At Christ is King we seek to create and cultivate a culture of discipleship. Discipleship refers to both our own following after Christ as well as coming along side of other disciples to help them follow after Christ. The goal is to fulfill the Great Commission which begins with proclaiming the gospel to unbelievers and issuing a call to repent and believe (Acts 14:21), encouraging new believers to join the local church via baptism, and then teaching them to obey all that Christ has commanded (Mt. 28:18-20).
Our desire is that each member of our church would be equipped to not only proclaim the gospel to the lost, but also to disciple other believers. This involves coming along side of other believers to build a relationship with them and to help them grow in Christlikeness. This could happen in a one-to-one setting or a small discipleship group of three to four people. It could involve going through a book of the Bible together or reading a Christian book together or even working through a discipleship manual such as Fundamentals of the Faith.
Ideally this group would meet weekly or bi-weekly for six months to a year. Afterwards the goal is for each member of the group to start another group with a few others. The goal is to train one another to disciple others so that we are multiplying disciples and creating a culture of discipleship in the church (2 Tim. 2:2). If you desire to get involved in a discipleship group you can either invite someone in the church to enter into a discipling relationship with you or ask our pastor and he would be glad to help you get started.
What are some biblical goals for discipleship?
1. Salvation - That those we disciple would be saved. Many churches are filled with false converts, i.e. people who profess to be in Christ but in reality are not (Mt. 7:21-23). By inviting others into a discipling relationship with you and exposing them to biblical truth this may end up being a means by which the Lord saves the false convert.
2. Assurance – Not only do we want those we disciple to be saved but to know they are saved (1 John 5:13) and to have a good reason to know they are saved (2 Cor. 13:5). Discipleship is a means by which believers come to have assurance of their salvation.
3. Theology – Godliness flows from sound doctrine and right thinking (Rom. 12:2). Therefore, as we disciple others we desire to see them become sound theologically. That is, we desire to see them have a solid understanding of what the Bible teaches. Discipleship without theology isn’t discipleship at all. Doctrine is important and the word of God is central in our discipling efforts.
4. Prayer – Prayer is essential to the Christian life and all of Jesus’ disciples should be devoted to prayer. However, most Christians don’t know how to pray biblically. Jesus taught His disciples to pray by praying in front of them and teaching them about prayer. In the discipling relationship this should be a key focus. By praying together and studying the topic of prayer, believers begin to learn to pray in a way that is biblical and glorifies God.
5. Bible Study – All Christians are called to let the word of God dwell in them richly (Col. 3:16). However, like prayer, many Christians don’t know how to study the Bible righty. In a discipling relationship believers learn to study the Bible together. We want those we disciple to know how to study the Bible and to be committed to doing so.
6. Evangelism – Like prayer and Bible reading, evangelism is also a calling for all believers. Every Christian is called to be a Spirit empowered witness for Christ (Acts 1:8). As we disciple others we want to train and equip them to reach others with the glorious gospel of the blessed God.
7. Discipleship – Not only do we want to train those we disciple to evangelize but we also want to train them to disciple other believers. As you participate in a discipleship group together you are teaching those whom you disciple to disciple others. And this would include teaching them to disciple their families (i.e. family worship).
8. Maturity – The end goal of our discipleship is that those whom we disciple would grow to be more like Christ. That they would be presented mature in Him (Col. 1:28-29). We labor over our disciples until Christ is formed in them (Gal. 4:19).