of the churches of God in Christ Jesus that are in Judea, for you also endured the same sufferings at the hands of your own countrymen, even as they did from the Jews, (1Th 3:10) as we night and day keep praying most earnestly that we may see your face, and may complete what is lacking in your faith? (1Th 3:12) and may the Lord cause you to increase and abound in love for one another, and for all men, just as we also do for you; 1Th 3:13so that He may establish your hearts without blame in holiness before our God and Father at the coming of our Lord Jesus with all His saints. 2Th 1:11 To this end also we pray for you always, that our God will count you worthy of your calling, and fulfill every desire for goodness and the work of faith with power, 2Th 1:12so that the name of our Lord Jesus will be glorified in you, and you in Him, according to the grace of our God and the Lord Jesus Christ. 2Th 2:15 So then, brethren, stand firm and hold to the traditions which you were taught, whether by word of mouth or by letter from us.
  • Paul’s purpose to continually move them closer to Christ. The Thessalonians were being an imitators of Paul, but he wanted them to go even further. o (1Th 1:6)You also became imitators of us and of the Lord, having received the word in much tribulation with the joy of the Holy Spirit, o (1Th 1:8) For the word of the Lord has sounded forth from you, not only in Macedonia and Achaia, but also in every place your faith toward God has gone forth, so that we have no need to say anything. o (1Th 4:1) Finally then, brethren, we request and exhort you in the Lord Jesus, that as you received from us instruction as to how you ought to walk and please God (just as you actually do walk),that you excel still more. o (1Th 4:9-10) Now as to the love of the brethren, you have no need for anyone to write to you,for you yourselves are taught by God to love one another; indeed you do practice it toward all the brethren who are in all Macedonia. But we urge you, brethren, to excel still more, o (1Th 5:11) Therefore encourage one another and build up one another, just as you also are doing. o (2Th 3:4-5) We have confidence in the Lord concerning you, that you are doing and will continue to do what we command.May the Lord direct your hearts into the love of God and into the steadfastness of Christ. o o o o o o *Paul and Timothy’s reward -The Thessalonians became imitators of Paul and of God and examples to other believers. They brought Paul and Timothy joy, exultation, and comfort when they were distress. 1Th 1:6You also became imitators of us and of the Lord, having received the word in much tribulation with the joy of the Holy Spirit, 1Th 1:7 so that you became an example to all the believers in Macedonia and in Achaia. (1Th 2:19-20)For who is our hope or joy or crown of exultation? Is it not even you, in the presence of our Lord Jesus at His coming? For you are our glory and joy. (1Th 3:7-8) for this reason, brethren, in all our distress and affliction we were comforted about you through your faith; for now we really live, if you stand firm in the Lord. (1Th 3:9)For what thanks can we render to God for you in return for all the joy with which we rejoice before our God on your account, c. Others methods i. Barnbas ii. Priscilla and Acquila iii. Moses iv. Elijah v. Samuel vi. Timothy Timothy Chose the Right Example So closely did Timothy follow Paul that he alone was “of kindred spirit” with the apostle (Phil. 2:20). “Kindred spirit” translates a compound word in the Greek, made up of the words for “equal” and “soul.” The extent to which Timothy was like Paul is remarkable. Paul exhorted the Corinthians to “be imitators of me” (1 Cor. 4:16). Then in verse 17 he added, “For this reason *because I want you to imitate me+ I have sent to you Timothy, who is my beloved and faithful child in the Lord, and he will remind you of my ways which are in Christ, just as I teach everywhere in every church.” Timothy was such an exact reproduction of Paul that sending him was tantamount to Paul’s going himself. Reproduction is the ultimate goal of discipleship. In Luke 6:40 Jesus said, “Everyone, after he has been fully trained, will be like his teacher.” Five stages of the disciples growth stage I: a person is spiritually dead, characterized by the word unbelief, dead in trespasses and sins.
  • Stage II: spiritual infant. Newly verse excited and eager to learn. Aware of their change in relationships stage III spiritual children, basic understanding of the language of faith, excited about the, innocence. Stage IV spiritually young adults. They have experienced tremendous growth, are eager to serve, think independently, and look much like adults, however, still have much to learn about responsibility and how to care for the spiritual needs of others. Zealous for God and can be characterized as being "God focused" and others minded. They are becoming intentional and strategic in sharing their faith with a great desire to see people converted, but they're not yet able to disciple and to make disciples. Stage V: spiritual parents who were parents here is used purposely as opposed to adult. As Christians were called to make disciples to reproduce our faith in others. Adults are able to reproduce, but that does not mean that they are reproducing. Those who have prioritized discipleship in their lives around the mission of Christ will be those who make disciples. 7.) Benefits from Results of Biblical Discipleship When all who become disciples make disciples through several spiritual generations, the result should not be reproduction (adding disciples one at the time) but multiplication (one disciple makes two, who makes four, who makes 16) What results can expect to see from discipleship? We can see from Paul experienced joy from the Thessalonians. We can experience that same joy as we see men grow and develop. There are also costs, which should be viewed as benefits if we look at the goal of discipleship as causing growth in both the discipler and the disciple. (3John 1:4) I have no greater joy than this, to hear of my children walking in the truth. The benefits to me as a discipler are that will cause growth in my life because I am now an example to be watched and followed. This sharpens us. This is a great responsibility so that I do not lead another believer astray. I cannot ask the disciple if he is being obedient or walking in a manner worthy of the Lord if I am not. It causes me to depend on the Lord for wisdom, sensitivity, and compassion in areas I may not have previously dealt with. It causes me to be watching all of their needs. It causes me to be consistent in prayer for these guys. If I am not in prayer for them how can I expect God to change their lives? It causes me to depend on God’s power and His word in areas where it is beyond my power or wisdom. It develops life long personal friendships as we pour our lives into others, share in the pain of growth, and share in the growth of knowing Jesus Christ more. Jesus called His disciples His friends. The benefits to the disciple are to get them to a point of self-motivating walk with the Lord where they can regenerate themselves in others. Increase the rate of the growth. Many Christians stay at a certain level of maturity for years due partly because no one takes an interest in their growth. Stops wrong behavioral patterns in the disciple Protects the disciple from attack from the enemy, such as recurring sins o This can apply to stagnant Christian, by being in the Word
  • o (Eph 6:13) Therefore, take up the full armor of God, that you may be able to resist in the evil day, and having done everything, to stand firm. o Teaching them to walk consistently with God Develops close personal friends, life long Provides the disciple with counsel Strengthens the men of the church by developing Godly leaders o (2Ti 2:2) And the things which you have heard from me in the presence of many witnesses, these entrust to faithful men, who will be able to teach others also. How does this work in the Bible Study, at PBC, in the Church? Are you reaching out to your brothers? Realize that God has called us to love our brothers Realize that this is something eternal and can be a legacy. I.E. will continue when you are with the Lord. Finding out how they are doing with the Lord. o Are they being a spiritual leader in the home? o Do they love their wife like Christ loves the church? o Are they rightly representing God at work? o Are they growing? Do they want to grow? Challenge and encourage them in their relationship to the Lord. Show them that you care for them and desire to see them grow Pray for them. Pray that God would bring guys into your life that you will have a burden for. Pray for specific guys. Younger guys encourage the older guys to meet with you. Be honest that you are not where you want to be and need help. (2Th 1:11-12) To this end also we pray for you always, that our God will count you worthy of your calling, and fulfill every desire for goodness and the work of faith with power, so that the name of our Lord Jesus will be glorified in you, and you in Him, according to the grace of our God and the Lord Jesus Christ. 8.) Hindurances to Discipleship a. External Influences i. Cultural Attitudes and Opinions 1. Consumer mentality Unfortunately non-discipleship would Christianity dominates much of our thinking of the contemporary church. In addition to sucking the strength from the church, Christianity without discipleship causes the church to assimilate itself into the culture. And sadly whenever the difference between the churches and cultures definition of morality ceases to exist, the church loses its power and authority. 2. Distractions and interference a. Electronic b. hobbies b. Internal Influences i. Neglect – Orphans ii. Immaturity iii. Unsaved 9.) Conclusion
  • Footprints vs Monuments – William Faulkner “A monument only says “At least I got this far”, while a footprint says “This is where I was when I moved forward again.”