I released two books on discipleship last week. They are the product of a 2-year attempt to help our church have a tangible and accessible guide to engage in personal discipleship. As I finished the emphasis in our church, I had some people ask me to help share what we were doing.
In particular, two groups served as the catalysts for me to turn a concept into a book.
#1 – Women in Our Church
As I shared with our women’s ministry team about the preaching emphasis for the year, they desired to coordinate their Bible studies with the sermon series on Distinctive Discipleship. They really wanted a thorough guide with weekly Bible study material and daily devotionals. As we discussed, they really believed in the concept and wanted it to be more than a seasonal emphasis in our church. They wanted to be trained in how to disciple other women.
With that as a sincere and legitimate charge, I set out to write an 8-week Bible study that had 5 daily devotions each week to help narrow down the process. I refused to make this a curriculum in the sense that it provides all the topics needed to make a disciple. It was meant to narrow down the process to see what an individual needed to work on next.
I finished the Distinctive Discipleship Bible Study, had them printed, and two separate groups were listed. I was overwhelmed with the number of ladies in our church who went through the study, and the positive response that they gave.
After having a bound workbook that a percentage of your church has gone through and found effective, it doesn’t make too much sense to bar others from using it. They had shared with some friends, and others wanted to use it. After making some adjustments by the initial run, I finished it up.
The Distinctive Discipleship Bible Study can be done in a small group format, a master teacher approach, or an individual working through it alone.
#2 – Pastor Friends in the Area
I have a small group of pastors that I meet with in the area. We encourage and challenge one another in many different areas. One of the topics we addressed at one of our meetings was discipleship.
As we discussed the challenges, they asked me to share what we were doing at church to engage in personal discipleship. I shared with them the model on a simple sheet of paper. The more we talked, the more they asked questions and gave eager feedback.
They encouraged me that I needed to put this into some type of format that was reproducible for people outside of our church.
In fact, these pastors threatened me that if I didn’t put it down into some type of format, they would.
Even after the meeting, these brothers sincerely prodded me to make this available to their churches and others. They were like me as pastors looking for some type of model for personal discipleship that wasn’t an exhaustive or exhausting curriculum. They wanted something flexible to their ministry context.
I wrote the book geared towards an individual who wants to read the concepts and then adapt it to their own ministry opportunities. If you read through the book, you get the entire concept, learn how to use it as a guide for you or someone you are discipling, and possess a process to keep it adaptable throughout the years.
Each book can be used independently, but you can align them for deeper understanding. If you get the Bible Study, there is a reading plan for the book that corresponds with the content.
You Might Be the Answer to My Prayers
God used women in my church and pastors in my city to spur me on to finish these two resources. I can only speak for what I see – this approach isn’t perfect but it is making progress in families, friendships, and groups. I am watching elementary-aged kids to senior adults improving through their Distinctive Discipleship plans.
It was a lot of work to put these resources out there, but it was worth it because of who I had in mind. It might have been you.
I was praying that God would use what he was teaching me and our church and spread to others. If it can be a part of how you fulfill the Great Commission, you would be the answer to my prayers. I have asked the Lord to use these resources to make disciples who make disciples. If these resources can benefit you to that end, I will forever be grateful!