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How are you doing at present in Jesus' definition of eternal life. Jesus is now in the "home stretch. Now it is coming to its culmination and completion with the cross and resurrection -- and the redemption the cross will bring. Completion of the Father's mission has been foremost on his mind -- to glorify the Father on earth by making sure that the Father's plan for salvation is accomplished, finished, completed.

Finally, at the cross, Jesus' last words concern the completion of this mission:.

How to Start and Lead a Discipleship Program

How did it bring glory to the Father? What is the "work" the Father has given you to do? In what ways are you bringing glory to the Father in this? We look at the cross and see anguish, pain, and Jesus being crushed under the weight of the sins of multiplied billions of men and women.

But Jesus sees the cross as bringing glory to the Father on earth. It is the glory of the Son's obedience and the Father's divine love that brings redemption to humanity, but at a staggering cost. Now Jesus looks forward to glory in the Father's presence, the glory he left when he "emptied himself" and became a man Philippians 2: What is this glory that preceded Jesus' earthly mission, that he alludes to again in verse 24?

He was with God in the beginning. Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made. Paul speaks of this pre-existent glory in superlative terms -- glory that Jesus again receives when he leaves this earth to ascend to the Father. For by him all things were created: And he is the head of the body , the church; he is the beginning and the firstborn from among the dead , so that in everything he might have the supremacy.

After he had provided purification for sins, he sat down at the right hand of the Majesty in heaven. Later, John the Apostle has a vision of Christ in heaven as a Lamb before the throne, receiving the praise due his name. The four living creatures and the twenty-four elders fell down before the Lamb.

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Each one had a harp and they were holding golden bowls full of incense, which are the prayers of the saints. And they sang a new song: Then I looked and heard the voice of many angels, numbering thousands upon thousands, and ten thousand times ten thousand.

How to Start and Lead a Discipleship Program

They encircled the throne and the living creatures and the elders. In a loud voice they sang:. Then I heard every creature in heaven and on earth and under the earth and on the sea, and all that is in them, singing:. On earth, people saw the carpenter-turned-preacher. They saw a man who walked the dusty roads of Palestine, speaking in its villages, healing its sick and casting out demons.

They saw their leaders pour abuse on him, and finally have him executed in great shame and disgrace. But near the end of this prayer, Jesus asks the Father, that his disciples might glimpse him in his true glory:. Father, lift our eyes above this earth to see our Lord's present glory, "glory as the only Son of the Father, full of grace and truth" 1: I think of that Messianic Psalm that was put to music in Handel's Messiah:. Who is this King of glory? Lift up your heads, O you gates; lift them up, you ancient doors, that the King of glory may come in.

Who is he, this King of glory? What was his glory like during his earthly ministry? How did his glory peek through?

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What is his glory like now in the presence of his Father? Why do you think Jesus wants his disciples to see him in this glory verse 24? Jesus has prayed that he might glorify the Father by his own mission. Now he turns to the second part of this prayer and talks to his Father about his disciples. They were yours; you gave them to me and they have obeyed your word.

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Notice how Jesus speaks of his disciples: They were the Father's, given to Jesus out of the world. They weren't the fruit of Jesus' recruiting prowess, but the Father's chosen gifts to his Son. They knew with certainty that I came from you, and they believed that you sent me. Prior to his redemptive work on the cross, Jesus labored to reveal the Father to his disciples in word and deed. Jesus accurately communicates the Father's message to them Sometimes I wonder about the arrogance of us preachers who feel free to bring our own message and "slant" to our congregations. My brothers and sisters, our charge is not to bring our opinions, but to communicate Jesus' message with accuracy, just as Jesus spoke his Father's words with accuracy.

We are not independent pundits, but on-message spokesman for the Messiah! Jesus prays for his disciples in a number of places in the Gospels: I am not praying for the world, but for those you have given me, for they are yours. And glory has come to me through them. God loves the whole world 3: Jesus died for the sins of the whole world 1: He came as a light to the world 3: But here he prays for his tiny band, those whom the Father has given him, the first recruits in what will become a mighty army of the Redeemed. Jesus is not selfish or possessive of those the Father has given him.

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Jesus realizes that he shares everything with the Father; they co-possess everything. And there is a sense in which we are co-heirs in this way, as well, as we are one with Christ and the Father. What does that say about their relationship with each other? In what sense do we "co-possess" everything with the Father and Son?

How should that affect our values? The way we live? Jesus is leaving the dangerous world that has marked him as an enemy, but his disciples remain and need protection. They are the primary and best means for your church to disciple its people in God's precepts so your people can learn and grow in their walk with Christ. All Christians who are serious about their faith should be disciple and or be in a good Bible study or a small group that is studying the Bible. Yet, most churches do not do this vital call!

In the articles, Why should I be in a small group? The same principles apply to discipleship; because the philosophy of small groups here at Into Thy Word is that they are Bible centered studies. The only difference is small groups have more discussion, and they are smaller for more intimacy, whereas Bible studies have discussion also, tend to be larger, and are more teaching centered. Now that we understand that discipleship is essential for the formation of our Christian faith, we must realize their importance and how they help give us the ability to transfer our learning into real, practical influence to others around us.

It is as iron sharpens iron; this means we help one another to hone our faith and develop our character. We can listen to all the sermons, read all the best books, buy great CDs, and go to seminars-even seminary; but, unless we are learning, studying and challenging one another in the Word and faith, we will only have a shallow understanding of and impact on the Christian life.

Learning and Community breeds maturity and growth compared to individualism and selfishness which tends to breed pride and isolation. Do not get me wrong; we need to be in church under good teaching, we need to do our devotions individually, and be in personal prayer and study. But, to get the most out of our Christian learning so to impact our Christian living, we have to be learning and growing and working it out with others who are working it out; and that place is in Small Groups that are Bible centered and or larger Bible studies that have discussion groups and or opportunities for discussion Phil.

Even though there is no set formula, there are a few "tried and true" ways Discipleship, Small Groups, Bible Studies and Mentoring can develop that will be more consistent and purpose-filled so they can be more impacting and rewarding for all those involved. Our primary spiritual growth comes from our personal devotional times. Our involvement in Small Groups and Bible studies helps us further our growth and be the "iron that sharpens" one another as each one in the group helps another grow in Him and apply our faith into the world! Make a commitment to develop a discipleship ministry.

All the tools you need are in this article, and the rest of the resources can be found in our Small Group channel and in the various pages on our website. Have a clear ministry vision of what you will be doing with a Bible study and communicate this to the leaders and congregation. This will explain what it is, what it means, its values and purpose, and its benefits.

The Way of Discipleship

Then develop a structure and plan for it. Then, seek how people will be encouraged and equipped, listen to input, and then make the adjustments. Then, go to the congregation with your passion and plan, and just do it! The people in your church, whether you have no Bible studies and two Small Groups, have never had them, or half of the people are in them, need to be challenged and inspired to be Disciple or in Small Groups and Bible studies. You have to tell them why they need to be in one, that it is fun and easy, and help alleviate their fears. The pastor must share the passion, personally be in one, and give his testimony.

Then, further help enable your church membership to get in one by modeling them through demonstration, skits, testimonies, and literature. Have a table in your church lobby staffed with the leaders to sign people up and answer questions. Then, once the people are coming, continue the testimonies, share success stories, and honor the people with celebration and encouragement. The congregation also needs to know how pastoral care and counseling will be provided know the limits of the Small Group; they can provide listening and encouragement but not resolve serious issues or do therapy unless the leader is licensed and trained!

Mentoring, Small Groups and Bible studies can unravel deep hurts and issues that have not been dealt with prior, so people need a place to go to be helped. Create Clear Leadership Responsibilities! Have a plan to recruit and develop leaders. Make sure the leaders are growing in their walk, have a plan to deal with problems such as crisis, conflict, and abusive people, have regular meetings for prayer, evaluation, encouragement, and mentoring and apprentice development.

These people do not need to be experienced, seminary trained or theologians, but willing and able to learn and grow themselves before asking others to do so. The church is called to find the most capable people possible and protect the flock from potential harm. Never put just anyone in any position; it is better to have empty positions than the wrong people in them! The essential key is for you to find people whose heart is after God's heart 1 Cor. It is always best to find people who have done it before, but this is not necessary, as long as you train effectively.

The biggest reason why churches fail at discipleship and Small Group Bible study ministry is they fail to train the leaders; the result is the occurrence of all kinds of problems Rom. As church leaders come together to pray for wisdom on group dynamics and direction. If you are developing more than one discipleship group or Bible study, here are some helps: You will then have your own manual.

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Make any needed changes and put your church name on it. Please keep our copyright info on it, too. Our call is to do it even when the results might seem like failure Matt. If he or she does not like supervision, consider that a red flag warning! Enjoy our vibrant service with exciting conservative music and relevant expository preaching of the Word of God.

Ministry Opportunities Church Ministries Resources. A major part of being a Christian is growth! In order to grow in our faith, we must get to know God in a deeper way and the only way to deepen our knowledge and understanding of God is through the revelation that God gives of Himself in the Bible. Geared for people who have newly accepted Christ as their Savior or for those who are looking to grow deeper in their faith, the New Leaf Discipleship ministry of Bible Baptist Church is designed especially for you.

Using the Conitnue Discipleship material, you and a member of Bible Baptist who has already been through the curriculum will sit down weekly and learn what the Bible says about subjects like assurance, prayer, the local church, the future, and our faith. It is vital for the growth of the Christian that they become grounded in their faith and given answers to their spiritual questions. Contact any of our friendly staff or the church office for more information.