One on One
As Born Again Bible Believing Christians, we believe strongly in the Great Commission being obeyed through church planting and personal soul winning. However, in these last days most churches have no ministry implemented to personally edify new Christians. Consequently, many of these new Believers do not become “fruit that remains.” Unfortunately, there are often more people going out the back door than come in the front. In order to compensate the unbalanced flow of people, many churches become consumed with the latest program or Hollywood type entertainment gimmick that will enhance the “front door flow.”
The ministry of discipleship has sought to balance a soul winning passion with the biblical mandate of reproducing committed followers of Jesus Christ. A key point that must be understood is that true biblical discipleship includes both soul winning and edification. Soul winning begins the conforming process and edification (through personal one-on-one teaching and training) makes a committed follower.
The over-arching goal of discipleship is to make disciples who make disciples – to reproduce reproducers.
About Our Discipleship Lessons
The title of our discipleship manual is Journey. The Spiritual Formation of Multiplying Disciples. This manual is not just a textbook on the importance of discipleship. In actuality, you are reading the “heart” and “passion” of a ministry that is committed to making disciples until the Lord returns. In essence, you have in your hands a workbook. You will not become a committed disciple without work. Paul told the Ephesians that the church leaders were to “perfect (mature, disciple) the saints, for the work of the ministry…” (Ephesians 4:11). Herein lies the purpose for this ministry: to disciple Christians to spiritual maturity who in turn will go and do likewise!
These pages are NOT designed to be used as a Sunday school curriculum. They are NOT designed to be used for solo assignments. Spiritual growth does not take place in a vacuum. God has determined that growth takes place in the context of relationships. This theme is apparent as you study the book of Acts. When Saul needed to be discipled, God sent Ananias to him. Timothy and Titus had their Paul. John Mark had his Barnabas as well as the Apostle Peter. For this reason, these lessons are designed to be accomplished in a
ONE-ON-ONE environment where a more mature Christian begins to invest not only his time, but also his life into a new believer.
The Christian life is more than just a destination; it is a journey. It is on this journey that we experience the maturing process. God has set a goal for each of His children: to be conformed to the image of His Son. The only tool that He has left to accomplish this goal is His MINISTRY of discipleship.
These lessons start at the beginning as they do not assume the disciple knows about creation or even who God is. We have truly endeavored to start at the very basics and then to build upon them. Due to the starting point of lesson one, it is also useful for taking someone through who is investigating the claims of Christianity.
The great strengths of Journey include several aspects. First, both discipler and disciple have a greater accountability to be in the Scriptures every day. It would probably shock the average pastor if he knew how little his people spent reading the Bible. In the environment of a one-on-one discipleship relationship, the discipler is just as responsible to show where he has been reading, what he has been memorizing, and what God is showing him through the Scriptures.
Another strength of this ministry is the constant use of Scripture. If we truly believe that the ways of a young man are cleansed “by taking heed to the word of God,” then we must place a priority on Scripture. If hiding the word of God in our hearts is a safeguard against sin, we must place an emphasis on MEMORIZATION. If the word of God is like a hammer, if it will never return void, then we must use the great tool that God has left for us to know Him.
In consideration of this strength, it is important to understand this point: We always look up every single verse(s) and have the disciple read them aloud. There are no shortcuts to disciples being made. The temptation to skip a verse, to hurry along “for time’s sake” is natural, but dangerous. Just as you cannot short cut the birth process – you cannot short cut the growth process.
As you begin to have the disciple read aloud the verses of Scripture, you will have the privilege of seeing the Holy Spirit take His inspired word to bring about the process of sanctification. As the discipler, you do not want to tell your disciple any answer that he can find on his own! As he reads the Scripture, challenge him to fill in the blanks on his answer sheet. Encourage him to think! Discipleship should engage the will, the emotions, and the intellect. Discipleship affects the whole man.
Our lessons are tutorial by design. They cause the discipler to pay attention to the different prompts already in the manual. These prompts are self-explanatory, but very important in helping to nurture a future discipler.
Each lesson builds upon the previous lesson through reinforcement. You will know the steps of discipleship and be able to teach them. The one crucial element that you must help your disciple understand is that a disciple is in the word of God every day.
At the end of each lesson is a section specifically entitled Daily in the Word. In this section, you will find the action items to be performed by the disciple. It is imperative as a discipler that you help keep your disciple accountable to doing these tasks. The assignments are not just “busy work.” These action items are bona fide helps to bringing the new Christian to maturity.
As you come to the Daily in the Word sections found within every lesson, you will actually begin to have your disciple write out portions of Scripture every day. By the time he has finished his discipleship training, your disciple will have written out large portions of the whole Bible, conducted a topical Bible study on the Holy Spirit, and learned how to use the modern tools at the hands of today’s Bible student.
It is important to understand that you only give one page at a time to your disciple. These lessons are not meant to be worked ahead of time. You, the discipler, will go over every single page with the disciple. The disciple will place each finished page in their notebook.
A disciple and discipler meet together every week. At these meetings, both the discipler and the disciple are able to exchange their Daily in the Word to see how each other is doing with his own Bible reading schedule. At these meetings, both parties are able to recite the verses that are being committed to memory, as well as the specific prayers that have been answered since the last meeting.
We live in a post-Christian world. The average person is Biblically illiterate. The average person no longer can recite the Ten Commandments, tell you who Adam and Eve were, or other simple Bible stories that Christians have taken for granted. The Christian life begins with salvation, but it must continue with edification. While there may be other attempts being made to produce a biblio-centric approach to discipleship, there remains a great dearth in too many independent Baptist churches with regard to discipleship. Our curriculum has been developed with the aid of Bible-believing pastors, college faculty members, and missionaries who have a strong passion for teaching Christians what the Bible says.
It is our prayer that the principles from the following pages will bring about a revival of early-church Christianity where the “disciples” were multiplied. We have more technology and information than ever before. Technology and information cannot make a committed disciple – it can only make an educated Christian. What is needed is a discipler who is Spirit-empowered to invest in a one-on-one relationship with a disciple and pour his life into a new Christian. Technology cannot replace relationships. Information cannot replace an intimacy with Christ.
One last important factor to remember to insure success with the Journey discipleship ministry deals with Bible translations. There is much controversy today over the preservation of Scriptures. The issue is not really concerned with if God has preserved His word, but where has He done so. We realize that not all Baptist churches are in agreement over this issue. Yet, it must be understood that these lessons have been prepared from a specific English translation of the Scriptures. We have used nothing but the King James Version throughout these lessons. First, it is based upon a conviction that this is the only translation in use today that is based on the majority of manuscript evidence that has been in use throughout local churches for centuries. Secondly, it is based on the principle of consistency. It is advantageous to the new Christian if he is reading the same wording as his discipler. If there is a word that seems to be archaic, an opportunity is presented for the discipler to teach what the Bible means. In translations where verses are omitted or footnoted, it only breeds confusion or needless questions that are not relevant to the area of discipleship. If your church endorses another translation, we recommend that you use this material with your own disclaimer. We realize that no ministry can force its convictions on another, yet we also wanted to remain true to our convictions with any materials that we publish.
Finally, the greatest need of the hour is disciples. Jesus prayed for laborers to go into the harvest. Are not laborers simply another way to pray for more trained disciples? Was that not His prayer? In this day of religious plurality, is it not time for the world to see what a truly devoted Christian disciple acts like? It was D.L. Moody who said, “The world has yet to see what one man, totally committed to God, can do…” Will you be that disciple? May the Lord richly use you in this endeavor to conform more people to the image of Christ.
Contents of Discipleship Manual
Our Journey discipleship manual includes ten lessons. Each lesson is very theological in nature and contains balanced elements of scripture reading, writing, and memorization.
Lesson one: Salvation
Lesson two: Assurance of Salvation
Lesson three: Prayer
Lesson four: The Local Church
Lesson five: Discipleship
Individual discipleship training begins here in lesson five and continues on until the completion of lesson nine. No additional training classes are necessary as the discipler personally teaches the disciple to become a discipler. Each discipling relationship ends when the disciple is discipling!
Lesson six: The Future
Lesson seven: Spiritual Growth
Lesson eight: Faith
Lesson nine: Words
Lesson ten: Loving God
Your church can become a disciple making ministry. It is not difficult to start. However, you must be committed to discipleship and willing to re-evaluate your church’s schedule and programs.
We will be happy to personally discuss any aspect of discipleship with you. We can even send a team of our experienced disciplers (men and women) along with one of our pastors to your church. We have the resources to teach you and your people how to begin.
Contact John Honeycutt at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
Download the series here.