What is a disciple?
A disciple is a born again member of Christ Universal Body. They expresses their salvation obtained through faith by living a life of obedience to Jesus Christ in and outside the church. (Ephesians 2:1-10, John 14:23-24, Matthew 28:18-20, Romans 12:1-2, Philippians 2:12-13)
What are the spiritual expectations of a disciple?
1) Demonstrate a willingness to have faith and repentance unto Jesus Christ as one's personal Lord and Savior (Mark 1:15, Luke 5:32, Ephesians 2:8-10)
2) Demonstrate a willingness to follow Jesus Christ teachings as found in the Bible (Matthew 28:18-20, John 14:23-24, James 1:22-25)
3) Demonstrate a willingness to be disciples by a maturing Christian and in turn do likewise thus fulfilling the great commission "to make disciples" (Matthew 28:18-20, John 17:18, Titus 2:1-4, 2 Timothy 2:2)
What are the benefits of joining a discipleship group?
1) Experience God's pleasure in your heart (1 John 3:21-23, 2 Peter 1:17, Hebrews 13:16)
2) Experience encouragement to grow spiritually (1 Peter 2:1-3, Hebrews 3:12-14, Hebrews 10:23-25)
3) Experience love and practical support from a spiritual leader and group of other disciples (James 1:27, Hebrews 6:10, 1 Thessalonians 5:14)
4) Experience the joy of authentic fellowship with like-minded believers (Acts 2:42-47)
5) Experience the blessing of witnessing others get saved and participating with the Holy Spirit in their spiritually in Christ (Matthew 9:35-37, Matthew 14:14 Romans 10:1)
What are the difficulties of being part of a discipleship group?
1) Experience Satan's attacks to divide you from Christ and His Church (Ephesians 6:10-20, 2 Corinthians 2:10-11, Acts 5:3)
2) Experience hurt and anger due intentional and unintentional sins by other disciples (Matthew 18:15-19, Luke 17:2-4 1 Corinthians 5, 1 Timothy 1:20, Ephesians 4:26-32)
3) Experience challenges, corrections and rebukes by your your spiritual leader(s) (Hebrews 13:17, 1 Peter 5:5, Ephesians 5:21, 1 Corinthians 16:15-17, Romans 13:5, 1 Timothy 5:20, 2 Timothy 4:2, Luke 17:3)
4) Experience the painful process of having to discipline an unrepentant backslider as prescribed and modeled by Jesus Christ and His Apostles (Matthew 18:15-19, Luke 17:2-4 1 Corinthians 5, 1 Timothy 1:20)
5) Experience conviction from God to be transparent about your sins and weaknesses in order to experience healing and freedom (James 5:14-18)
How do I find the power to be a disciple on a daily basis?
1) Abide in Jesus Christ daily through obedience (John 15)
3) Obey the promptings of the Spirit upon your will (Philippians 2:12-14)
4) Put on the full armor of God (Ephesians 6:10-20)
5) Practice daily the spiritual disciplines of prayerful intercession, prayerful confession, prayerful praise, prayerful thanksgiving, prayerful Bible meditation, prayerful listening to the Spirit as He applies the Word to your life (1 Timothy 4:6-8)
How long is the training of a disciple in this church?
Our training process is 3 year process, but discipleship in general is a life long process. In the 3 year training process we seek to give followers of Christ the tools, exampls, biblical theology and mental models they will need for the rest of their lives.
How do the discipleship groups work?
Discipleship Groups are always under the leadership of pastors and elders of our church. As a church we are in partnership with Impact Disciples Network (A Para-Church Missions Organization). They help provide ciriculim content, website and app support, and training for an larger group of evangelical churches. There goal is to come alongside the church and help her grow in quantity and qaulity as new disciples find care and discipleship training throgh small, healthy, multyplying groups. Discipleship is about long term faithfulness to Jesus' Great Commission as found in Matthew 28:18-20.
How many people are in each discipleship group?
Discipleship Groups consist of 2 to 12 people that meet weekly (preferred), or bi-weekly for learning, sharing, prayer, worship, and fellowship. Also, the groups engage in evangelism and community development work, well as starting their own discipleship group. The goal of these groups is not "knowledge" per se, but application of obedience and good works motivated by faith and love towards the Lord Jesus Christ.
Are the groups formed by interest, age or culture?
Some groups are for all ages and cultures. We call these mixed groups. While others are formed around shared interest, such as: family issues, couples issues, young adult issues, gender issues, business issues, recovery issues and so on. The main focus of each group is to go from a specific issue of need to a more general understanding and application of discipleship. Jesus made "making disciples" the all encompassing mission of the church. When the church disregards this end result it begins to weaken it's witness and identity. Evangelism, Worship, Fellowship, Social Justice, everything must spring forth from the experience of "being" a disciples and "making" disciples. We believe the answers to all human problems are found in the Gospel of Jesus Christ and lifestyle aligned with His will in what Jesus referred to as being a "disciple". (Matthew 28:18-20)
How long do the groups run each quarter, year, etc?
Discipleship Groups run for 12 weeks each quarter (3 Months) for a total of 12 quarters (3 Years) before the disciple graduates. The quarter starts each January on the second Sunday. There is a one week break between each quarter.
What course options do the discipleship groups have?
Disciple Basics Course (Mandatory)
Evangelism Basics Course (Mandatory)
Spiritual Growth Practices Course (Mandatory)
Bible Study Courses
Systematic Theology 1-2
Kingdom Leadership Course
City Transformation Course
New Testament Survey Course
Old Testament Survey
Synoptic Gospels Course
Book of Romans Course
Book of Revelation Course
Hebrew Prophets Course
Prison Epistles Course
History of Ancient Israel Course
Biblical Exegesis Practicum Course
Ministry and Culture
Spiritual Gifts and Evangelism
Foundations of Ministry
Counseling and Advance Counseling
Discipleship and Spiritual Formation
How can I study these courses?
The only way to study these courses in our church and in partnership with Impact Discipleship Network is to be part of a discipleship group. Jesus did not come to earth to create scholars in the church, but disciples. Discipleship is a balance between learning, doing, and being. A disciple is about Worship, Mission and Community. The knowledge they learn is combined with acts of love, forgiveness, service and church family life expeience. We believe going to seminary or bible college apart from active participation the life of a local church makes Christians smarter, but not wiser and more passionate about the total holistic life that Christ intends.
How many absences are disciples allowed each 12 week quarter?
Disciples are allowed 4 absences per quarter. We know life circumstances can hinder attendance at times, so if they exceed 4 absences they can rejoin the group the following quarter.
How many assignment are allowed to be missed?
Disciples are allowed to miss 4 assignments. If there are circumstances hindering them, they should seek help from their leader immediately.
Are assignment graded?
No. They are only monitored for completion and commented upon by the group leader at times. We use an online website and app system on the Moodle platform administered by Impact Discipleship Network. Jesus did not give his disciples "letter grades". Rather, He trained, modeled and held them accountable to the practicum assignments and had them report their experiences ad gave them feedback (Luke 10). Discipleship groups do not exist to create academicians who labor hard over a letter grade, but disciples who want to love God and people and do the kind works that Jesus did by the power of the Spirit (John 14:12). Disciples have to be willing to take steps of faith and learn for their mistakes. Disciples have to be willing to be graded by the Father as He affirms His approval of their actions and attitudes as sons and daughters (Luke 3:22).
How do disciples deal with grievances they have with their leader?
Disciples should privately confront their leaders with gentleness and respect. If the issue is not resolved they can request a meeting with a network coach and their leader by filling out a grievance form here. They will get an email confirmation after they submit.
What days do the groups meet?
Groups usually meet on the weekends, especially Sunday afternoon and evenings. Any day and time that is determined by the group is feesable. Groups need to consider the fact that they will meet once a week to worship and learn with their leader, another time to evangelize and serve the community, and another time to intentionally disciple their own group once they are trained.
How many hours of commitment is there each week?
Groups gatherings usually last about 2 hours. There is also a recommended 2-3 hours of homework each week. Everyone is expected to spend a minimum of 30 minutes in daily devotionals, well as 2 hours of evangelism or service. Some groups are able to slightly customize their schedule with the permission of their network coach.
Why should a person be motivated to join this network as a disciple?
God's grace revealed through the death of Jesus Christ for our sins should be the primary motivation (John 3:16). While Jesus' command to make disciples, baptizing them in the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit and teaching them to obey everything He has commanded" should compel us into action (Matthew 28:18-20). He is coming back soon, so we need to stay alert, vigilant and faithful to loving His sheep.
Does the network have a formal agreement with church pastors?
Yes. We believe the relationship with local pastors should be clear, respectful and mission oriented. We ask every pastor to come into a covenant with our network declaring that we will honor each others position, churches and leadership in the city. You can read the details of the covenant here
Does it cost money to join a discipleship course?
Some of the courses do require a fee so we can pay royalty cost to the course material developers, book authors, video producers, etc.
Are the course payments refundable?
No. Because students are able to copy materials and paste them on a word document. We have no way of tracking such actions. We do not advise students copy and paste the books or content since the author is giving us permission to use soley in our Discipleship Learning Institute System.