Idea #9: Discipleship Training in an Online World
The instructions to “make disciples” are clear from Jesus Christ’s words in Matthew 28:19. From the immediate context of Matthew 28:19-20, the making of a disciple includes baptizing them and teaching them to obey everything” that Christ has commanded. Dallas Willard succinctly defined a disciple as: “a person who has decided that the most important thing in their life is to learn how to do what Jesus said to do.”
How this teaching is actually done may have some difference specifics in different Christian traditions; and similarly, there are different forms and modes of Christian baptism also. Over the years, different curricula and courses have been produced and published over the years to provide the content and knowledge about the Bible that’s necessary to becoming a disciple. Here are 7 examples of discipleship materials:
- The Design for Discipleship Bible study series published by The Navigators is a best-selling discipleship course for over 25 years with over 7 million copies sold
- Discipler Training International (disciplers.org) - free discipleship lessons with an emphasis on spiritual parenting and multiplication, developed by Art & Toni Barkley (previously with New Tribes Mission and Reno Christian Fellowship)
- Discipleship Library - a collection of the “very best in Christian discipleship training resources,” with thousands of classic studies that have been presented over the last 60 years, and working to digitize 8,639 original discipleship conference messages from The Navigators Audio Preservation Project
- Virtual Discipleship Resource Center - discipleship resources in 11 languages, curated by Doug Smith, who has spiritually grown through resources from The Navigators, Campus Crusade for Christ and the Billy Graham Association
- Relational Discipleship Network - resources for churches to make the shift to discipleship, founded by Jim Putman, Bobby Harrington, and Luke Yetter
- Transforming Discipleship - Greg Ogden’s resources for groups to create a transparent, reproducing, relational environment for transformation into Christlikeness
- BillHull.net - Bill Hull has authored 3 important books: Jesus Christ Disciple Maker, The Disciple Making Pastor, and The Disciple Making Church
Having valuable information and teachings based on the Bible is only one part of discipleship. There’s also the essential parts of personal relationships and practicing spiritual disciplines. As the Internet and social media technologies develop in our digital world, there are new possibilities for how discipleship can be facilitated and/or enhanced. Here’s 4 of the most creative and innovative ideas I found:
- Rich Birch raised the question ”What if we made discipleship a game?” on his blog, thinking: “what if we took our cues from the social game space and rewarded people for interacting with us online? What if we built up social goods for them as they participated with us?”
- MobileDisciple.com provides a daily 2-minute video discipleship challenge, based on a Bible passage with a doable action step, taught by Carl Blunt, author of The Life Book
- E-Church Essentials is an online discipleship community for church and para-church ministries, with David A. Posthuma
- Christian Discipleship is a Google+ Community with over 6,600+ members sharing resources and using Google+ Hangout for its Christian Discipleship TV live multi-cast; part of Christian Discipleship Ministries (Lake Oswego, Oregon)
What ideas do you have about leveraging the internet, social media, and/or mobile apps for making disciples?
p.s. Learn from some great champions of making disciples at this upcoming event Discipleship.org Forum (October 6-7, 2014 in Orange County, California) - 6 discipleship leaders talking about discipleship, and learning from one another, with discussions revolving around the six elements of a discipleship lifestyle.
(photo credit: youversion.com)
This article is part of the blog series, 66 Ideas for .BIBLE Domain Names, with practical ideas for using .BIBLE domain names. Individuals and organizations can now register .BIBLE domain names that are more shareable, memorable, and meaningful at any accredited registrar.