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An Effective Model for 21st Century Discipleship

An Effective Model for 21st Century Discipleship

Jesus showed us how to do church and small groups

Jesus modeled discipleship in a very personal and relational way without any sign of complexity. The Messiah called each disciple through a personal invitation. He only used simple words that opened the doors to a transformed life to everyone whom he invited.  

While walking by the Sea of Galilee, Jesus saw two brothers, Simon (called Peter) and Andrew, his brother, casting a net into the sea, for they were fishermen. And he said to them, “Follow me, and I will make you fishers of men.” Immediately they left their nets and followed him

 “Follow Me” are two simple words that are very clear and personal. Jesus did not say, “come to me and follow me only if you do this thing or if you know that doctrine.” He did not invite people to come and join his causes or the principles he believed in. Rather, Jesus said, “Follow ‘Me.’” Jesus called out his first disciples to a relationship with him. This simple invitation of Jesus should remain the same for all generations.  

21st Century Church

Discipleship in the 21st Century should follow the way Jesus modeled it. It must first and foremost begin with a clear and compelling invitation. Moreover, there is something more to discipleship than just the invitation. Phil Stevenson describes the invitation of Jesus as clear, consistent, and challenging.  

When Jesus invited Peter and Andrew, they left their nets at once and immediately followed Jesus. They had to let go of what they already had to discover what could be there in Jesus. In contrast, Jesus extended the same invitation to a wealthy man who had so many possessions to let go of, so he responded to the invitation by holding on to what he owns and knows at the expense of living the unknown with Jesus.

As it was in the 1st Century, so it is in the 21st Century; Jesus is inviting us to respond to the opportunity extended by Jesus to follow him. Those who respond set out on the path of discipleship, following the way Jesus modeled it to them.    

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Why Your Church Needs a Small Group Ministry?

Reasons for Establishing a Small Group Ministry

In his article, “10 Reasons Why Your Church Should Have Small Groups”, Daniel Threlfall identifies the importance of small groups. First on his list is that small groups foster close relationships and basic community. A small group atmosphere is good for establishing friendships since individuals tend to talk more in small groups.  

The second is that small groups provide a comfortable environment to welcome nonbelievers to the Christian faith.

A natural and understandable fear common among us is fear in forming relationships, especially if it involves sharing our faith and beliefs with other people.

However, inviting someone to a small group meeting provides a way to involve a nonbeliever in the church. A nonbeliever is more likely to ask questions, get answers, and form relationships with a small group of believers. Thus, small groups can be a powerful missional tool, allowing for the greater spread of the gospel among nonbelievers in the community.  

Third, small groups provide a good way to care for the needs of people within the church.

When a small group member is struggling, it is much easier for the other group members to notice. They can already provide assistance. The structure of a small group is essentially a community of friends of the same faith. As a result, friends are meant to help one another, especially if they are friends in Christ.  

Fourth, small groups allow Christians to live out their faith instead of becoming churchgoers and mere Gospel listeners.

Since members discuss the Sunday preaching, talk about their personal and spiritual battles, and/or pray for one another during meetings, small groups provide a setting for Christians to live out their faith.  

Fifth on Threlfall’s list is that small groups provide focused prayer for one another.

Threlfall noted that in a small group meeting, each of the present people took a few minutes to tell others about their particular challenges or concerns. Then, as soon as one is finished, the person next to him will take some time to pray for him. Small groups are a great place for prayer meetings.  

Sixth, small groups offer a comfortable atmosphere for openness.

One admirable thing about small groups is that members often meet in the comfort of their homes, where people can open up, listen, learn, and grow. Threlfall pointed out that this is the same with the first disciples of Jesus who are meeting in houses or being part of a household.  

Seventh, small groups allow for mutual edification among believers.

Believers tend to depend upon the leaders for spiritual food and nourishment easily. However, the Scripture states otherwise, for God also gives spiritual gifts to all believers, not just to the preachers and leaders. The whole church benefits from it.

Every Christian should minister to other Christians with their gifts, and this happens most naturally, effectively, and purposefully within small groups.   

Eight, small groups encourage better learning.

Listening to a Sunday preaching is a great way to learn the Word, but it is easy to become detached from the message, making us passive listeners. This is not the case within a small group. As a few people gather together, every individual is expected to be involved and to participate. Active involvement is an effective way to learn better.  

Ninth, small groups are a source of encouragement and accountability.

It is easy to go in and out of the church and not be noticed. This is common with megachurches, but it also happens in an average-sized church of 100 or 150 attendees.

People come for each Sunday service but do not get themselves involved. These individuals need accountability in their lives, encouragement in their walk with God, and/or help in some way in which small groups can provide.  

Lastly, small groups cultivate leadership within the church.

Someone is necessary to lead a small group meeting or at least facilitate the discussion. Thus, there is a need for leaders other than the pastor. Small groups provide opportunities for leadership development among members within the church.

Your weekly dose of prophetic wisdom and anointing awaits you. Join our LIVE Conference Call!

1) Call 515-604-9266

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jesus-Called-The-Twelve

Jesus Called The Twelve – First Small Group Ministry

Small Groups Were Fundamental

When we study the structure of how the early church did ministry, we will find that small groups have indeed existed since the time of Jesus. They did not tag them as “meetings.”

When Jesus started his ministry on earth, he sought out several people. They are twelve disciples – Christ’s own brand of a small group.

Jesus gave these men the honor of being the first disciples and Jesus’ ministry. They paved the way for Christianity to be as it is now.  

In the Bible, the first mention of anything is considered monumental. The first mention of the word dictates its true context. In the same vein, Jesus introduced discipleship in the context of a small group.  When Jesus called the 12, it represented the first form of small group ministry and discipleship in the Bible.

A Small Group of Disciples to Mentor

During the first century, it was common for leaders – be this in religion, philosophy, or politics – to have a dedicated group of followers and apprentices.

In Judaism at the time, it was common for rabbis to have their own set of apprentices following after their footsteps.

Normally, interested students would approach a rabbi they admire and ask if he would mentor them. If he agrees to take them on, they will only be considered a part of the rabbi’s group.

However, Jesus did the complete opposite and chose seemingly random people with not particularly noteworthy occupations. It was common for the rabbis to mentor the brightest pupils about the Jewish faith, so having a group with many fishermen was outside this norm.

Jesus’ Small Group Had Different Personalities

At the time, there must have been plenty of men who were seemingly qualified, educated, and teachable, so there must be a reason why Jesus chose these particular twelve. Interestingly enough, they came from backgrounds various enough for us not to detect a pattern.

The first he called out were brothers Peter and Andrew. They were fishermen. Jesus called the brothers James and John next.  Jesus came across them when they were still fishing with their father.

Though their occupations were not blatantly mentioned in the Bible, Philip, James, and Thomas, there is evidence they were also fishermen since they were fishing when Jesus showed himself to them after his resurrection.  

On the other hand, Matthew was a tax collector. In that culture, Jewish people despised this profession. Jewish people considered them traitors. They believed tax collectors were corrupt. 

Meanwhile, Simon used to be a zealot, a religious sect that instigated protests and rebellions to overthrow the Roman government.

The opposing views and personalities in this group show us that Jesus did not choose them based on their credentials or righteousness.

Bible commentators can say that these disciples lived rather ordinary lives before they chose to follow him. Advanced studies of the Gospels show that none of them were especially students of the law. 

Your weekly dose of prophetic wisdom and anointing awaits you. Join our LIVE Conference Call!

1) Call 515-604-9266

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The Prophet as God’s Instrument

God's instrumentThe word “prophets” has been mentioned 8 times in the final end- time event in the book of Revelation. Prophets were used by God to move His people and bring repentance, reformation, and restoration. Prophets are also described as “channels of Spiritual revelations”. They also serve as the instruments of God to execute judgment among nations in the future (Revelation 11:3-6, NIV).

Over the ages, God has made His self and His message revealed to the nations through the prophets. All throughout the bible, prophets have been present to voice out God’s word and to bring God’s people to repentance and revival. Among the many prophets in the bible, there are eleven famous prophets tested to have their perspectives aligned to that of God. They serve a specific purpose here on earth, one of which is to reveal your purpose specifically designed by God.

What’s amazing about it, is that you can talk to a prophet today and get your free written prophecy. It is a blessing that you can have your prophetic reading at this very moment. Have the prophet reveal God’s purpose for you today.

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What’s Your Future?

Bishop JordanHow different do you think our life could be if we only knew what lies ahead for our future? As the observer seems to have the biggest role, the prophet encompasses a huge variety of roles. A prophet literally means one who speaks for another, especially for a deity. A prophet communicates the divine will. A prophet is an intermediary, a spokesperson, one sent by God to act and speak on behalf of God.

Prophets are not fortune-tellers as they are more concerned with God’s message for us today and encourage people to respond to Him. The prophet teaches the person as he or she is able to know what is in God’s mind and heart. The prophet encourages everyone to draw closer to God (Ephesians 3:16-19, NIV). Based on the scriptures, prophets truly have a divine purpose here on earth. When you speak to a prophet, many things will be revealed to you and about you.

You might just be surprised at how little you know about yourself. God knows you from the inside out. Let the prophet reveal the truths about you and God’s plans for your life. Get your prophetic reading today.

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Seek God’s Kingdom

“But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.” Matthew 6:33

God encourages us through Matthew 6:33 that we seek and discover the kingdom of God and His righteousness, as the first thing to do in our lives. When we seriously seek God’s kingdom, we will experience true blessedness.

Through this, we will begin to see that God commands us to do some significant things, like increasing in number to fill the earth and subdue it. Most importantly, having the power of authority over the earth and bringing His Godly order, just the same as what Genesis 1:28 has stated, “God blessed them and said to them, “Be fruitful and increase in number; fill the earth and subdue it. Rule over the fish in the sea and the birds in the sky and over every living creature that moves on the ground.”

When you seek God’s kingdom, you will find your purpose. Talk to a prophet today and finally have God’s plans revealed to you. Let Matthew 6:33 be an inspiration to you. Get your free written prophecy today.

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In Your Mother’s Womb

“Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, and before you were born I consecrated you; I appointed you a prophet to the nations.” Jeremiah 1:5

Before you were formed in your mother’s womb you were alive. Many people question the purpose of their existence. “God, why I’m I here? What am I doing? Am I doing the right thing or am I supposed to do something else?” Your assignment was given to you before you were formed in your mother’s womb. The purpose of man is to fulfill the assignment of Christ.

We are all a part of the greatness of God. God, in His infinite and awesome wisdom, took a part of himself in us sent us to this earth to have an experience. What has your experience been?

Do you feel like you haven’t experienced anything great ever since you were born? If so, then speak to a prophet today to get your prophetic reading. You can finally know why God made you and what His plans are for you here on earth.

There’s no time for second-guessing on what your purpose is, it’s right in front of you. Get your free written prophecy and experience the design that God has prepared for you. This is one of what Bishop Jordan has taught on in the Given Birth to Prophecy

Fulfilling Your Purpose

“The Lord will fulfill his purpose for me; your steadfast love, O Lord, endures forever. Do not forsake the work of your hands.” Psalm 138:8

Wouldn’t it be amazing to know your purpose? Some people wander aimlessly in this world not knowing what they were meant to do. This is a sad truth, but because they do not know God, they don’t get to realize their true calling. After all, God created each and every one of us; He’s the only one who knows why and what we were made for.

What’s great about God is that once you’ve turned to Him and offered your life to Him, He will reveal His purpose for you. And you won’t be alone in fulfilling it because He will help you all the way to fulfill it. Because you are His child, He will never forsake you or leave you hanging. He will make sure that you get to pursue His will for your life. His love is steadfast and in endures forever. That’s a very comforting statement isn’t it? He’s got our backs so no matter what we do, He will protect us, because He loves us. You’re in very good hands, when you think about it.

Would you like to know your calling? What were you made to do on this earth? Speak with a prophet and find out God’s purpose for you. Get your prophetic insight from the school of prophets and fulfill your destiny.

Doing the Work of God

”For we are God’s workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.” Ephesians 2:10

You and I were created for a reason. Everyone on earth was created for a reason, because we were all made in God’s image and likeness. He gave us detailed assignments on earth before were even born. The only problem is, we’ve forgotten this assignment. But what’s great is that the Bible will always remind us of our purpose. It has detailed verses, reminding us of the things we should be accomplishing in this world.

Let us remember that we are God’s workmanship, created to do good works. What are these good works? That’s where the power of prophecy comes in. Since God gave us specific assignments, we need to rediscover what this assignment is. Knowing your prophecy will not only reveal your purpose on earth but also give you everything you’ll need in order to accomplish it. How amazing is that? You will be fully equipped in fulfilling God’s prophetic words.

Maybe you were supposed to be working for the church, or maybe God wants you to be the boss of your company in the future. You’ll never find out unless you start reading your written prophecy.  God has already prepared all these things in advance. He has paved the way for you, all you have to do is walk in the right path and fulfill it.