Thoughts on Discipleship Training for Ministers
New converts are babies – you can’t leave a baby to feed itself from Sunday to Wednesday. A baby must be tended every day perhaps many times throughout the day. When someone gets saved in church you should tell them you’ll be checking on them regularly.
- plan to call them every day for the first week
- call them at a time that will be a convenient time for them to talk to you – perhaps after supper.
What to say when you call them:
- How was their day?
- Anything come up that was a problem?
- Questions throughout the day – about serving the Lord.
- Bible reading – what did you read in the Word today?
- Any questions on what you read?
- Any needs that I can pray with you about?
Your goal is to get them feeding themselves on a regular basis – need instruction on personal time with the Lord.
- where to read
- encourage minimum length of time initially
- tell them up front this amount of time is the beginners level and as they mature the amount of time they will spend will expand.
Coach them on how to pray – ask them if they know how.
- explain what prayer is
- emphasize repeatedly, probably several times a week if not daily, that they are in a personal relationship with Christ.
- Explain the nature of their relationship with God
o start out with we are God’s children
o how does God as our Father relate to us
o Jesus is our brother
o God has given us the Holy Spirit to live in our hearts to be our guide and they can expect the Holy Spirit to talk to them.
New converts need to be encouraged to share what the Lord has done for him with family and friends. They need to be taught how to lead others to Jesus.
They need to be taught about the nature of the church (within the first week)
The Church is not a building or club. Church is a body. We’re members one of another and he (the new convert) needs the other members of the body. Fellowship is important.
Needs to be taught about spiritual warfare and the enemy.
- explain what temptation is and how to resist it.
- Explain devil’s attacks are not just spiritual but will use circumstances and people. God allows this to test our faith.
Pastor needs to be praying for new converts everyday and should recruit mature Christians to pray and contact new converts for fellowship.
Suggestions for Spiritual Development of Church leaders.
- each teacher and officers job description should include
- praying for class every day
- commit to read 1 book each quarter that compliments the topic being covered.
Secretary, Treasurer, Superintendent,
- prayer for classes
- one class a day and teacher per day
- call on Saturday
- Super – read book each quarter and at least 1 per year on SS development or leadership.
- Report to SS department what he’s learned. Not so much review but how it relates to use. Use to challenge SS department about growth.
- SEC – provide lists of names of SS class students and teachers to staff and update each quarter. Even prayer requests.
Pastor should meet with SS super and teachers on monthly basis for spiritual accountability . separate from any strategic planning. Share needs with other SS teachers and ideas.
Ushers: great if they were also greeters and part of door to door witnessing effort so men who invite you also greet you.
Thoughts from Dr. Allan Brown:
Discipleship must have stated, reachable goals.
What is a Disciple?
I. Use of the term in Scripture
A. General meaning: “learner, follower”
Matthew 8:21 And another of his disciples said unto him, Lord, suffer me first to go and bury my father. 22 But Jesus said unto him, Follow me; and let the dead bury their dead.
B. Used of followers of John the Baptist and of the Pharisees
Mark 2:18 And the disciples of John and of the Pharisees used to fast: and they come and say unto him, Why do the disciples of John and of the Pharisees fast, but thy disciples fast not?
C. Used generally of anyone who followed Jesus whether serious or not
John 6:60 Many therefore of his disciples, when they had heard this, said, This is an hard saying; who can hear it? 61 When Jesus knew in himself that his disciples murmured at it, he said unto them, Doth this offend you? 66 From that time many of his disciples went back, and walked no more with him.
D. Used to refer the close disciples
Matthew 11:1 And it came to pass, when Jesus had made an end of commanding his twelve disciples, he departed thence to teach and to preach in their cities.
Matthew 17:6 And when the disciples [Peter, James, and John] heard it, they fell on their face, and were sore afraid.
E. Used to refer to believers in the Book of Acts
Acts 6:7 And the word of God increased; and the number of the disciples multiplied in Jerusalem greatly; and a great company of the priests were obedient to the faith.
Acts 11:26 And when he had found him, he brought him unto Antioch. And it came to pass, that a whole year they assembled themselves with the church, and taught much people. And the disciples were called Christians first in Antioch.
II. The Essence of Being a True Disciple of Christ
To be a disciple of Christ is to be a learner who is a servant
Matthew 10:24 The disciple is not above his master, nor the servant above his lord. 25 It is enough for the disciple that he be as his master, and the servant as his lord. If they have called the master of the house Beelzebub, how much more shall they call them of his household?
III. The Character of a True Disciple
A. A true disciple is called to a life of separation unto Jesus
Luke 14:26 If any man come to me, and hate not his father, and mother, and wife, and children, and brethren, and sisters, yea, and his own life also, he cannot be my disciple.
Matthew 16:24 Then said Jesus unto his disciples, If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me.
B. A true disciple is instructed in the ways of Jesus
Matthew 13:10 And the disciples came, and said unto him, Why speakest thou unto them in parables? 11 He answered and said unto them, Because it is given unto you to know the mysteries of the kingdom of heaven, but to them it is not given.
Matthew 16:21 From that time forth began Jesus to shew unto his disciples, how that he must go unto Jerusalem, and suffer many things of the elders and chief priests and scribes, and be killed, and be raised again the third day.
Luke 11:1 And it came to pass, that, as he was praying in a certain place, when he ceased, one of his disciples said unto him, Lord, teach us to pray, as John also taught his disciples.
C. A true disciple serves Jesus and others
Matthew 14:19 And he commanded the multitude to sit down on the grass, and took the five loaves, and the two fishes, and looking up to heaven, he blessed, and brake, and gave the loaves to his disciples, and the disciples to the multitude.
D. A true disciple is prepared to go out and make other disciples
John 15:7 If ye abide in me, and my words abide in you, ye shall ask what ye will, and it shall be done unto you. 8 Herein is my Father glorified, that ye bear much fruit; so shall ye be my disciples.
E. A true disciple is in the process of becoming like Jesus
Luke 6:40 The disciple is not above his master: but every one that is perfect shall be as his master.
Key Topics for Discipling New Converts
You don’t have to follow this order, but this cycles through bible reading, prayer, God’s family (church), and witnessing four times with further development each time. I would review previous material before adding new.