Discipleship Program - Essay Example

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The natural direction of evangelism should be towards discipleship. "We are to share our faith," according to Dr. Mike Henderson, "and tell nonbelievers about the wonderful changes Jesus Christ has made in our lives."i As our minds are filled with the knowledge of salvation and God's immense love, an outpouring of Divine Grace inspires us to seek others who, themselves are in need of redemption…
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Discipleship Program
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Introduction The natural direction of evangelism should be towards discipleship. "We are to share our faith," according to Dr. Mike Henderson, "and tell nonbelievers about the wonderful changes Jesus Christ has made in our lives."i As our minds are filled with the knowledge of salvation and God's immense love, an outpouring of Divine Grace inspires us to seek others who, themselves are in need of redemption. The challenge though for us is how to organize our efforts and resources in order to effectively communicate God's message of love and hope, and therefore serve as beacon that can guide people towards the path of liberation (from sin). This is where programs for evangelism and discipleship are mostly sought.
Most Common Programs/Approaches to Discipleship
1. One on One Mentoring. A friend of mine who spent some years of College inside the seminary told us of a system, where a senior seminarian is assigned to guide a neophyte through the process of adjustment; from a life of ease to a more restricted one. The senior seminarian is referred to as the Angel; while the new comer, Tobias. This system provides room for one on one coaching and counseling. In the process, camaraderie is strengthened as the neophyte gains confidence and develops to become an 'angel' himself in about a year's time. "Personal instruction from someone who is well experienced and versed was the best way to learn and develop ministry skills, and it still is," according to Dr. Richard J. Krejcir.ii In other churches, this takes the form of house visitation by an elder to a new or prospective member. This method is particularly effective due to its personalized approach, although it may tend to exhaust resources in terms of manpower, and time.
2. Small Group Sessions. Bible studies are usually conducted in small groups to facilitate a more cohesive sharing of experiences, and generate a lot more insights; so does a Sunday school session separately conducted for children, teens, and adults. These small group sessions can be very effective when inviting a group of friends or relatives to join a bible study. The use of film-showing in many sessions is helpful in stimulating discussions.
3. Music Ministry. A very important aspect of worship, it also serves as an attractive vehicle to make members become more participative in church activities. Young people and those musically talented individuals are especially drawn into the music ministry.
4. Social Services. Some church organizations include various social services as a big part of their ministry which includes counseling, community organizing, care for the sick and the elderly, feeding program, medical and dental missions among others. Such programs are valuable tools for evangelization and discipleship, since the act of helping others to address their concerns touches the human soul, and therefore generates two possibilities: one, conversion of the one being helped; and the other, conversion of the one witnessing the act of charity.
A good discipleship program should be able to address both the spiritual and temporal needs of a person. I, specifically, like including social or community development programs as entry points to evangelism or discipleship; for the very reason that Christ did not come here in this world to just preach but also "to serve." And serving He did, by healing the sick, feeding the multitudes, and giving hope to the refuse of society. He said, "Whatever you do to the least of my brethren, you do unto me" (Matthew 25:31-45). And this should be what Christianity is all about; much more, discipleship. Read More
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