Discipleship Ministry Philosophy
Every minister and ministry will operate from either a personal ministry philosophy that is:
- understood and acted upon
- a philosophy that is perceived to be accurate
- a philosophy that is inferred (others define what you are supposed to do).
Without proper understanding of the task at hand, one’s perception or others’ inferences can cause a tremendous amount of effort to be wasted on building an improper ministry foundation. This causes frustration, not only in the ministry leader, but in all the new Christians that have been brought into the ministry to accomplish God’s Great Commission – Matthew 28:18-20.
And Jesus came up and spoke to them, saying, “All authority has been give to Me in heaven and on earth. Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age. (New American Standard)
At the forefront of any discipleship ministry is not the effort of a particular ministry but the effectual behavior change of the Christian by the life changing grace of the Lord Jesus. This is known as transformational discipleship.
Three Basic Doctrinal Guidelines:
- Reconciliation – II Corinthians 5:18-20 – “Now all these things are from God, who reconciled us to Himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation, namely, that God was in Christ reconciling the world to Himself, not counting their trespasses against them, and He had committed to us the word of reconciliation. Therefore, we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God were making an appeal through us; we beg you on behalf of Christ, be reconciled to God.” (NAS) God has entrusted to us the ministry of reconciliation. Therefore, everyone must be reconciled to Him. True biblical evangelism must occur.
- Transformation – Romans 12:1-2 – “Therefore I urge you, brethren, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies a living and holy sacrifice, acceptable to God, which is your spiritual service of worship. And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you many prove what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect.” (NAS) Every Christian must be transformed into the image of Christ – this is spiritual maturity. This is a learning process in overcoming the former negative character (deeds of the flesh) and being transformed to the image of Christ (fruit of the Spirit). This is why the Christian must experience true biblical teaching/discipleship. The discipler must model this transforming grace of the Lord by exemplifying a changed lifestyle.
- Restoration – Galatians 6:1 – “Brethren, even if anyone is caught in any trespass, you who are spiritual, restore such a one in a spirit of gentleness; each one looking to yourself, so that you too will not be tempted.” In the Christian’s life, there are many personal relationships. In experiencing this new life in Jesus, the believer will discover character flaws in his/her own person as God transforms that believer into the image of Christ. The discipler must assist in restoring the one being discipled to the fellowship of the Lord when mistakes occur.
This is all accomplished through the local church. God has established the local church to be his physical manifestation (his body) in representing Him in this world. We are His Church. We exist in the state of being His Church. Therefore, we must first seek His kingdom and His righteousness to be effective in His work through the process known as discipleship. The Church is the means and Destination Character exists to assist the local church in the equipping of the saints for discipleship ministry.
We look forward to ministering with you as we assist the church in equipping the saints – making a true impact.