The problem I see in many attractional-event and program-driven churches in the West is their system does a good job of producing converts, but not necessarily of producing disciples who are equipped to make disciples who make disciples (Matthew 28:19). Many churches in our country seem to have drifted from the biblical concept of “church” and have redefined it as the place, a building, where ministry happens. Hence, many evangelicals have built large centralized institutions using what seems like marketing as a formula for success: utilize attractional events to draw a crowd, and then develop programs and depend on professional clergy to keep people coming back. While this may have worked to build large communities of worship in the mid-to-late twentieth century, it has also consumed many of the smaller churches like a Wal-Mart monopoly putting out of business the mom-and-pop shops. And often when the pastor of a program-driven church leaves the ministry, that church tends to lose sight of the vision as it struggles to pull together in unity, and the congregation shrinks as people transfer to the new, next, and better program-driven church that meets their family’s needs. I would argue this doesn’t build biblical community; this fractures community among local churches as the competitive mindset takes over and as church leadership begins to use marketing techniques to promote their brand to attract church shoppers, and thus congregants shuffle from church to church.
This book explores the challenges church leaders and congregants face in shepherding a program-driven church to begin to reach out to the community outside of the four walls of a church building. Take this journey with me as I evaluate Jesus’ and the Apostles’ method of outreach and discipleship and seek to find ways to apply their methodology in today’s context. We will explore various small group models throughout history and in today’s contemporary Western context. We will look at the necessity of corporate worship and small groups to stimulate spiritual growth. I have interviewed Jeff Vanderstelt, Steve Timmis, Joel Comiskey, and Dan Braga to glean wisdom from these leaders in how to successfully shepherded churches through this kind of recontexualization of the local church. In the end I have mapped out a strategy for how church leaders can lead their churches through this transition from attractional events and the programs to the missional home community and cell-driven model, which resonates with this generation disenfranchised with church.
I believe there are many methods of ministry that can work to make converts, but in order to make disciples that multiply requires an authentic faith community. This is what an unbelieving world is longing to see, a church that has closed the gap between their rhetoric and reality.
This book is a result of a Thesis Project for Gordon-Conwell Seminary Doctorate Program in Outreach and Discipleship.
In The Cross of Jesus, Warren Wiersbe turns his attention to the central message of the Christian faith. Looking from Jesus’ perspective, Wiersbe contemplates how Christ approached the cross, why he died, and what his words mean to us.
Are you searching for newness of life in your current season? Perhaps you are in a season of pain: tearing down, grieving, letting go. Perhaps you are in a season of recovery: mending, gathering, healing. Perhaps you are in a season of joy: building up, planting, dancing.
No matter what season you are in today, God’s timing is perfect. He is creating new life for you now. New peace, new joy, and new hope perfectly tailored for this time in your life.
How is your faith staying true in the changes? Can you really trust God in your current season and seasons to come? That’s what this study is about. It’s applying the scriptures in Ecclesiastes 3:1-8 so you can understand God’s plan in different seasons.
All you need for this study is a Bible, a notebook, and your favourite pen. Visit my freebies page for printable study questions. If you want to join in on a wider discussion of this book, I encourage you to comment on my blog at sarahgeringer.com and on my Facebook Newness of Life group page. Your comments bless me, and they also bless others who want to grow in faith. You will be encouraged by the stories and comments of others.
My times are in your hands. Psalm 31:15
God is holding you in his hand in this special time. This study will help you discover what God is teaching you about your current season, and what newness of life is available to you.
About the author
Sarah Geringer is a devoted follower of Jesus, wife, working mother of three, and a writer and artist. She has blogged since 2010, and currently blogs at sarahgeringer.com.
“Christmas Peace for Busy Moms” is her first self-published Bible study. She plans to publish seven more Bible studies in 2017 with corresponding online Bible studies on her blog.
Sarah has completed a memoir in free verse, “Heart in a Drawer: My Story as a Child of Divorce,” which is currently being reviewed by a small press publisher. She enjoys writing essays, poetry, memoir, and short stories.
Sarah holds a Bachelor of Arts in English from Covenant College and a Bachelor of Fine Arts in graphic design and illustration from Southeast Missouri State University. She enjoys reading, drawing, painting, gardening, baking, scrapbooking, journaling, walking in God’s beautiful creation, and above all, spending quality time with her family in her beloved home state of Missouri.
In The Gospel Call and True Conversion, Paul Washer challenges the real meaning of things like faith, repentance, and receiving Christ. He also deals extensively with the effects of saving grace that God promises in the new covenant; namely, the creation of new hearts and new people.
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How to Make and Multiply Disciple-Making Disciples — EVEN if you are a new believer.
Don’t know how to make disciples? Want a step-by-step plan that’s SPIRITUAL? Need a strategy for making disciples that others can copy? Ever wish you make a real impact in the lives of others?
What you need is a system that shows you how to make disciples quickly, while giving them the tools to be transformed daily. That’s how you can make a real difference in this world.
Discipleship is a huge need in the church today. The problem? It’s not the “just teach this lesson” method used by well-meaning believers. The secret is transformation through obedience to Christ’s commands and not learning information alone.
In the book Making Radical Disciples, you’ll get a 10-Step plan that actually works. Unlike other studies, you’ll discover the strategy Jesus used and uses to make disciples and specific steps you can follow.
STOP using discipleship materials that depend on the teacher and not the Holy Spirit.
Another mistake believers make is thinking “making disciples” requires a bible college degree or deep spiritual maturity. You should NEVER let these kinds of constraints keep you from obeying the Great Commission. Jesus lives in you and will help you make disciples, if you will depend on Him and follow His Word.
Follow a proven 10-Step Plan for Making Disciples
Making Radical Disciples details a step-by-step approach for making a passionate follower of Jesus. The best part? You will become more like Jesus as you teach others to do the same.
You’ll learn how to:
- Use eight pictures of Christ that help disciples grow strong in God
- Start a discipleship group that obeys the Great Commandment
- See where God is working and join Him
- Share a powerful testimony
- Share the gospel in a genuine way
- Develop an Acts 29 map to focus your discipleship efforts
You can make disciples! Just follow this guide and you’ll learn a proven system for multiplying disciples.
About the author