Learning new things is a distraction or break from your current life situation stressors. Learning new things has many benefits. Learning something new can reduce stress. Once you find a new hobby that you enjoy, that hobby is a break from reality, it is distraction from our daily worries! When we have success in our new hobbies, we gain more confidence in ourselves. When these two things are combined together, you will also improve your mental health. One reason why learning has a positive impact on our mental well-being is that it is often about setting goals or targets and achieving these. This sense of achievement is an important part of your mental sanity.
1. These leaders were careful and caring. They know they are working with people. They understand that dealing with people means that you have got to love them. Teaching them truth and life lessons is important and good but why? Why…well because it is BEST for them. What does that mean, why is it “best” for them? It is love that motivates the teaching of the truth not the truth alone. Truth alone is painful and not always helpful.
2. Leadership requires dependence on God. Pray before you go sharing. Pray before you eat. Pray before you study the Word of God. Pray…these leaders showed me the tender heart and dependence on God that is so necessary before we minister to others.
3. Both of these leaders focus on the Word of God – this is where their approach and strategy comes from.
My two guys who are making disciples: one is a pastor and the other is a campus Crusade leader. They have separate strategies and ideas are both founded on the Word of God. Both see the connection between evangelism and discipleship. Both have a lot of creative ideas.
The main difference between the two is that my Campus Crusade disciple has more of a “closed” approach to his discipleship team. This might be because he does not have time to disciple everyone and that is true.. He focuses a lot of time and quality on those he does disciple! And He is a busy busy man whom has other Crusade responsibilities to attend to.
As much as I want to dive into my theological position pertaining to this question, I will restrain and focus on answering this question in relation to what we have been learning in this class about discipleship.
Well, first breaking this down theologically will help get to how it relates to discipleship…
“Disciples are created in the image of God” – correct. Gen. 1:26-27. And yes, God created man “Above” animals to rule over them.
“yet fallen…” – also true…Rom. 3:10, Ecc 7:20
“and choosing to learn…” – here is the tricky part….
Here is where one (me) is included to delve into some deep theology regarding “Free Will vs God’s Sovereignty” and Man’s ability and God’s power….All of these are related.
For the point of discussion and summing things up (instead of dealing with ALL of the theology) I will say yes with certain qualifications and explain why I think that we “choose to learn.”
God created us like Him, in His image but are fallen because of our sin nature. On our own power we cannot find God. We cannot come back to righteousness without God first coming to us. God is Holy, Righteous, Good and full of Grace – and we are not. We cannot chose to learn and be righteous on our own. God is standing at the door of our hearts and knocking, if we answer and let God in then we can have the relationship with God and then we can begin to learn and grow.
God is the one who takes the initiative though –this is the “God’s Sovereignty” part. Each man can respond differently, this is the “free will part.”
Some will choose God and choose to have a relationship, which includes learning and growing. Others will not.
In response to some of the other ideas floating in the other posts I have read so far. I agree that sanctification is the process after salvation. It is the process of learning and becoming more like Christ.
While the salvation experience is a one- time event, but there can be a process that leads to that event. Salvation is not a process but in some instances a series of other events might lead to one’s salvation experience – this sort of process is not sanctification though. I also agree that one is either saved or not, but there are relative degrees of holiness.
In context of discipleship, this statement has a few implications:
1. If a person is not saved, then sanctification and discipleship will not be very meaningful. An atheist can learn a lot about what a Christian believes and what the worldview is but they will not get much out of discipleship if they are not in a relationship with the Lord.
2. This statement is a good starting point for someone who is recently saved or wants to start a relationship with God. A. Realizing we are fallen. B. Where do we go from there? The relationship. C. The relationship with Christ and the learning to be more like him…this is a broad way of defining “discipleship.
3. Finally this statement helps us distinguish the difference between evangelism and discipleship. First, we see that man is fallen and if man is not in a relationship with Christ they need to be introduced to Him first which then should lead to discipleship and sanctification. Secondly, it provides an honest outline for us…we should not simply “save” people and leave them…we are called to tell people about Christ and MAKE DISCIPLES. So this should change our approach to both evangelism and discipleship…by this I mean yes we need to introduce them to Christ but also lead them in the knowledge/learning/growth of discipleship. The two are to go hand in hand.
I want stress something that has been bothering me the past few months. It has bothered me primary because it was real to me. I essential was a part of the problem. I could say I was a victim, which is partly true, but I don’t like to complain.
The problem is this: today’s Christians are not studying the Bible in historical context enough. The root problem is probably deeper, today’s Christians aren’t studying the Word of God enough in general.
I wonder how many Christians under the age of 25 could correctly associate each book of the Bible with its general time frame in history (I’ll even be nice and say: give or take a century.)
I hope I am wrong, but I think America’s young Christians might be failing.
I say all that a I am finishing up my Intro to OT and NT classes this semester, I started them in the summer semester. No one had ever informed me about the Intertestamental period. I had been trained (and trained well) in Sunday school classes, generally about all the big names (Adam and Eve, Noah, Abraham, Moses, Joshua, David, Solomon…I could even name some of the kings like Ahab, Hezekiah, Manasseh, Josiah, etc…and I knew about all the major prophets…In fact I even knew where all these names fit into history on a general basis.)
Then after the Babylonian exile and the return from exiles during the Persian rule….that is where the Sunday school lessons are not enough. (At least for me!) I did not really know what happened next in history. I have learned a lot in my intro to OT and NT classes!
All I knew was that the NT started and John the Baptist is preparing the Way for Jesus. Malichi was a nice bridge foreseeing John the Baptist and Jesus. But what about these silent years?
This “intertestamental period” is also known as the 400 silent years. History lessons of 8th Century till Christ’s life and death are important, but a lot of times this time period is forgotten about. I think that it is forgotten, many times becuase it is not addressed in the Bible very much. And becuase nothing wirtten from this time period is in the Biblical canon. The story goes, “if it is not in the Bible then it must not be important.”
I have a problem with this line of thinking for quite a few reasons. First it is addressed in the Bible. Second the Bible is ultimate truth, but there is truth outside of the Bible, history. The Bible lines up with history, furthermore showing God’s soverighty. Finally, just becuase something is not mentioned/addressed in the Bible directly, does not mean something is not important.
The book from the Bible that helped me the most to look into this period is Daniel. Daniel is propbaly one of the most difficult reads, but it does address the “silent years” through prophetic visions! While they are hard to read and understand we can still glean a lot about history from them. What is wonderful is that the visions line up with real history!