Why is one-to-one training an integral part of the practicum’s small group “Becoming A Disciple-maker” instruction?
The combined teaching/training format is necessitated due to the recognition that many of today’s church members have not yet adequately developed their own personal spiritual growth skills. This is why life-to-life, peer practice is needed before effective discipleship training can begin in most churches. Ministry skills like the daily quiet time, Scripture memory, witnessing, and disciple-making all require time to develop.
When our equipped disciple-makers begin personally training new believers and members, how many weeks does it take for them to complete the discipling process?
After new believers and members complete the 7 sessions in A Call to Joy and 11 sessions in A Call to Growth, are they ready to begin discipling others?
Each disciple-maker must come to realize that the battle for spiritual multiplication is either won or lost based on the specific daily decision to pray for the opportunity to witness. This is perhaps the most important ministry discipline that you can model for a new believer. 1 Timothy 4:7 says “discipline yourself for the purpose of godliness.” This is a daily decision that you alone can make! Reflect on the parable of the sower and the seed in Mark 4:1-20. Notice that there are four different soils representing man’s receptiveness to God’s Word. The first, second, and third soils do not produce fruit and multiply. However, the fourth soil not only grows, it produces a crop, and multiplies thirty, sixty, or even a hundred times.
Consider the third soil: What did the Lord say would keep it from growing and multiplying the seed? In Mark 4:18, He gives the answer. His spiritual diagnosis explains why so many Christian churches are in a state of mediocrity and spiritual decline. He said, “Others hear the Word; but the worries of this life, the deceitfulness of wealth, and the desires for other things come in and choke the Word, making it unfruitful.”
At this time on your Christian pilgrimage, you may be exactly where God wants you to be spiritually. But if not – are you prepared to admit it to yourself? Don’t settle for marginal commitment – the Lord wants something far better for you than mediocrity!
The Bible says, “throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles, and let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us. Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before Him endured the cross, scorning its shame and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.” (Hebrews 12:1&2) He wants to make you a self-disciplined, highly effective Christian! When you think about the fruit He wants to produce in your life; love… joy… peace… patience… kindness… goodness… faithfulness… gentleness… self-control, plus the joy of leading others to Christ, who would want anything less!
Please pause at this point – spend a few minutes in silent prayer asking the Lord to help you identify anything that is hindering your spiritual growth, and pray He will give you the faith and commitment required to remove it. Sometimes we can feel that mental agreement with the teaching of Scripture is equivalent with obedience. However, it is allowing God to apply His truth in our specific daily situations that makes the Christian faith personally rewarding. Too often, we stop at the point of simply understanding a concept, rather than pressing forward to personal application.
For many reasons, we tend to insulate ourselves from change. However, being transformed into Christ’s image is at the very heart of being His disciple, so you can expect positive changes as you spend quality time studying God’s Word with your teammate!
Through spiritual multiplication, you, your teammate, and your entire church can impact your city, state, and world for Christ! Remember to be consistent and put His plans first in your list of priorities. The Lord said, “But, seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.” (Matthew 6:33)
These next several months of training will not only prepare you to help new believers and members grow spiritually – you will be equipped for a lifetime of effective and rewarding personal ministry!