1 Disciple Making at Bellevue Baptist Church THE IMPERATIVE OF DISCIPLE MAKING Making disciples is not an option for the believer who desires to do the will of God. Jesus command is clear, Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age (Matthew 28:19-20). For the Christian who desires to live a life of obedience, it is not a question of whether or not he will make disciples that has been settled by Jesus command, the question is simply who he will disciple and how he accomplishes it. Some people confuse spiritual maturity with disciple making, thinking disciple making is not really necessary, or that discipleship is accomplished with the congregation on Sundays as the pastor preaches. Paul writes, And He gave some as apostles, and some as prophets, and some as evangelists, and some as pastors and teachers for the equipping of the saints for the work of service, to the building up of the body of Christ; until we all attain to the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to a mature man, to the measure of the stature which belongs to the fullness of Christ (Ephesians 4:11-13). Spiritual maturity is the result of many things: the preaching and reading of the Word of God, the working of the body of Christ, and living daily in the fullness of the Holy Spirit. Maturity does not happen apart from the body of Christ and the preaching of the Word of God. Each member of the body of Christ has a part to play in the collective maturity of one another. However, in the midst of that process of development, all of God s people are called to bring others to maturity in a process called disciple making. Disciple making is when one person makes a personal investment into others in a small group setting, with an expectation that those people will repeat this discipline with others. It is a distinctive work to which God calls each of His children. Jesus declared, As the Father has sent me, I also send you (John 20:21). In the study guide to The Master Plan of Evangelism, Dr. Roy Fish describes Jesus plan to see His message spread throughout all nations, That Jesus moved on earth with a deliberate strategy of evangelism is a fact about which there can be little debate He ordered His life by this strategy. But the concept the church of today must never overlook is that as He was executing His plan, He was also setting forth a strategy of evangelism for His church for all time. Consequently, it is not the task of the church to invent a new strategy. Our task is to rediscover His and to get in step with it. Jesus invested His life into the lives of twelve men. He spent time with them, He prayed with them, He knew them, He encouraged them, and at times rebuked them. He had an intimate, personal relationship with them. Robert Coleman in The Master Plan of Evangelism observes, It all started by Jesus calling a few men to follow him. This revealed immediately the direction his evangelistic strategy would take. His concern was not with programs to reach the multitudes, but with men whom the multitudes would follow. Remarkable as it may seem, Jesus started to gather these men before he ever organized an evangelistic campaign or even preached a sermon in public. Men were to be his method of winning the world to God.... Jesus devoted most of his remaining life on earth to these few disciples. He
2 literally staked his whole ministry on them. The world could be indifferent toward him and still not defeat his strategy. It even caused him no great concern when his followers on the fringes of things gave up their allegiance when confronted with the true meaning of the kingdom (John 6:66). But he could not bear to have his close disciples miss his purpose. They had to understand the truth and be sanctified by it (John 17:17), else all would be lost. Thus he prayed not for the world but for the few God gave him out of the world (John 17: 6, 9). Everything depended on their faithfulness if the world would believe in him through the word (John 17:20). Discipleship, bringing people to maturity, is the work of the entire church. It is a growing process that should not end until a person takes their final breath. Disciple making is the work of an individual believer with other believers that should not cease until the world has been reached with the gospel. THE ESSENTIALS OF DISICPLE MAKING The body of truth that Jesus declared to His disciples is without measure. John wrote And there are also many other things which Jesus did, which if they were written in detail, I suppose that even the world itself would not contain the books that would be written (John 21:25). A similar statement could be said of the Apostle Paul who instructed Timothy, The things which you heard from me in the presence of many witnesses, entrust these to faithful men who will be able to teach others also (2 Timothy 2:2). While no disciple making ministry can cover all that the Bible teaches about being a disciple, Bellevue has embraced a process and a one year plan to transition an individual to being a disciple maker. As a person grows in maturity, he will of course have a deeper well of knowledge and experience from which to draw, yet the essential truths and disciplines contained in the Bellevue plan will equip a person with the necessary qualities to be a disciple maker. THE PROCESS OF DISCIPLE MAKING AT BELLEVUE The elements that compose Bellevue's ministry of disciple making involve the number of people being discipled by a person at one time, the length of the process, and the truths the group studies. Any discussion of disciple making that does not include the imperative of winning souls to Christ both at home and abroad is not being faithful to the Word of God. If disciple making does not include winning people to Jesus there is no evangelism in the Great Commission. Jesus calls His disciples to subsequently, Follow Me, and I will make you fishers of men (Matthew 4:19). As stated earlier, while the imperative of the Great Commission is to make disciples, part of that imperative is an active, passionate desire to win individuals to Christ to subsequently, disciple them to both win others and see them brought to maturity. Disciple making without the imperative of soul winning is not New Testament Christianity. After prayerful consideration, one person will invite three or four persons to join together for a yearlong study of disciple making. The reason for such a small number is that discipleship, as Jesus practiced it, is small group experience. Mark tells his readers, And He appointed twelve, so that they would be with Him... (Mark 3:14). Disciple making is not accomplished long distance or in mass. It is not achieved on a Sunday morning in a church sanctuary or in a classroom full of people. Disciple making is personal. Part of being with people is done as the group gets together quarterly for a time of fellowship in a setting such as a meal in the home, meeting for lunch, or going to
3 a ballgame. Also, service projects such as Bellevue Loves Memphis or a mission trip are tremendous opportunities to do life together. Mark tells why Jesus invited the twelve to be with Him, And He appointed twelve, so that they would be with Him and that He could send them out to preach (Mark 3:14). Jesus made the same type of statement to Peter when he issued the first call to discipleship, Follow Me and I will make you become fishers of men (Mark 1:17). The call to discipleship is personal and involves meaningful fellowship, but the focus is not on the fellowship but what flows from that, a changed, empowered life. The emphasis of the disciple making time is not Bible study, accountability disciplines, prayer time, or deep meaningful fellowship although those are essential components of this time; the goal is to see men and women who, after spending a year experiencing the manifested life of Christ together, will do the same thing with three or four others. Individuals are enlisted in the disciple making process with the understanding that the goal is not simply to go through a lengthy Bible study of discipleship, but with the understanding that they will be duplicating the process with a group the next year. The groups will meet weekly for about an hour and a half for a year (approximately forty-three meetings). Preferably, this study will be based on a calendar year. The groups can meet whenever and wherever they choose. If a group chooses to meet at the church the room and time will need to be scheduled through the disciple making office. This is an anticipated time of intense spiritual growth. There are some weeks built in for travel, vacation, and people being out of town. The groups will end around Thanksgiving. This will enable the new disciple maker to be focusing on the disciple making group he will be beginning in January of the New Year. Reading the Word of God is a key component of disciple making. Jesus desired for His disciples to grow in their devotion to the Father praying, Sanctify them in the truth: Your word is truth (John 17:17). One of the ways this growth in God s Word will be accomplished is as The One Year Bible is read. While there are many fine Bible reading plans, having everyone reading the same passages of Scripture will help to promote a spirit of unity. Sharing what God is revealing through the personal study of God's Word is a key aspect of discipleship. God told the children of Israel, "Behold, I will rain bread from heaven for you; and the people shall go out and gather a days' portion every day, that I may test them, whether or not they will walk in My instruction (Exodus 16:4). Each week, insights from the past week s reading will be a significant part of the weekly session. Every week there will be a verse or two of Scripture to memorize. When Jesus described a disciple, his commitment to the Word of God was a key measure. "If you continue in My word, then you are truly disciples of Mine; and you will know the truth and the truth will make you free (John 8:32-33). Disciple making apart from a disciplined intake of the Word of God is impossible. Four books will be required reading. At the end of Paul s life when he asked Timothy to visit him in jail he made a specific request, When you come bring the cloak which I left at Troas with Carpus, and the books, especially the parchments (2 Timothy 4:13). Paul knows he will be beheaded soon, yet he wants to refresh his thinking, he wants to learn. Someone has well said, "Leaders are readers." Anyone wanting to master a new skill or discipline must be prepared to study.
4 Some may look at this disciple making process and say the cost is too high, too much is being asked. The first verses of Scripture to be memorized in the Bellevue disciple making plan are words Jesus spoke as He explained what it meant to follow Him, Then Jesus said to His disciples, If anyone wishes to come after Me, he must deny himself, and take up his cross and follow Me. For whoever wishes to save his life will lose it; but whoever loses his life for My sake will find it (Matthew 16: 24, 25). Meeting weekly for a year, memorizing Scripture, and reading a few books pales into insignificance compared to the true cost of what Jesus describes as discipleship. THE ONE YEAR PLAN FOR DISCIPLE MAKING Part One: Gaining Perspective The first part of the journey centers on Jesus' strategy of ministry, making disciples. Making disciples is not an option for the believer who desires to do the will of God. - Bill Street Reading The Master Plan of Evangelism, by Robert Coleman, will enlighten individuals on the imperative nature of being a disciple maker. Week 1 - Introduction Meeting: Getting acquainted, sharing testimonies, reviewing Baptist Faith and Message, the imperative of Bible study, and prayer to disciple making. You will receive an with more instructions regarding this meeting. Week 2 - The Preface and Chapter 1, Selection The Master Plan of Evangelism Memorize Matthew 16:24, 25 Week 3 - Chapter 2, Association The Master Plan of Evangelism. Memorize Matthew 28:18-19 Week 4 - Chapter 3, Consecration The Master Plan of Evangelism. Memorize Matthew 28:20 Week 5 - Chapter 4, Impartation The Master Plan of Evangelism Memorize John 17:19 Week 6 - Chapter 5, Demonstration The Master Plan of Evangelism Memorize Ephesians 5:18 Week 7 - Chapter 6, Delegation The Master Plan of Evangelism Memorize 2 Timothy 2:2 Week 8 - Chapter 7, Supervision, The Master Plan of Evangelism Memorize Matthew 4:19 Week 9 - Chapter 8, Reproduction, The Master Plan of Evangelism Memorize John 15:4, 5 It all started by Jesus calling a few men to follow Him. This revealed the direction his evangelistic strategy would take. His concern was not with programs to reach the multitudes, but with men whom the multitudes would follow. - Robert Coleman
5 Part Two: Walking in Freedom The second part of the disciple making journey looks at the disciple becoming a person who walks in freedom. Week 10 - Evangelism & Missions God had one Son; He was a missionary. Discipleship may begin at 2000 Appling Road ; it cannot end there. With Face Time and Skype so easily accessible, relationships with a missionary could be established early in the year and much prayer and perhaps service could be given. You will receive an for this study. Memorize Acts 1:8 While Satan cannot rob the believer of his eternal salvation, he seeks to rob him of intimacy with God and fruitfulness in life. Jim Logan's book, Reclaiming Surrendered Ground, will be used. Week 11 - Chapter 1 The Battle and the Victory Reclaiming Surrendered Ground Memorize Ephesians 4:27 Week 12 - Study and discuss chapter 2 Giving and Gaining Ground Read chapter 3 Dabbling in Darkness Reclaiming Surrendered Ground Memorize James 4:7, 8 Week 13 - Chapter 4 Looking Backward: Unforgiveness and Bitterness and 5 It s Always Right to get Right Reclaiming Surrendered Ground Memorize Ephesians 6:10 Week 14 - Chapter 6 What s So Terrible about Pride Reclaiming Surrendered Ground Memorize Ephesians 6:11 Week 15 - Chapter 7 Breaking the Shackles of Sexual Bondage Reclaiming Surrendered Ground Memorize Ephesians 6:12 Week 16 - Men: Read chapter 8 Families Under Attack, study and discuss chapter 9 A Father and Husband s Protection Reclaiming Surrendered Ground Women: Read and discuss chapter 10 A Wife and Mother s Lasting Beauty and read chapter 11 Children Can Resist, Too Reclaiming Surrendered Ground Memorize Ephesians 6:13, 14 Week 17 - Read chapter 12 Who s the Winner, Who s the Loser Here Study and discuss chapter 13 Learning to Live Like a Winner Reclaiming Surrendered Ground Memorize Ephesians 6:15, 16 Week 18 - Chapter 14 What to Wear in the Battle Reclaiming Surrendered Ground Memorize Ephesians 6:17, 18 Week 19 - Chapter 15 The Battle is in Your Head Reclaiming Surrendered Ground Memorize Ephesians 6:19, 20 Part Three: The Daily Disciplines The third part of the disciple making centers around the disciplines that are needed in order to live a godly life and effectively disciple others. The book to study is Spiritual Disciplines for the Christian Life Revised and Updated by Donald Whitney.
6 Week 20 - Chapter 1 The Spiritual Disciplines For the Purpose of Godliness, Spiritual Disciplines of the Christian Life Revised and Updated Memorize1 Timothy 4:7, 8 Week 21 - Chapter 2, Bible Intake Spiritual Disciplines Memorize Ezra 7:10 Week 22 - Chapter 3, Bible Intake (Part 2) Spiritual Disciplines Memorize Psalm 119:105 Week 23 - Skim chapter 4 Prayer Spiritual Disciplines. Read and discuss chapters 1-4 Pray Like It Matters Memorize Mark 1:35 Week 24 - Read and discuss chapters 5-8, Prayer, Pray Like it Matters Memorize James 5:15 Week 25 - Read and discuss chapters 9-12, Prayer, Pray Like it Matters Memorize John 15:7 Week 26 - Chapter 5 Worship Spiritual Disciplines Memorize John 4:23, 24 Week 27 - Chapter 6 Evangelism Spiritual Disciplines Memorize Romans 1:16; Romans 3:23 Week 28 - Evangelism. Learning to share your testimony: Your life before Christ, HOW you came to Christ, and How your life has changed since you received Christ Memorize Romans 6:23 and 10:13 Week 29 - Chapter 7 Serving Spiritual Disciplines Memorize Mark 10:45 Week 30 - Chapter 8 Stewardship Spiritual Disciplines Memorize 1 Corinthians 4:1, 2 Week 31 - Chapter 9 Fasting Spiritual Disciplines Memorize Matthew 6:16 Week 32 - Chapter 10 Silence and Solitude Spiritual Disciplines Memorize Psalm 46:10 Week 33 - Chapter 11 Journaling Spiritual Disciplines Memorize Psalm 102:18 Week 34 - Chapter 12 Learning Spiritual Disciplines Memorize Philippians 4:8 Week 35 - Chapter 13 Perseverance in the Disciplines Spiritual Disciplines Memorize Philippians 4:9 Part Four: Leading in Faith Discipleship, bringing people to maturity, is the work of the entire church. It is a growing process that should not end until a person takes their final breath. Disciple making is the work of an individual believer with other believers that should not cease until the world has been reached with the gospel. - Bill Street Any discussion of disciple making that does not include the imperative of winning souls to Christ both at home and abroad is not being faithful to the Word of God. Disciple making without the imperative of soul winning is not New Testament Christianity. - Steve Gaines The final part of the process focuses on equipping disciple makers to be godly leaders. These are lessons that Bellevue will provide. We will have verses that correspond to each study. Week 36 - Leadership Everything rises or falls on leadership. If the world is to hear the church s voice today, leaders are needed who are authoritative, spiritual, and sacrificial. J. Oswald Sanders Memorize Ezekiel 22:30 Nothing so conclusively proves a man s ability to lead others as what he does day to day to lead himself. - Thomas J. Watson
7 Week 37 Leadership It costs to lead. People are looking for people who are competent, compassionate, and people of character. Memorize 1 Corinthians 11:1 Spiritual leadership is Week 38 - Leadership moving people on to Spiritual leadership is not a title given, but a position earned. God s agenda. Leadership is not something pronounced over someone; rather, - Henry Blackaby leadership is recognized because of who the person is and what they are doing. Memorize 1 Timothy 4:11 Week 39 - Biblical Counseling Through the Holy Spirit, the Word of God, and the body of Christ, the believer has the ability to be used by God help other believers overcome the problems and pressures of life and come to maturity in Christ. Memorize Romans 15:14 Week 40 Living in the Light What makes a disciple is not merely biblical knowledge, but biblical obedience. Truth not applied actually hardens the hearers heart. If the believer does not walk in the light, they sin. If the believer continues in sin, strongholds are developed. Memorize Proverbs 5:21-23 Week 41 The Doctrine of the Cross The gospels are books about the cross. As astonishing and indescribable an act as Calvary was, a personal reality of the cross must be known by the believer. Week 42 - Faith Without faith, it is impossible to please God. A disciple maker must learn to live based upon what God says, not upon what he thinks, feels, or hears from others. Memorize Hebrews 11:6 Week 43 - Faith A disciple maker must learn how to hear from and walk in the counsel of God, trusting that what God has promised, He is able to perform. Memorize Romans 4: Week 44 - Celebration, prayer, and commissioning. Some may look at this disciple making process and say the cost is too high, too much is being asked. Meeting weekly for a year, memorizing Scripture, and reading a few books pales in significance to the true cost of what Jesus describes as discipleship. - Bill Street
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TRAINING OBJECTIVES FOR A DISCIPLE This appendix spells out the details of each objective. The format is to explain each objective briefly, to suggest some specific activities, to recommend pertinent materials,
First Things First A Guide to Prayer and Fasting First Things First Table of Contents I. How to Pray II. Types of Fasts III. Beginning a Fast IV. 21 Days of Prayers 1. Confession/Repentance 2. Draw Closer
SESSION 10 GO MAKE DISCIPLES BEFORE JESUS ASCENDED TO THE FATHER, He gave His disciples a commission to make disciples of all nations. Based on the authority of Jesus, we are to make disciples by baptizing