Tag: discipleship

Be One. Make One. // Part Two

“For where two or three are gathered in my name, there am I among them.” Matthew 18:20

Today senior pastor Jimmy Seibert and young adult pastor Chase Moore continued our series, Be one. Make one. by breaking down discipleship and sharing a few practical tools.

While tools and processes are helpful, we can’t let our focus shift from our relationship with Jesus. People and relationship are the centerpiece of discipleship. We want to walk out a life of encountering Jesus, and we want to help others do the same.

DISCIPLE MAKING IS LIVED OUT IN LIFEGROUPS.

This morning, we introduced four types of discipleship:

1.Peer Discipleship // These are small groups where we find accountability, encouragement and sharpening. Peer discipleship is found within the structure of Lifegroup.

“Iron sharpens iron, and one man sharpens another.” Proverbs 27:17

2.Mentoring // This is the investment and input of spiritual fathers or mothers into our lives. These relationships form outside the structure of Lifegroup.

 and what you have heard from me in the presence of many witnesses entrust to faithful men, who will be able to teach others also” 2 Timothy 2:2

3.Intensive // The Antioch Discipleship School is a great opportunity for intensive discipleship. These are medium to large groups focused on growth through a seasonal experience and led by a trained teacher or leader.

“Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God.” Hebrews 12:1-2

4.Evangelistic // The purpose of evangelistic discipleship is to introduce people to Jesus and help them follow Him. We find this by investing in two to three people within our sphere of influence.

“Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.” Matthew 28:19-20

Peer and evangelistic discipleship should be a continual part of our lives as followers of Jesus.

FOUR KEYS OF DISCIPLESHIP

  1. Discipleship is the genius of God // You will never be all Jesus has for you unless you’re investing in someone else. When we give, we end up receiving. It’s the way of the Kingdom. When we invest in others through discipleship, we end up learning more about Jesus.
  2. Discipleship is relational // People aren’t always looking for the right answer, they’re typically just looking for someone who cares. Building relationships doesn’t need to be difficult. Ask people for their story, and ask God about His heart for them.
  3. Discipleship is about modeling // Discipleship isn’t about being an expert, it’s about initiating relationships and growing together. We are called to follow Jesus and invite people to come along with us. Don’t ask people to do something you wouldn’t do as well.
  4. Discipleship is real time // Walking with people in discipleship is about meeting people right where they are. We aren’t calling people to do something, we’re walking thought life together and pointing one another to Jesus in every situation.

PEER DISCIPLESHIP AND MENTORING

We are committed to the presence of Jesus when two to three of us gather. Meeting together in discipleship is not about empathizing with one another, it’s about pointing people toward Jesus.

IN RESPONSE //

1.S.O.S METHOD // One practical method you can apply when reading the Bible together is the SOS method. This is a series of questions that can help you deeper dive into a passage:

  • S: What does this passage say about God, and what does it say about me?
  • O: What am I being called to obey?
  • S: What do I share with those around me?

2.Accountability questions // Go through a list of questions to help one another stay accountable, and to go deeper into what is happening in one another’s lives. It’s one thing to tell one another what we do and don’t do, but it’s another thing to go deeper and talk about the heart behind our decisions.

Download the seven questions we talked about this morning here!

Discipleship is all about relationships. We need fathers and mothers to call us up, brothers and sisters to call us out and friends to walk with.

A Discipleship School Testimony

Justin and I have been working hard to get the word out about the Day, Night and International Discipleship Schools at Antioch.  As we have spoken with people, we have come to realize there are some common misconceptions about the schools. The first being that the schools are only for people who feel called into pastoral or mission work. The second is that it is something to do if you don’t have any other options at the moment – a sort of placeholder while you’re figuring out life.  We are happy to announce that neither of these perceptions are true! The schools are for anyone with any calling at any age and stage of life. Our goal is to equip you to be a lifelong, fruitful disciple of Jesus within the context where God has you. Instead of trying to explain this further myself, I figured it would be best to hear from former students. JR and Ginger Dollins attended the Night Discipleship School last fall.

CHECK OUT THEIR STORY:

I’m a 45-year-old woman, and when a 12-year career in the turbulent wine industry came to a halt last spring, I decided to venture out on my own in a direct marketing skin care and makeup company. In the midst of his 22-year career, my 48-year old husband felt like God wanted him to get involved in a family business. This was a difficult step of faith for him since he received a raise and an offer of promotion the very week he resigned. Both career changes happened while we were attending Antioch’s Vision and Values Course. Coincidence? No.

IT WAS GOD MOVING THINGS OUT OF THE WAY.

During this season, both my husband and I felt like God might be suggesting we apply to the Discipleship Night School. Between kids and new businesses, we couldn’t imagine how we would find space to do the school. We wrestled with the questions of, “God, are you really calling us to attend the Night Discipleship School? How can we swing this? It isn’t possible, is it? There’s just not any time? School is not what you do midlife, and definitely not a school that doesn’t add letters to your last name, right God?  We have two teenagers with multiple after-school activities, see how busy we are God?  Isn’t the Discipleship School for those called to the mission field? Are you calling us to the mission field? We have two new companies that we are trying to get off the ground – is that mission enough? Aren’t the schools only for recent college grads and empty-nesters” 

There was absolutely no time for us to fit the Discipleship School into our schedule.

Still, we enrolled in the Night Discipleship School this past fall.

Looking back we ask ourselves, “Why did we ever put this off?”

WE WERE SLOW TO OBEY, AND WE’VE LEARNED THAT DELAYED OBEDIENCE IS REALLY DISOBEDIENCE.

But God is gracious and had us right where we needed to be.  The depth of how much the Father loves us means more to us than ever.  Our time in the school transformed our friendships, our family and our marriage in a way that is beyond words. Learning that we are made God’s righteousness because of Jesus’ sacrifice on the cross, plus the real, practical, everyday ways to be able to share what we learned is remarkable and is making a difference. It is affecting almost every conversation and our businesses, although difficult, are exceeding expectations in so many meaningful ways.

The speakers throughout the semester were incredible, and their teachings still challenge us. One speaker shared this, “Where is your joy on a day to day basis? The Bible says in the presence of the Lord there is fullness of joy.  So, who have you been meeting with every morning in your quiet times?” Another speaker said, “Jesus died on the cross and that is enough for ANY situation that might arise in your life.”

God’s dreams for our happiness and mission in life are MUCH bigger and better than we could even imagine. The sovereignty, holiness and love of God was continuously presented in a powerful way amidst a class community that changed the relationship we have with Him; it was just so good. Words are too finite.

Our classmates were amazing. If we could just shout one thing to everyone reading this, it would be this –

THE PEOPLE THAT TAKE THE CLASS WITH YOU WILL PERMANENTLY CHANGE YOU FOREVER AND FOR THE BETTER.

This is truth. We had young people and seniors taking the class with us, all with a unique relationship with Jesus. This constantly taught us how we need diversity so we can have a healthy body. The vulnerability and friendships we made changed us forever. We found we couldn’t wait until the next class, and we never wanted the class to end. We were shocked that our spiritual hunger grew throughout the semester and beyond, where in the past we would normally be disenchanted after a short time.

The Discipleship Schools are for anyone, no matter the age or the life stage. God changed our lives forever through the Night Discipleship School. If God is prompting you, don’t hesitate! Say yes to the Discipleship School and the next step in your life-long relationship with Jesus.

Our application is live, and you can access it by clicking here. Applications are due June 15th.  If you have any questions at all, please don’t hesitate to reach out to Justin or myself.

For more information about the Night Discipleship School, email Mick.

For more information about the Day Discipleship School, email Justin.

Why we Value Discipleship

Imagine for a moment the gut-wrenching decision we’d face if forced to eliminate all our ministry activities except for one thing. What would it be? Sunday services? Kids Ministry? Missions? This was the question posed to a group of 40 Antioch pastors during a vision meeting more than ten years ago. The group was gathered to seek God’s direction for our movement, and this provocative question was designed to help us determine our “X-Factor.”

I surveyed the wide range of people in the room, their various passions, giftings and experiences. I imagined this conversation going well into the night without ever finding a conclusion and perhaps even growing contentious. Forty people can’t agree on when to break for lunch, how on earth do we agree on something like this? Nevertheless, we broke into smaller groups to talk and pray. An hour later the groups gathered to report their conclusion. I was shocked, along with everyone else, as one-by-one each group reported back the exact same answer: If we had to narrow to one activity, we’d choose discipleship.

Our conclusion felt sacrilegious – discipleship instead of evangelism or prayer? We started to seriously reconsider whether or not we’d made the right decision. The group grew increasingly insecure until someone finally stated, “Wait! Wasn’t discipleship Jesus’ X-Factor?”

IT SUDDENLY DAWNED ON US THAT JESUS MODELED DISCIPLESHIP BECAUSE IT IS THE DOORWAY INTO EVERYTHING ELSE.

When people are discipled they learn to pray, share the Gospel, invest in children – and so much more.

In that moment, we re-established our commitment to life-on-life discipleship. Ten years later, I see the power of this decision. We’ve seen broken families restored and whole relational networks transformed. We’ve seen people discipled and then launched out to plant new churches across the world. And we’ve also seen that reality is messy – just like it was for Jesus and the early church. Discipleship is seldom convenient and requires a lifestyle of opening our lives up to people. Investing in the lives of people opens us up to their pain and brokenness, and ultimately reveals our own struggles.

TO MAKE DISCIPLES, WE MUST FIRST BE DISCIPLES, AND THAT IS PERHAPS THE MOST DIFFICULT STEP.

Discipleship is not always easy nor exciting, but it is incredibly powerful. Jesus invested in a few, who invested in a few, who did the same. Two thousand years later, this legacy of discipleship continues. It is the single most powerful force on the planet, transforming the very foundations of culture, and now it’s our turn. Best of all, everyone can do it: stay-at-home moms, business leaders, retail clerks, students, and retirees. You may never preach, you may never write a book, but you can go make disciples. This was the example of Jesus and this is His charge to the Church.

Lifegroups are the primary way we make disciples at Antioch and a big deal to us. We want every single person in our church to experience authentic discipleship community. If you are not in a Lifegroup, sign up here to get connected.

ADDITIONALLY, WE PROVIDE A FEW RESOURCES TO AID THE DISCIPLESHIP PROCESS:

  • The Antioch Discipleship App is our primary material for discipleship. We primarily use the Discovery Bible Study tool, and also include books and resources we’ve found helpful. The app is available for iOS and Google and features several instructional videos to get you started.
  • Go Make Disciples is a book designed to both envision and equip you in how make disciples in the context of community. This is our primary training guide for Lifegroups and can purchased online or in our bookstore.

Take a step today to embrace this calling and let’s discover once again the power of discipleship.

By Drew Steadman – U.S. Director

Up – In – Out Part 1: Up

This week Drew Steadman kicked off our new series, Up – In – Out. Throughout our three-week series we will be talking more about what it looks like to be a disciple and how to cultivate healthy discipleship relationships. A disciple is simply someone who is following Jesus and trying to look more like Him. Being a disciple isn’t just knowing the Bible, it’s about living out what we know and obeying the calls of God.

Take a look at these questions to help you go a little deeper into this week’s topic:

Let’s go to the Great Commission. This passage imparts a mission to the Church, but also provides critical steps toward seeing it accomplished. “Then Jesus came to them and said, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.” Matthew 28:18-20

  • 1. List the two promises found in this passage. If we genuinely believe them to be true, how would that affect our perspective on discipling others?
  • 2. List the four commands found in this passage. How does this compare to your answer above? What is the typical application of these commands in the Church? Do they reflect the Great Commission, or something different?
  • 3. The final command is “teach to obey,” yet we often reduce it to “teach.” List out typical teaching methods in one column and methods for teaching to obey in a separate column. What should you emphasize in order to lead a group that “teaches to obey”?

Antioch staff member Drew Steadman

How to Fulfill the Great Commission in Three Steps

“Go and make disciples of all nations…” Matthew 28:19

I wonder what was going through the minds of the disciples as they received this great commission. I can only guess that someone had to change their pants afterward. Making disciples is an intimidating task. It was scary when I was a Lifegroup leader in college and it’s still scary as a pastor at Antioch RDU.

Yet, Jesus doesn’t leave much room for excuses. We are called to make disciples.Discipleship was the main strategy of Jesus and embodies the heart of the Gospel:

“As the Father has sent me, so I am sending you.” John 20:21

God has sent His Son into our lives, and we are sent to make an impact into the lives of others. No, discipleship is not easy- most things worth doing aren’t easy. But by God’s grace, it’s possible and totally worth it.

So how do you make disciples?

I want to offer three simple steps that have helped me in the journey of making disciples:

1. Build Authentic Relationship.

The best discipleship relationships begin on the foundation of trust. Share your journey with them and hear their stories. Be yourself. Model vulnerability and talk about the sins and fears that Jesus has helped you overcome. I love Pumpkin Spice Lattes, but there’s no mention in Scripture of Jesus doing discipleship in coffee shop. Feel free to get out and live life with people that you’re discipling.

2. Make Intentional Investment.

Intentionality makes the dream a reality. Ask them how they want to grow and guide them there step by step. Impart the simple values of loving God and loving others. Read through a book together and talk about applying it to your lives. Antioch has several resources online to help teach Kingdom values.

3. Give a Missional Challenge.

People are at their best when they have a vision beyond themselves. The person you are discipling has gifts and callings that the world needs. Help them discern their God-given callings and empower them to pursue it. Challenge them to serve, go on mission trips and make disciples.

After seven years of doing this, I’ve been encouraged when I’ve looked back and seen those I’ve discipled become missionaries, youth pastors, business leaders and worship leaders who are radically following Jesus and changing the world more than myself.

No, it’s not easy. But it’s totally worth it.

By Travis Nicholson, Associate Pastor, Antioch Raleigh-Durham

Apps to Help with Discipleship

One of our goals as a church is to equip you to live a life fully devoted to God and we feel discipleship is a key value in living that life! The Green Book and Blue Book apps provide handrails to anyone who is new to discipling other people. They can also be used as a tool for Lifegroup discussion or in your personal time with God.

3 Reasons Why You Should Download These Apps Now

  • They’re free!
  • In a world where just about everyone has a device like an iPhone or an iPad, it’s incredibly easy to access and use.
  • The studies are broken down into topical sections with blanks where you can respond within the app. You can write out your answers and refer back to them later so you don’t have to keep track of it separately in a journal. It has the Bible passages directly available, so you can read them within the app.

Download The Blue Book – Becoming a Friend of Jesus

Download The Green Book – Making Disciples for Jesus

Seven Steps to Freedom

Seven Steps to Freedom

Many of us long for transformative healing – the kind of healing that mends the wounds of the past, emotional disturbances, difficult issues of life, lies, sin and strongholds.

Let’s picture that healing process as a highway, one on which we journey with Christ all of our lives.  Prayer with a friend, a revelation straight from God,  an experience in worship, a sword-like word from the pastor, an inner healing session; these are all examples of healing events we may experience on our journeys.

Neil Anderson’s Seven Steps to Freedom serves as an effective on-ramp onto that highway to healing. The Steps address confession and repentance, the renunciation of idols, forgiveness of those who have hurt us and the closing of doors which allow entrance to the enemy.

The Steps are easy to administer. You don’t have to be a professional to take someone through all seven.  Anyone who has been through the Steps themselves can administer this healing process. I am so glad we can provide this life-changing resource to you to be used in Lifegroups, in discipleship and with friends. Transformative healing can happen today.

Download Seven Steps to Freedom

By Vicki Smyer, Counseling Director

Intro to Discipleship Lessons

Download the Discipleship Lessons here.

Like many churches, the church I grew up in strongly encouraged active participation in the various ministries it offered.

These ministries helped me in my initial understanding of God’s love, and while I am forever thankful for my spiritual upbringing, I went to college with nagging thoughts that something else was needed in my walk with God. In college, I told my academic advisor that I wanted to grow in my relationship with Christ. He asked me if I would like to host a discipleship group in my dorm room. I had never heard the word discipleship before, but I instantly knew it was the “something else” I had been looking for.

My discipleship times with my adviser and the other students who joined us consisted of reading scripture, praying and learning to share our faith with others. Each week we would discuss a topic and my adviser would ask us to practice the lesson and discuss the results the following week. It was one of the greatest times of growth in my Christian life. I remember experiencing the presence of God as I would read and share my faith. I can remember influencing my roommates for the Lord, seemingly without even trying. Looking back on that time, God allowed me to experience His power in several ways. First, I developed a meaningful relationship with my adviser, whom I respected greatly. Second, my adviser provided accountability for me, giving the strength I needed to move forward in the disciplines of reading the word, praying regularly and sharing my faith. Finally, regularly reading scripture kept my mind and heart centered on Jesus.

That discipleship experience was a critical factor in my journey with God as a college student, and is still an important factor in my walk with God today. Discipleship is so important that at Antioch we call it our “X-factor.” This means we view it is as the single most important factor in helping a person grow spiritually. To ensure this crucial component of someone’s spiritual life, Antioch has developed discipleship lessons we call Foundations of Faith. These seven lessons cover basic components a believer needs to either start or maintain a solid Christian experience. The lessons introduce core passages from the Bible and then provide ways to apply these truths to life. While the lesson itself is a great discipleship tool, its power to impact a person’s life comes from completing the lesson in a discipleship environment (usually in Lifegroup or with another believer). If you have not gone through Foundations of Faith, there is no better time than now for you to partner with another person and complete the lessons. If you have done them before, consider asking God who you could take through the lessons. I am confident you and that person will be blessed!

 

By Vincent Carpenter