How many of us when we accepted Jesus as our Lord and shepherd were handed a Bible and appointed to a Sunday School Class only to flounder in our walk. Those of us who were lucky were found by someone who loved Jesus and wanted us to love Jesus as much as they did. So they began to invest time in us showing us how to read the bible, how to pray and how to share our faith with others. The truth is the majority of us were not that lucky mainly because the church and I mean all churches seem to lack an understanding of how to best do discipleship. When we look at the model that Jesus gave we see him working in two particular areas of ministry one was public the other private. Jesus preached to the multitudes (Matthew 5:1 to 7:29) but taught individuals and small groups (Mark 4:10-20) with much greater detail. The other thing we see Jesus doing is he trained them how to do the work and sent them out (Mark 6:7-13). This is where the church today comes up short. While the church today has great preaching and teaching available it is best represented as a two legged stool it just won’t stand up under any pressure. It requires a third leg be installed so that the weight will be distributed equally and it creates a solid structure that will endure. I shared this because I believe discipleship is critical if we are to truly fulfill the great commission as found in Matthew 28:18-20.
I recently attended a weekend seminar at The Cove in Ashville, NC. The training was presented in cooperation with The Billy Graham Evangelistic Association and the International Evangelism Association. The presentation centered on a new training series Becoming a Disciple-Maker; Develop Spiritual Growth Skills and Help Others to Do the Same (2013) it was written and developed by Billie Hanks Jr. and Randy Craig. It is a next level discipleship model that follows after the highly successful A Call to Joy; Encouraging the Growing Believer (2009) and A Call to Growth; Establishing the Growing Believer (2009) from Billie Hanks Jr. and the International Evangelism Association original copyright 1985. These materials are a discipleship tool for a disciple-maker to use to help the new believer establish a basic understanding of the Christian life and grow into a healthy maturing Christian. Personally I had never seen or even heard of the material before this weekend. However, it strikes at what I believe is a critical shortage and a critical time within the church and is an outgrowth from a book by Robert E. Coleman; The Master Plan of Evangelism (1993). The new material, Becoming a Disciple Maker is developed to train those who are more mature Christians on how to go back and begin the discipleship process with someone else. The goal is growth through multiplication not addition. If you have been looking for something to help grow believers in their walk with God I would encourage you to take a look at these materials. You can get more information from the International Evangelism Association at;
or you can write to them at:
International Evangelism Association
P.O. Box 1174
Salado, Texas 76571-1174