Archives For Discipleship

Gooder

I overanalyze things. So, when my son told me the other day that nap time at school is “badder” than recess, I laughed –for a second. That is, until my mind raced twenty years into the future as Bryce is interviewing for a job and says, “Thank you for considering me for this position. I’ll do a gooder job than you could ever imagine.” So I quickly corrected him to use the word, “worse” as a comparative adjective instead of “badder.” I’m fairly certain he will use the incorrect word again.

So, I wondered, what is the best way to teach him? Should I quickly put together a chart on irregular comparative and superlative adjectives? Or, should we practice using “worse” in sentences for about ten minutes? Maybe I should just trust that in time, he will hear me use “worse” enough times in natural conversation that he will catch on. So, which way is the best way for my son to learn? I actually think it is all three.

There is a place for charts and chalkboard teaching (Classroom/Lecture). There is also much to be said for practicing scenarios (Practice/Mentor). And, there…

Continue Reading

Discipling Skeptics and SeekersIf we are serious about the Great Commission and making disciples, then we need to be serious about evangelism because evangelism is the discipleship of skeptics and seekers of Jesus, say InterVarsity ministry leaders Beau Crosetto and James Choung. In this new FREE eBook, the authors help leaders understand two things: 1) Why every believers needs to be doing evangelism and leading people to faith: and 2) How you can create a culture of witness in your church or faith community. For too long, we were pressuring people, and now we have become passive in evangelism. Crosetto and Choung say the time is now to seek a third and better way! Download the eBook.

Key highlights:

  • Inspiring stories of people leading others to faith in Christ.
  • The difference between pressure, passive and proactive evangelism.
  • Why the church has become more passive in its approach to evangelism.
  • Four insightful reasons why we need to disciple skeptics and seekers.
  • Why evangelism is “the discipleship of skeptics and seekers.”
  • The role of the gifted evangelist in the Great Commission.
  • Four rhythms that will help you create a culture of discipling skeptics and seekers in your church.
  • What it…

    Continue Reading

Discipleship Is

Biblical, Jesus-empowered, Gospel-centered, grace-infused discipleship transforms a person’s mind and emotions. This beautiful, God the Holy Spirit-enabled act results in a life that progressively reflects Jesus.

I graduated Magnum Cum Laude with a Masters of Divinity Degree, with a concentration in Apologetics, from Southern Evangelical Seminary under Norm L. Geisler, Ph.D.

I am currently a doctoral student at Northern Seminary under Scott McKnight, Ph.D. My doctoral emphasis is the ‘New Testament in Context.’

I share this with you not impress you, but to you let you know that I value the life of the mind.

I am a full-fledged, card-carrying theology nerd. But I’m also a spiritual romantic in that being loved by and loving Jesus is my highest treasure.

But if all my theological, philosophical, apologetic learning is not integrated into my life by faith in Jesus to mature me holistically as a person, then I have wasted my time.

It’s possible to be a biblical literate and emotionally immature.

The overarching goal of discipleship is to partner with the Holy Spirit to produce communities of love:

I pray that out of his glorious riches he may strengthen you with power through his Spirit in your inner being, so that Christ…

Continue Reading

Evangelism-and-Discipleship-Cover-Final-copyEvangelism or Discipleship: Can They Effectively Work Together? by Bobby Harrington and Bill Hull Evangelism and discipleship are not two things; they are one. Jesus has commanded us to “make disciples.” In this new eBook, veteran discipleship leaders Bobby Harrington and Bill Hull focus on the need for leaders to bring together discipleship and evangelism and plant churches with that mindset. The two authors offer Bible-based insights into how evangelism and discipleship work together to accomplish the Great Commission, sharing stories and examples of leaders and churches that have successfully brought the two together for kingdom impact.

Jesus’ Matthew 28 commandment included the expectation of reproduction—that new disciples would become well-taught disciples who would in turn embrace the mission and make other new disciples. Anything less is to sabotage the master plan. Evangelism is simply a form of pre-conversion discipleship. When we engage in this disciple-making process, Jesus tells us that He will be present with us—to the end of the age (Matt. 28:20). Download the free eBook.

Key highlights:

  • Helpful observations of the state of evangelism and discipleship in the West
  • The theological significance of discipleship and how it encompasses evangelism.
  • Experienced perspective from…

    Continue Reading

New Word: Evange-cipleship

By Greg Stier

evange-cipleshipEvangelism + Discipleship = Evange-cipleship

Okay, the word is kind of corny but it communicates my point. And what is that exactly? Simply this: When teenagers are equipped and unleashed to share their faith it is the ultimate discipleship accelerator.

It’s exactly what Jesus did with his disciples in Matthew 10 immediately after he appointed them as apostles. He chose them as leaders and immediately deployed them as evangelists. What they learned on the road sharing the gospel was infinitely more than any rabbi could ever teach them sitting in a synagogue.

But Jesus did more than deploy them, he trained them along the way.

He taught them to trust him (John 14:1.)

He showed them how to deal with persecution (Matthew 5:11,12.)

He trained them not to be impressed with the “sizzle” of miracles but to be more in awe of the “steak” of salvation (Luke 17:10-20.)

He gave them a crash course in systematic theology as they launched on a 3 year long evangelistic campaign together. He fed them doctrinal meat in bite-sized pieces. It was just the right amount of spiritual protein to fuel their evangelistic efforts and transform them personally at the same…

Continue Reading

Most pastors dream of having a strong and vibrant men’s community that is driving the mission and vision of their local churches.  Every Man Ministries surveys of men reveal this dream rarely becomes a reality because there is no sense on the part of our men that we are concerned about their spiritual health or consider them central to our vision.  In the absence of a compelling vision for men that is articulated, visible, and connected to a meaningful process in the church context our men remain passively affiliated versus aggressively activated in the local church. We deal our best assets to the Devil and let him define greatness for them.  That sad reality is on the church, not on the men. No vision for them means no ignition of the energy and expression

We simply haven’t painted the target!

Every Man Ministries research also shows there is hope. If there is a strong vision, a defined process that helps a man realize it, and outcomes that make men stakeholders in the ongoing success of the church’s mission — men respond with their muscle, their money, and their mojo!…

Continue Reading

Do these names sound familiar? –OJ Simpson, Martha Stewart, Michael Jackson, Timothy McVeigh, Scott Peterson, The Menendez Brothers, Jeffrey Dahmer, Lindsay Lohan, Casey Anthony, Justin Beiber, Jay-Z, Kim Kardashian, Donald Trump, Brad Pitt, and Angelina Jolie. What is it that we so desperately want to know about them?

For some reason, we are all fascinated by the stories of their lives. We all want to know how a boy rises from humble beginnings in Springfield Missouri to become a sought-after Hollywood icon (Brad Pitt). We are curious how a timid first grader in West Allis, Wisconsin becomes a cannibalistic serial murderer (Jeffery Dahmer). We are even enthralled to learn about “normal people” who haven’t accomplished anything significant except to make the cut on a reality TV show. Why all the interest?

I have a theory: In all of these “real life” stories, we just want to know one thing: How did they become who they are today?

Ultimately, it comes back to the standing debate in the field of social science: nature vs. nurture.

The influence of nature refers to a person’s internal make-up or traits passed down from their family line. The influence of nurture refers to external factors that…

Continue Reading

Formed for the Glory of GodJonathan Edwards (1703-1758) is considered by many to be one of the smartest philosophers and theologians in American history. But more than that, Edwards is one of the great spiritual thinkers as well. Edwards helped the churches in New England navigate the work of the Spirit in the “Great Awakening,” and he continues to help pastors walk through these issues through his great work The Religious Affections (one of the most beloved spiritual classics of the Protestant church).

How can we learn from the spiritual practices of Edwards? Here are three lessons that are as important today as they were in Edwards’s time:

1. Spiritual Practices are God-Focused

When engaging in a spiritual practice, whether reading the Bible devotionally, praising God in church or even listening to a sermon, it can be incredibly easy to start focusing on side-issues. Maybe our lips are moving while singing a praise song, but our minds are thinking about everything else we have to do. Maybe we are reading the Bible for something to say that will sound smart and informed rather than hearing from God.

Whatever the case, Edwards would encourage us…

Continue Reading

Writing Pencil1) Pastors should identify the disciple-making that is already happening within their Church.

Disciples are being made in every church -the only question is “disciples of what?” Although not all of the discipleship is intentional or profitable, the good news for pastors is that they do not have to create the momentum –it already exists. The challenge is to identify it, embrace it and help direct it.

2) Pastors should intentionally spend time with key disciple-makers and help them develop intention in their disciple-making.

After identifying and embracing the disciple-making that is already taking place within a congregation, the pastor’s ability to provide guidance to the discipleship depends upon the pastor’s willingness to disciple the disciple-makers by intentionally investing in their lives. In short, the strength of a church’s discipleship is directly related to the amount of the pastor’s time invested in discipleship relations.

3) Pastors must foster a discipleship community within the congregation.

Every disciple and disciple-maker needs the support of other disciples and disciple-makers to continue mutual edification over a lifetime. This takes place within the discipleship community, which, ideally, is the local church. Pastors have the opportunity to foster this community and bring it to…

Continue Reading

FishingJesus stopped a few fishermen one day in the Sea of Galilee and challenged them to turn the world upside down by issuing a simple call… “Come, follow me, and I will send you out to fish for people.” (Matthew 4:19, NIV)

Many have taught about how the disciples left their careers behind to follow Jesus into full-time ministry that day, but they forget the other instances of the disciples fishing for fish later in the gospels. It wasn’t a career change or the sacrifice of a job to which Jesus called Peter, Andrew, James, and John that day. He called them to fish for people, and to make people a superior priority to fish.

One of the mistakes we make in modern ministry leadership is to see people who walk through the doors of our churches on Sunday mornings as potential helpers, come to assist us in the fulfillment of our mission. If we’re not careful, we begin to assess the usefulness of people based on their appearance, their talent, or their apparent zeal and commitment to spending time doing churchy things.

What if instead of seeing people as a means to accomplishing…

Continue Reading

Does God desire for your church to grow?

The short and simple answer is “yes.” We can make this deduction from the fact that God has called us to make disciples of all nations (Matthew 28:18-20) and that ultimately; disciples from all nations will be gathered together in heaven (Revelation 7:9). In the mean time, God is working through His body, the Church, to gather His children (Matthew 16:18). Therefore, as the Church grows, God’s global kingdom grows. –and that’s not just God’s goal, its promise.

But there is another answer and its slightly more complicated.

Imagine you have a friend with two wild, unruly children. When his kids spend the night with your kids, you hide every breakable item in the house and never let them out of your sight! Although you love your friend immensely, you are really concerned about his lack of parenting skills.

One day, over lunch, your friend tells you that he and his wife are praying for another child. He explains how they are confident that God wants their family to grow and he even quotes Psalm 127:3, “Behold, children…

Continue Reading

Can you give a clear, concise and biblically accurate description of a disciple of Jesus?

If so, you are a select member of an elite club.

I wonder if most ministers – let alone most Christians – really know what their ministry’s “finished product” is supposed to look like? I’m being reluctantly dragged to the conclusion most don’t by what the affiliated interim pastors of the Transition Ministries Group have found in our client churches.

Try this experiment to see if you come up with the same results.

Ask the next 20 pastors you meet their definition or description of a disciple. Hopefully you’ll find consensus but my guess is you’ll receive some blank stares, puzzled expressions, a few rambling discussions and maybe – just maybe – a biblical answer.

You know what’s really odd about this?

Jesus gave a clear, concise and simple description of what his disciples should be. He gave us the spec sheet, so to speak. There are a small handful of passages where the Lord says, in effect, “if you want to be my disciple you must do this” or “you can’t do that.”

Here are seven sermon texts you can preach to…

Continue Reading