Recently, when talking about how to develop healthy churches, a grass-roots Pastor C in South China emphasized the importance of discipleship training, exhorting the church to establish its own discipleship training system.
As a guide to building stronger spiritual lives, the discipleship training system can be divided into three stages, each with a target audience and training requirements.
Aimed at new believers, the first stage of discipleship training is to assist believers to develop good habits of devotional practice such as reading the Bible, and to inspire them to share their testimonies and God’s grace to others.
The second stage focuses on believers and regular members of the church, with the purpose of helping them grow in their spiritual maturity in Christ.
Those who want to commit themselves to serving the Lord can be trained as church planters in the third stage. The training courses include how to prepare themselves to serve God, how to understand His plan, how to share the gospel, and how to lead people to Christ. Theology, Biblical hermeneutics, and church history are core courses for those who intend to be the Lord's workers.
Leaders should guide trainees to share and discuss with each other, instead of engaging in idle theorizing, as the practice is more important than "pure" theory.
"The training is not just teaching the contents of the Bible." Pastor C said, "Jesus did not teach behind the closed doors." Believers are encouraged to imitate the lives of apostles in the New Testament Times.
- Translated by Abigail Wu