| By Asher Intrater |

In a recent article, I pointed out that believers in Yeshua (Jesus) are called "disciples" in the gospels and "saints" in the epistles. Apostles, prophets, evangelists, pastors and teachers are called to "equip the saints for the work of the ministry" - Ephesians 4:12. We are all called to "make disciples" - Matthew 28:19.

It is clear by comparing these two passages that the work of the ministry is indeed to make disciples. Every believer is supposed to first be discipled, and then disciple others. There are two stages in the training of a new covenant believer, first to be discipled, then to be equipped.

Sometimes we get the two stages mixed up. The discipleship stage is to be 1) basic, 2) practical 3) systematic and 4) relational.

Discipleship demands small group interaction and often the best combination is one on one. The fact that someone may have the gifting for group dynamics to lead a lively meeting does not necessarily mean that he has the qualities to disciple someone; and the fact that someone does not have group dynamic skills does not mean that he can't disciple others. Every saint can do the work of the ministry.

We have designed a discipleship program of 50 "sessions". These sessions can be done once a day in a training center, or once a week for someone with full time work and family schedule. Each session involves personal time with a believer who has already been through the program. The disciple guides the new trainee through the program.

The personal time in the session is primarily for brotherly love and personal care. Prayer is offered, as well as a listening heart. The rest of the session is checking the new disciple's progress in a series of devotional exercises. The discipleship manual keeps a record of the following four disciplines:

  1. Daily Bible Study - The disciple is required to read a minimum of one section in the Tenach (O. T.) and one section in the New Covenant every day. Some will read more than others, however the point is to create a habit that will stay in the person's life. Each day the disciple checks off which chapters he has read in the "chapter chart" inside the manual.

  2. Study Materials - We have provided 50 lessons, taken from 3 books which happen to be available and printed in Hebrew. There are 18 lessons from Dan Juster's "Growing to Maturity", 24 from my book "Covenant Relationships", and 8 from Kenneth Hagin's "Authority of the Believer." We have written a simple discussion question for each lesson. Before each session, the disciple is to read the lesson and answer the question in writing in the space provided in the manual.

  3. Personal Accountability - At each session, questions are asked, which hold the disciple accountable concerning temptation to sin, reconciling inter-personal problems, obeying the voice of the Holy Spirit, personal witnessing, etc. The disciple and discipler focus on whichever area is most needed in the person's life.

  4. Practical Service - The disciple makes a simple commitment during the weeks of the discipleship to perform one area of practical service under the supervision of someone else in spiritual authority. It could be cleaning the floor at the training center, stacking chairs at congregation, volunteering to help a family with baby-sitting, giving food and clothing to the needy. Humble, "non-spiritual" service is one of the most spiritual things one can do.

Our new discipleship manual is called in Hebrew, "Halacha Le Ma'aseh", which is a play on words meaning "practically speaking" or "walking it out" or "guidelines for doing." Please pray for the success of this program as we seek to "put it into action."

 

By Asher Intrater


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Also in this issue of the newsletter:

Dan Juster: Muslim Tribalism and Biblical Liberation
Eitan Shishkoff: Fields of Hope
Leora Mazurovsky: Single Moms, Treasured by God and Kehila
David Shishkoff: Travel Log of Asia Trip