This book will be written chapter-by-chapter through the Parchment & Pen blog. The printed form of the book will be released in connection with the DVD/Workbook study entitled: The Discipleship Program. A projected release date is May 2011.
Can a book, workbook or DVD Study make you a mature disciple of Jesus? It would be naive to believe such a foolish thought. Discipleship cannot be carried to completion through a book. Is it a waste of time, therefore, for us to write a book for you to read if you won’t be a mature disciple afterward? No, it is not a waste of time, you should read this book. Why?
Aim of Book
The aim of this book is to help point you in the right direction for a lifetime of fruitful discipleship. Our prayer is for you to spend the rest of your life passionately following Jesus. On your own, however, you can easily get sidetracked in your following of Christ. God did not set things up in a way where upon trusting in Jesus as your Savior you are now a fully devoted follower of Him.
A new believer has just started a process which Jesus refers to as discipleship. The term disciple is derived from the New Testament Greek word “μαθητής” (mathetes). The word comes to English by way of the Latin discipulus meaning “a learner”. A disciple, quite simply, just refers to someone who is a learner.
Jesus gave a discipleship, or “learning,” command to all people who would follow Him. This command has become so famous it is better known today as “The Great Commission”. You can find it in the Bible. It’s recorded at the end of the 28th chapter of the book of Matthew. Jesus says, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. 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.”
Jesus specifically wants those who would follow Him to become life-long learners of Him.
Need for Discipleship
It’s popular today to think our learning about God will stifle our passion for God. I’ve even heard people say, “I’d rather be led instead of read.” This is simply not true from human experience. Anyone passionate in any subject will eventually seek to learn more and more about the subject. The person passionate about wine becomes a student of wine. They learn about the art of wine making, differing varieties in differing climates, soil nutrients, fermentation, barreling, pairing, and proper tasting techniques. They love the taste, but the taste is now greatly enhanced by their knowledge.
The person passionate about NASCAR becomes a student of NASCAR. They can tell you about the history of certain race tracks, they will tell you about some of the great drivers from the past, they’ll educate you about fuel conservation during a race, driver and fan safety, getting the most out of the tires, and driver G-forces.
If you’re reading this there’s a strong chance the King of all Kings has adopted you into His family. Your eternal destiny has been altered by a Savior who lived, died and rose in your place. He invites you to take your heavy burden in exchange for His light yoke. Your God is with you every day and is leading you safely to your eternal home. Yet so many people will go months, years or even a lifetime without taking the initiative to grow as a learner. We won’t follow the command of Jesus to make not just converts but disciples. Somehow we think if we know Him we won’t love Him. This is simply not true.
Layout of the Book
This book provides you with foundational discipleship (or learning) in our great God and Savior Jesus Christ. The first half of the book will focus on something called Orthodoxy. Orthodoxy refers to having correct thought, or right beliefs. The second half of the book will focus on Orthopraxy. Where orthodoxy refers to correct thought, orthopraxy focuses on correct actions.
Instructed by the Bible and witnessed throughout the 2,000 year history of those who follow Jesus, there are foundational beliefs and practices in which every Christian’s life should be grounded. If a person isn’t equipped with these core beliefs and practices, discipleship will be stunted.
Here are the topics which will be covered; each topic will be a chapter in the book:
- Living with God
- Living with the Bible
- Living with God’s People
- Living with Pain and Suffering
- Living as Lights
Our prayer, “Lord, I pray these next 10 sessions will deepen your church. You beckon us to grow in You as we live this life in the world You’ve created. May we be teachable and delight in the process of learning more about you so we can live more passionately and accurately for You.”