Over the next few years, ULBC will be focusing on discipleship as part of God’s ongoing revitalization of our church. Pastor Jeff presented this vision on Sunday.
You can download the slides from that meeting by clicking here, or read the outline below.
Building on what God has Done
New Ministry Initiatives for 2018 and Beyond
Some of What God Has Done – Praise God for His ongoing revitalization of ULBC!
- Expository Preaching
- Mission Statement
- Church Leadership
- Missions Strategy
- Statement of Faith
- The church is healthier and more stable
- ULBC’s reputation is restored
- New families are being attracted
Past Plans: Training Leaders was the theme of 2016-2017
- Training new preachers
- Teacher training
- Deacon training
- Hosted our 2nd Fellowship in the Gospel – emphasizing revival based on the Word
- Hosted our 1st Fellowship in the Gospel Women – emphasizing training in the Word
Our Plans Going Forward – Church-Wide Discipleship is the theme for 2018-2019
“Discipleship” is leading others into a mature and joyful understanding of the gospel and its implications for their lives.
Discipleship takes many forms, ranging from:
- Informal to Formal (e.g., hospitality…Bible training)
- Intimate to Larger (older man w/ 2-3 younger men…classroom)
- Shorter to Longer (book study…community groups)
- Everyday Life Topics to Theology (meal-planning…the Atonement)
Why Church-Wide Discipleship?
- In order to continue to enjoy God’s blessings, we need to continue to submit ourselves to the Bible’s teaching.
So what does the Bible say about discipleship? Why Church-Wide Discipleship?
Biblical Principle #1: The church is to devote itself to discipleship
- “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.” Matt 28:19-20a
- “Take care, brothers, lest there be in any of you an evil, unbelieving heart, leading you to fall away from the living God. But exhort one another every day, as long as it is called ‘today,’ that none of you may be hardened by the deceitfulness of sin.” Hebrews 3:12-13
- “Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for he who promised is faithful. And let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works, not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the Day drawing near.” Hebrews 10:23-25
Biblical Principle #2: False teaching is a real danger (i.e., there are genuine obstacles to discipleship)
- In the absence of Elders discipling the church, false teachers arise
“This is why I left you in Crete, so that you might put what remained into order, and appoint elders in every town… there are many who are insubordinate, empty talkers and deceivers…they are upsetting whole families by teaching for shameful gain what they ought not to teach.” Titus 1:5ff
- False teaching can secretly infiltrate the church:
“There will be false teachers among you, who will secretly bring in destructive heresies, even denying the Master who bought them…and because of them the way of truth will be blasphemed.” 2 Peter 2:1-2
- False teaching has disastrous effects:
“Before certain men came from James, [Peter] was eating with the Gentiles; but when they came he drew back and separated himself…And the rest of the Jews acted hypocritically along with him, so that even Barnabas was led astray.” Galatians 2:12-13
Biblical Principle #3: Elders are to disciple the church
- God gave Elders for purpose of discipleship
“And he gave…the shepherds and teachers, to equip the saints for the work of ministry, for building up the body of Christ” Ephesians 4:11-12
- Qualifications for Elders includes ability to disciple
“[An elder] must hold firm to the trustworthy word as taught, so that he may be able to give instruction in sound doctrine and also to rebuke those who contradict it. For there are many who are insubordinate, empty talkers and deceivers” Titus 1:9-10
- In Crete (Titus/Elder Older Younger)
“But as for you [Titus standing in for church elders], teach what accords with sound doctrine . . . Older women . . . are to teach what is good, and so train the young women . . . Likewise [Titus standing in for elders/older men], urge the younger men to be self-controlled. Show yourself in all respects to be a model of good works, and in your teaching show integrity, dignity, and sound speech that cannot be condemned” Titus 2:1ff
- In Ephesus (Apostle Elder Faithful Men to Others)
“You then, my child, be strengthened by the grace that is in Christ Jesus, and what you have heard from me in the presence of many witnesses entrust to faithful men, who will be able to teach others also.” 2 Timothy 2:1-2
Biblical Principle #4: Church members are to be taught to be disciplers themselves
- “And he gave…the shepherds and teachers, to equip the saints for the work of ministry, for building up the body of Christ” Ephesians 4:11-12
- Older women…are to teach what is good, and so train the young women…Likewise [Titus standing in for elders/older men], urge the younger men to be self-controlled. Show yourself in all respects to be a model of good works, and in your teaching show integrity, dignity, and sound speech that cannot be condemned” Titus 2:1ff
- “…what you have heard from me in the presence of many witnesses entrust to faithful men, who will be able to teach others also.” 2 Timothy 2:1-2
Biblical Principle #5: God will hold Elders responsible for the church’s discipleship
- “Obey your leaders and submit to them, for they are keeping watch over your souls, as those who will have to give an account…” Hebrews 13:17
Biblical Principle #6: God’s blessing comes through Elders discipling the church
- “Obey your leaders and submit to them, for they are keeping watch over your souls…Let them do this with joy and not with groaning, for that would be of no advantage to you.” Hebrews 13:17
- “He gave…the shepherds and teachers, to equip the saints for the work of ministry, for building up the body of Christ, until we all attain to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to mature manhood, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ, 14 so that we may no longer be children, tossed to and fro by the waves and carried about by every wind of doctrine, by human cunning, by craftiness in deceitful schemes.” Ephesians 4:11ff
Your Elders are currently working on a number of church-wide discipleship initiatives
Some of them will take place immediately . . . while others will be rolled out later this year
- Book Studies
- One-on-one Discipleship
- Hospitality Events
- Men’s Ministry Events
- Women’s Ministry Events
- Women’s Bible Study (replacing CBS)
- Community Groups
- Outreach Service to new Assisted Care Facility
- Enhance Family Discipleship Nights
- Bible Study Basics Class
- Children’s Ministry Training
- Mentor/C-Group Leader Training
- 2nd wave of Training Preachers
- Men’s Simeon Trust Workshop
Timing . . .
- Book Studies (Immediately): others will form and run t/o the year
- One-on-one & other small discipleship groups (Immediately): existing efforts to continue, training & launching next wave of discipleship leaders
- Hospitality (Immediately): existing efforts to continue, enlist couples to open homes to new people (in next couple of months)
- Men’s Ministry Events & Women’s Ministry Events (TBD): on regular quarterly basis
- Using Space Better (Mar 2018): utilize gym classrooms, new teacher resource room, new adult Sunday School room
- Teacher Training (Nov 2018 & Mar 2019): reduce to make room for other training
- Community Groups (Sept 2018): identifying leaders (immed) & training (t/o summer)
- Women’s Bible Study (Sept 2018 & Jan 2019): likely a daytime study which would also be outreach (potentially a mirrored evening study), length of studies to coincide with Sunday School semesters – teachers to be trained to be provided.
- Training Preachers (Nov 2018 & Jan 2019): host Simeon Trust Workshop (Nov), start 2nd new preachers class (Jan 2019)
- Increased Bible Training (TBD): add Basics of Bible Class (1st Principles), training for children’s ministry workers
How Do You Fit In?
Our goal is to provide discipleship opportunities with different degrees of formality and intimacy and durations and subject matter. We want to create a culture of discipleship, so that we are always engaged in discipleship and being trained to disciple others.
- Praise God for revitalizing Union Lake Baptist Church and strengthening us to get to this point.
- Pray for wisdom in planning and in our ability to extend grace to each other as we begin new initiatives.
- Be deliberate about how you might participate in some of these new initiatives.
- Pray about how you might find your place in different aspects of discipleship this year.
- Encourage each other to submit to God’s call for all of us to be involved in discipleship