A Google search of discipleship materials available to the church is overwhelming. Baptists, Methodists, Assembly of God and others have all created a variety of curriculums that focus on doctrine or spiritual disciples or spiritual gifts or a combination of all three. Curriculums vary tremendously from DVD series, lecture series, small group discussion programs, and teacher-pupil methods.
The purpose of this short paper is to articulate and evaluate what is available for discipleship and indicate what a pastor should use. Moreover, conferences full of vendors are held all over the world trying to market their resources with glossy-color photos, bright colors and huge selections of curriculum.
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Of the choices, a DVD series is probably the worst choice. First, the pastor or disciple-maker who purchases a DVD series or curriculum series will not facilitate the series with the same passion he would if he had prepared the lessons himself—passion is important in discipleship. Second, pastors must remember that resources that discipled converts well in Miami, Florida may not work quite as well in Boise, Idaho.
While the biblical truths will remain the same, the articulation and application of those truths in a culture that is remarkably different may need to be different. Lance Quinn emphasizes that preaching or teaching is not sufficient to make disciples.
This is the process of discipling. There is no digital substitute for the disciple-maker. All programs that work well have one thing in common, they have a teacher behind them that is utterly committed to the truth and wants to see that truth applied in the life of the disciple. The Lord Jesus modeled this perfectly in the embryonic church, and the apostles followed His lead. Jesus is the Truth, and they preached Him.
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Every course provides links to additional resources and suggested readings that supplement the lecture material at the end of every transcript segment.
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This resource includes learning activities such as: places for you to respond to reflection questions, exercises that will challenge and show you how deepen your understanding of this course by using specific Logos tools and resources, tutorial videos on different features of Logos Bible Software, and links to relevant Logos guides and tools. However, the more the curriculum focuses on the person and work of Christ, the more effective it will be. Jesus said if the church would lift Him up He would draw people to Himself John Converts need to be using their Bibles throughout the lessons.
The curriculum must cause them to read and articulate an understanding and application of truth. No one is going to say it the way he wants it said, and he will not be near as passionate about something created by someone he has not met in Miami, Florida when his ministry is in Boise, Idaho.
In Miami, Florida, the Baptist pastor is receiving former Catholics into the church; and in Boise, Idaho, the Baptist preacher is hoping that Mormons are being reached with the true gospel. The pastor does not have to start from scratch; two or three good discipleship curriculums should be purchased and then church specific discipleship courses must be developed. From the pulpit, the convert must be continually challenged to grow and the church must have a plan.
Nothing beats one-on-one mentorship, but this may not always be possible. Those apt to teach must be involved in teaching with a passion. Perhaps a simple new convert course, followed by a church membership and then an advanced discipleship course would be sufficient initially. Then additional courses in stewardship, parenting, apologetics etc.
The church must track converts moving through these gates and continue to improve its culture of discipleship until it sees converts becoming disciple-makers. Finally, when the church assaults the very gates of hell with a combined, synchronized discipleship effort, it can expect spiritual assault proportional to the manner in which it is pursuing authentic discipleship.
Growing True Disciples.