Tuesday, June 23, 2009

How churches are like wet parking lots...

I have some exciting news! The discipleship manual I have written was finally printed and I am able to hold it in my hand! I'm excited about his manual for several reasons:

1. It is much more in depth than most courses I have seen before. Rather than a fill in the blank style, it is interactive and challenging.

2. This course covers a broad range of topics. I sat down and thought about what areas a Christian needs to know to begin the walk on solid ground. For example, the course contains teaching on how Christians grow - an area often overlooked or assumed by many courses.

3. The course has several sections on biblical interpretation. In addition to providing the how-to, I have provided several examples and walk the reader through the process.

4. The course is written to help the teacher make disciples who are disciplemakers themselves. Many courses offer a transfer of information but this is not discipleship. Discipleship is a transformation of character.

5. The course will have a DVD set to go along with the manual. Some people are not easily able to read information and then teach it. My hope is that after reading through the lesson, the teacher can watch the session on DVD and then feel equipped to teach it. Classes I have taken that include a DVD accompanyment have been very helpful.

Discipleship is lacking in so many of our churches. Many people do not feel adequate to teach others so nothing ever gets going. I hope this course will begin to change that. Churches that neglect discipleship and only focus on making converts are said to be like a parking lot after a rain. The lot looks wide and deep but as soon as the sun comes out, it dries up. When the heat of trial comes on our flocks, the root withers and their spiritual lives dry up. Discipleship is essential to having a healthy church.

Do you need a premade package to disciple someone? Absolutely not! I feel though, that at least to begin, it is good to have some kind of guide to help you. After laying a solid foundation, the discipler can go in depth into individual areas later on. I have taught this course to the first found of students in my church. It went very well and they are excited to begin teaching others. Little by little great changes can be made through faithful teaching. One more step to fulfilling the Great Commission.

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