The Joy of Christian Discipleship course was designed for separate men’s and women’s groups (see Group Leadership Suggestions handout) meeting weekly with 2-12 (ideally 3-8) committed members, including 1 or 2 seasoned leaders. Each workbook has 12 weekly lessons. Ideal candidates are new believers, Christians who wish to renew their faith, and church members who would like to review the essentials of their faith and become better equipped to share the Gospel, especially during these challenging times.
One of our lead churches locally, Power House COGIC, is following the guidance of Bishop Jeffrey Melvin and gearing up to start 4 groups as the basis for ongoing growth. Their church is enthusiastic about getting up and going with plans to use the Celebrate Salvation Discipleship Course as their ongoing new member class. Other churches may wish to start a pilot group with 6-8 participants to see how it goes.
How do you begin?
- Pray! We serve a living God who will bring clarity and wisdom particularly suited to your situation.
- Talk. Consult with your leaders – deacons or elder board, home group leaders, discipleship teachers – and locate 1 or more who are enthusiastic and ready to pick up the challenge. Mature members of your congregation who have experienced the freedom of salvation through participation in 12 Step or Celebrate Recovery activities would be potential candidates for leadership also.
- Consider. Think about setting up a sermon series to introduce the concept of how discipleship and the course materials fit into God’s Great Commission plans for your church and its members.
- Structure. Select group leaders during the sermon series; review the course materials and instruct them in the specifics of how groups are set up and led.
- Place and Time. Choose safe places to meet at church, in homes, or out in the community. Set a date and times to start.
- Build. Allow the Lord to build enthusiasm for the course. Sign people up and order enough books for all who sign up. Round up your order to cover last-minute enrollees.
- Launch. Get groups up and going, stay in regular communication with leaders. Offer time for testimonies during Sunday services.
Feel free to contact us for encouragement, problem-solving, or suggestions along the way. Thanks for joining us in this endeavor.
Blessings to you and your congregation!
Dr. Bill Morehouse