Scripture

...We were delighted to share with you not only the gospel of God but our lives as well… ~ 1 Thessalonians 2:8 (NIV)

The King will reply, “I tell you the truth, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of Mine, you did for Me.” ~ Matthew 25:40 (NIV)

But I have prayed for you, Simon, that your faith may not fail. And when you have turned back, strengthen your brothers. ~ Luke 22:32 (NIV)

Follow my example, just as I follow the example of Christ. 1 Corinthians 11:1 (ERV)

You, however, know all about my teaching, my way of life, my purpose, faith, patience, love, endurance, persecutions, sufferings—what kinds of things happened to me in Antioch, Iconium and Lystra, the persecutions I endured. Yet the Lord rescued me from all of them…But as for you, continue in what you have learned and have become convinced of, because you know those from whom you learned it, and how from infancy you have known the Holy Scriptures, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus. ~ 2 Timothy 3:10-11, 14-15 (NIV)

After Jesus had finished instructing his twelve disciples, he went on from there to teach and preach in the towns of Galilee. ~ Matthew 11:1 (NIV)

A student is not above his teacher, but everyone who is fully trained will be like his teacher. ~ Luke 6:40 (NIV)

Ellen G. White

For three years and a half the disciples were under the instruction of the greatest Teacher the world has ever known. By personal contact and association, Christ trained them for His service. Day by day they walked and talked with Him, hearing His words of cheer to the weary and heavy-laden, and seeing the manifestation of His power in behalf of the sick and the afflicted.
~ The Acts of the Apostles, p. 17

The youth should have a chance to give expression to their feelings. It would be well to have a judicious leader chosen at first, one who will talk little and encourage a great deal, by dropping a word now and then to help and strengthen the youth in the beginning of their religious experiences. After they have had a little experience, let one of their number take the leadership, and then another, and in this way let workers be educated that will meet the approval of God.
~ Counsels on Sabbath School Work, p. 69

For three years and a half the disciples were under the instruction of the greatest Teacher the world has ever known. By personal contact and association, Christ trained them for His service. Day by day they walked and talked with Him, hearing His words of cheer to the weary and heavy-laden, and seeing the manifestation of His power in behalf of the sick and the afflicted.
~ The Acts of the Apostles, p. 17

Non-denominational Quotes

  • Rainer, Thom S. and Rainer, Sam S. III. (2008). Essential Church: Reclaiming a Generation of Dropouts. Nashville TN: B & H Publishing.
  1. “Teens are looking for more from a youth ministry than a holding tank with pizza. They look for a church that teaches them how to live life. As they enter young adulthood, church involvement that has made a difference in their lives gives them a powerful reason to keep attending” (p. 33, quotes Ed Stetzer).
  2. “If there is one word that could best describe essential churches, it would be intentional. The churches and their leaders are intentional about having a church structure that aids the discipleship process rather than one that impedes it.” (p.234).
  • Stanley, Andy. (2012). Deep and Wide: Creating Churches Unchurched People Love to Attend. Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan.
  1. “We concluded that the best discipleship or spiritual formation model would be one designed around growing people’s faith. The model most of us had grown up with was designed around increasing people’s knowledge. The models we were exposed to were primarily teaching models. We wanted to go beyond that.” (p. 107).
  • Putman, Jim. (2010). Real-Life Discipleship: Building Churches that Make Disciples. Colorado Springs, CO: Navpress.
  1. Discipleship requires real teaching and real learning. It requires conversation, modeling, encouragement, debriefing, and practice, all of which need to happen in the context of relationship. Without relationship between believers , there is no model to follow, no authenticity, no accountability, no application, and no support for the journey.These things come through personal contact. And because that relational context for learning is lacking, life change is rarer than it should be among Christians today.” (p. 22-23). 
  2. “Putting it all together, a disciple is one who is:Following Christ (head). A disciple has surrendered to Jesus as Savior and Lord of his or her life. A disciple is one who says “I know he is Lord and Savior and I accept Him as my authority.” Being changed by Jesus (heart). Jesus said we would know a tree by its fruit (see Matt 7:17-20). He did not mean perfect fruit; he meant growing fruit. As we spend tue following Jesus, He changes us internally--He changes who we are. Committed to Jesus’ mission to save people from their sin (hands). Jesus saved us for a purpose. Some believe we are given a “get out of jail free” card and are free to do what we want with our lives--not true. God;s mission is now our mission, and we recognize that we are responsible for our own slice of history. Our hands are for His service.” (p. 32-33).
  3. “I often hear people say our church is about small groups. I disagree. We are about discipleship and we believe it happens best in small groups… Our small groups are the conduit for real discipleship, which includes real teaching. Real teaching from the Word.” (p. 52).
  4. Spiritual growth requires both authenticity and accountability. When people are transparent about their struggles they need to be held accountable to live out the changes Jesus wants them to make in their lives. But disciplemakers must earn the right to hold others accountable… If we are loving shepherds, those we are discipling will know that we love them and care for their well-being and we will have credibility when we speak into their lives.” (p. 56).
  5. “I want to make sure that you understand your part in the spiritual growth process in the lives of the people you are discipling. First, we must remember that those we disciple are really disciples of Jesus — not of us. They must imitate us only as we imitate Christ.  Second, as disciple-makers we play a part in the process and we are responsible to do things in Jesus’ way, however, young disciple-makers and even experienced ones, can forget they are not solely responsible for the failure--or success--of those they disciple. It’s easy to take too much blame or too much credit for the results or lack thereof. This either leads to pride and stealing glory from God, or it leads to discouragement. Always remember that God is the primary agent of salvation and change in a person’s life.” (p. 71)
  • Rainer, Thom S. and Geiger, Eric. (2006). Simple Church: Returning to God’s Process for Making Disciples. Nashville, TN: B&H Publishing Group.
  1. New Christians who immediately became active in a small group are five times more likely to remain in the church five years later than those who were active in church services alone…  Discipleship of new believers does not just happen. It must be intentional. There must be a heartbeat and a plan to make it happen.” (p. 157).
  2. “According to our research it is critical that you use some type of new member training to move new people effectively into the life of the church… After studying churches that effectively reach the unchurched, he [Thom] stated, “The relationship between assimilation effectiveness and a new member’s class is amazing. Churches that require potential members to attend a new member’s class have a much higher retention rate than those who do not. The impact is amazing.” (p. 158).
  • Waggoner, Brad J. (2008). The Shape of Faith to Come: Spiritual Formation and The Future of Discipleship. Nashville, TN: B&H Publishing Group.
  1. “What does the Bible mean when it uses the term disciple? The Latin term, discipulus, derived from its verb form discere, means “to learn.” Some related words are pupil, scholar, apprentice, and adherent. The most common term used in the New Testament is mathetes. In early classical times it was generally used to refer to a learner. . . . The verb, mathano, occurs 25 times in the New Testament and generally means, ‘to learn something new.’ The term mathetes occurs 259 times.”  (p. 12).
  2. “For this study, disciple means, ‘to be a learner and a follower of Jesus Christ.’ It implies obedience. It implies a lifestyle that demonstrates spiritual formation in terms of character and service. It means “to be like Christ.” The word discipleship refers to a deliberate process of moving Christians forward spiritually.” (p. 14). 
  • Cole, Neil. (2005). Organic Church: Growing Faith Where Life Happens. San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass, 2005.
  1. “When I consider the cost of so many lives that were spent in the struggle to give free access to God’s Word, I am ashamed of how we have neglected it. As long as we read books about the Bible, and not the Bible itself, the enemy has succeeded in keeping the Kingdom sterile, unhealthy, and weak. He has snatched the seed away before it can ever penetrate our hearts and grow to life and fruitfulness. There is no substitute for God’s Word; it alone is the seed of His Kingdom.” (p. 67)
  2. “In his classic book Power through Prayer, E. M. Bounds once wrote, ‘Men are looking for better methods; God is looking for better men.’ One of the driving convictions of our movement is summarized in the statement that a church is only as good as her disciples. Healthy disciples make up a healthy church. Reproducing disciples make a reproducing church.” (p. 96).
  3. New converts often show more effectiveness than those who have been Christians for a long time. Much of this is because the transformed heart is so evident to all who are around the new life. There is also the advantage of having relationships with friends who are not Christians that makes them more potent agents for the spread of the Kingdom. Additionally, these new workers still speak the language and know the culture of those who are part of their world prior to coming to Christ. All these advantages are lost if we immobilize new converts out of a desire to protect them.” (p. 151-152).

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