Faithlife
Faithlife

Eric Meyer CBD Outline

Sermon  •  Submitted
0 ratings
· 129 views
Notes & Transcripts

Eric Meyer

CMN 8263: Discipleship & Evangelism

Professor Lanker

May 13th, 2008

The Complete Book of Discipleship Outline

Introduction:

Summary:  The tendency for churches to preach non-discipleship Christianity leads to many people believing that they are saved by grace without really having to follow Jesus’ teachings.  A merger of 3 current discipleship teaching methods is now occurring which may help to alleviate the problem.

1.      Churches have acquiesced to societal pressures leading to a situation where congregations are populated with both serious disciples and casual Christians.

2.      Classic discipleship focuses on the basic disciplines of Christianity, but may not address problems in the personal lives of disciples.

3.       Spiritual formation teaches a person to take on the character of Jesus through a combination of God’s grace and individual effort, though the self directed study and theological liberalism may direct a disciple towards Eastern philosophy.

4.      Environmental discipleship builds a sense of community, but may lead to too much tolerance which waters down Jesus’ message.

Quote: “We have not only been saved by grace, we have been paralyzed by it” (p. 16)

Interaction:  In the late 18th century, William Wilberforce identified the problem of “Cultural Christianity”.  In the early 20th century, Bonhoeffer called it “Cheap Grace”.  Now Bill Hull defines the problem that has plagued Christianity for centuries as “Non-Discipleship Christianity”.  I see this problem in my church, and look forward to helping to alleviate it.

Eric Meyer

CMN 8263: Discipleship & Evangelism

Professor Lanker

May 13th, 2008

The Complete Book of Discipleship Outline

Chapter 1, Biblical Foundations of Discipleship:

Summary:  Discipleship, following the teachings of Jesus, is not optional for Christians.  It is the very foundation of our faith. 

1.       Jesus came to serve and to teach us to serve.  He is not asking us to do something that He didn’t do, but to model His actions as closely as possible.

2.      Disciples are not born, they are made.  The first step is to find people who need Christ. Second, new Christians develop character by learning to obey Jesus. Finally, the disciples are sent on the Great Commission.

3.      Disciples will spend their lives in training.  There is no simple program that will work.  Too many Christians take a class, but receive no additional training.

4.      Being a disciple will transform a life.  Discipleship requires deep faith, and this leads to the joy of working for God.   There is no such thing as faith without works.

Quote:  “But because discipleship is fundamentally about the choice to follow Jesus, it needs to be a way of life for all of life.”  (p. 36)

Interaction: In 1 Samuel 3:4, God calls and Samuel responds, “Here I am.”  We he finally realized it was the Lord calling, I imagine Samuel yelled that phrase with joy, and that the sentence would end with an exclamation point.  When I hear God calling for me, I want to act with the joy of a child, yelling, “Here I am!!!”  My goal is to teach other adults that being a Christian requires a deep commitment.  When we answer, “Here I am!” it means we have given Jesus all of our life.

Eric Meyer

CMN 8263: Discipleship & Evangelism

Professor Lanker

May 13th, 2008

The Complete Book of Discipleship Outline

Chapter 2:  Origins of Discipleship

Summary:  The concept of discipleship is ancient, going back throughout recorded human history.  While the fundamentals are similar between different ages and cultures, Jesus redefined discipleship to carry his message forward indefinitely.

1.       The earliest forms of mentoring/discipleship involved a master who taught an apprentice.  The apprentice joined a master’s school, gave his all to the master, and eventually becoming a master to his own apprentices.

2.      Jesus rewrote the rules.  The key differences are that he chooses His disciples; they will always have Jesus as a master, and will never become masters themselves.

3.      Once a disciple begins to follow Jesus, he has the responsibility of submitting to a teacher,  learning the words of Jesus, His way of ministry, imitating His life and character, and then find and teach others to be disciples.

4.      Unfortunately, Most Christians are unwilling to submit to a teacher.  They are also unwilling to look for new Christians outside of their current church.

Quote:  “I wonder if we’re more committed to packing our churches than to penetrating our culture.”  (p. 72)

Interaction:  In Luke 14:28, Jesus say what folly it is to start building without determining if we can afford to finish the project.  If we are to follow Jesus, we need to commit to the entire process.  Otherwise, we risk being called hypocrites, and damaging our Father’s reputation.

Eric Meyer

CMN 8263: Discipleship & Evangelism

Professor Lanker

May 13th, 2008

The Complete Book of Discipleship Outline

Chapter 3:  The Story of Discipleship

 Summary:  The story of discipleship is one of humility, courage, community, deep faith, and accountability.  Simple people of faith have kept Christianity alive for 2,000 years.

1.       Christianity has always centered on community.  By serving others as Jesus did in a worship community, people experience unity and love while having accountability partners to emphasize study, prayer, and service.

2.      Spiritual discipline is the hallmark of the great disciples highlighted in this chapter.  Most lived in very difficult times, but kept close to God through this discipline.

3.      God wants us to love Him with our hearts, souls, and mind.  In order to be good stewards of His kingdom, we need to exercise our mental abilities.

4.      A life with Christ means self-denial.  We are to take up our cross daily in answer to His call.

Quote:  “It all converged in that moment of the Eucharist, when Christ was present with His people.” (p. 90)

Interaction:  Hull describes disciples who have lead by example.  They gave up their lives daily for Jesus.  I am reminded of 1 Corinthians 15:14.  These were men who knew Jesus because of their spiritual disciplines.  They were willing to give up their lives because they knew Jesus had, and had risen from the grave.  As Pascal said, “I believe those witnesses that get their throats cut.”[i]

Eric Meyer

CMN 8263: Discipleship & Evangelism

Professor Lanker

May 13th, 2008

The Complete Book of Discipleship Outline

Chapter 4:  The Distinguishing Marks of a Disciple

Summary:  Following Jesus means living a life filled with action verbs.  The first step is choosing to follow.  Then the disciple imitates, trains, ministers, teaches, denies self, submits, suffers, and exalts.  Dedicated discipleship conforms one to Christ’s image.

1.      The first and most important thing a disciple can do is to spread the word of Jesus.  This is so important that spiritual formation should be the only work of the church.

2.      As mentioned earlier, Jesus chooses His disciples.  When one hears the call and feels the urge to obey, he can be assured God is near.

3.      This is a call that anyone can answer.  All it takes is a willingness to let God take control of your life. 

4.      Let God take control. Putting His agenda first leads to a transformed life.

5.      Jesus transforms every aspect of the disciple’s life.  This is another way to know that Jesus is with us; that we no longer desire to be apart from Him, and want nothing more than to do His will.  We minister, that is to serve, with Christ’s humility.

Quote:  “Training, not trying: I think we should outlaw “trying”.”  (p. 143)

Interaction:    In Pilgrim’s Progress, Christian is told he can save himself by entering the narrow gate across the field.  It is an arduous journey, but Christian does not give up.  I think that is the key to the Kingdom.  God wants us all to enter, but only a few will, because only a few will train.  Only a few will make the dedicated effort it takes to be transformed.

Eric Meyer

CMN 8263: Discipleship & Evangelism

Professor Lanker

May 13th, 2008

The Complete Book of Discipleship Outline

Chapter 5: The Disciple-Making Environment:  What Makes Things Grow

Summary:  People can be very cautious.  To bring them out of their shells, the disciple needs to foster an environment based on trust, grace, humility, submission, and affirmation.

1.      Trust:  The foundation of trust is the character of the disciple.  The student need not always agree with the teacher, but needs to know that the teacher can be trusted.

2.      Grace: When a person is treated better than they deserve to be, the disciple models Christ.  This builds an environment where the student feels safe.

3.      Humility: Since this is Jesus’ primary character trait, it must be one the disciple models.

4.      Submission:  When the disciple submits to other, he puts their needs first in the same way Jesus put God’s agenda first.  When this happens, the student knows he is loved.

5.      Affirmation:  When someone feels that no matter what they do, they will be loved, they will lower their defenses.  This is critical if they are to grow in Christ.

Quote: “I want to describe love in its boldest form: an action designed for the benefit of another.” (p. 154)

Interaction:  In his book Where is God When it Hurts? Philip Yancy says, “We rather lift our eyes to the cross, whence our help comes from, in order to see that God shares our lot and can therefore be trusted.”[ii]  Not only can He be trusted, but the cross was also the boldest form of love.

Eric Meyer

CMN 8263: Discipleship & Evangelism

Professor Lanker

May 13th, 2008

The Complete Book of Discipleship Outline

Chapter 6: The Stages of Discipleship:

Summary:  Teaching disciples is a process.  While there are many programs one could follow, Jesus modeled the best process for teaching Christian maturity.

1.       Come and See:  This is the introduction phase where the new disciple gets to know Jesus personally, and is introduced to the concepts of ministry and mission.

2.      Come and Follow Me:  In this stage the disciple watches as the teacher shows them how to grow.  This class can’t be taught without demonstration.

3.      Come and Be with Me:  Jesus tell the disciple that they will work together as a team.  During this stage, the disciple realizes that being with Jesus is worth any sacrifice.

4.      Remain in Me:  Jesus tells the disciples they are ready to do the job by themselves.  Though He won’t be doing the work with them, he will always be supporting them.

Quote:  “Their “food” will become doing God’s will and finishing His work.”  (p. 174)

Interaction:    This chapter taught me how to interpret John 6:55-56 for the first time.  I now understand that Jesus is telling us to do His will. 

            Mike Breen in The Passionate Church describes Jesus’ discipleship process as 4 stages also. He names them; 1) I do, you watch 2) I do, you help 3) You do, I help 4) You do, I watch.[iii]  It is a pleasure to see how different Christians teach discipleship.  Each has a slightly different method which enhances the whole. 

Eric Meyer

CMN 8263: Discipleship & Evangelism

Professor Lanker

May 13th, 2008

The Complete Book of Discipleship Outline

Chapter 7:  Christian Spiritual Transformation

Summary:   Disciples need to move beyond simply believing in Jesus, and invest in the process of Christian transformation.

1.       God intends for us to worship and learn in a community, not alone.  This allows us to train, learn to rely on others, become accountable, and learn a sense of mission. 

2.      God does not simply hand us the car keys, and let us drive.  In order to become mature Christians He requires dedicated training in the spiritual disciplines.

3.      The skills of a disciple need to be practiced until they become second nature.

4.      Perseverance is required in order to grow mature in Christ.

 Quote:  “The practice of spiritual disciplines [is] essential to the deliverance of human beings from the concrete power of sin.” (p. 194)

Interaction:  Ephesians 6:13 is another version that just became very clear to me.  I have been asking God for His armor.  I need to actually put it on myself by practicing the spiritual disciplines until they become second nature.

            Mike Breen’s The Passionate Church also teaches the dimensions of a spiritual life by using a triangle.  The upper right leg represents “up”, our relationship with God.  The next leg is “out”, mission work. The final leg is “in”, or the building of community.  No matter how it is taught, the importance is that life with Jesus is multi-dimensional.[iv]  Living a Christian life with only one or two dimensions simply leads to problems.

Eric Meyer

CMN 8263: Discipleship & Evangelism

Professor Lanker

May 13th, 2008

The Complete Book of Discipleship Outline

Chapter 8:  Personal Approaches to Disciple making

Summary:  While training methods go in and out of vogue, one constant remains. That constant is the need for personal relationships.  This chapter discusses 3 methods of personal training.

1.       Coaching is a formal relationship where one agrees to be coached.  It focuses on specific skills and occurs in a measured time frame.

2.      Mentoring is a personal relationship between the mentor and student.  A mentor models life as a Christian, showing how character and Godliness can transform a soul. 

3.      God mentors us through His word.  However, we need to make the effort to be alone with Him to get the benefits. 

4.      Spiritual direction is similar to mentoring, but the director must be a well versed in the classic Christian tradition.  

Quote:  “They “go to church” though they might be arrested, imprisoned, tortured, or lose their job.  Even worse, their family could be punished for their crime.”  (p. 219)

Interaction:  In the book And God Changed His Mind, Brother Andrew describes a conversation he had in an illegal church in a former Soviet country.  One of the church leaders asked how the Western church handles 2 Timothy 3:12. Andrew was embarrassed to say that we are not persecuted, but at the same time we are losing a depth of discipleship.[v]  How lucky we are to be able to spiritually mentor without threat of persecution!

Eric Meyer

CMN 8263: Discipleship & Evangelism

Professor Lanker

May 13th, 2008

The Complete Book of Discipleship Outline

Chapter 9:  The Role of Small Groups in Discipleship

Summary:  Small groups fill a vital role in training disciples.  While there are many ways to start groups, and many types of groups, there are basic principles that apply to all of them.

1.      The type of group will determine if it is open to new membership.  Covenant groups are generally open groups that teach the basics of ministry.

2.      Closed accountability groups refine the member’s spiritual disciples.  They provide continuing education and accountability needed for spiritual maturity.

3.      Groups need to have a well defined mission statement, structure, an agreed to level of intimacy, insist on outreach, and an agreement to multiply. 

4.      Well trained leaders are crucial.  A vital step in this process is a structure for starting groups that includes a training period.

Quote:  “offering just one type of open group, where everyone stays in the shallow end, eventually leads to self directed spirituality.” (p. 234)

Interaction:    The Willow Creek church in Barrington, Illinois just completed a major study to determine the effectiveness of their ministry.  They found that they were losing their most spiritually mature members.  The study determined that it was because they were offering too many programs that kept members in the shallow end.  There were not programs to keep the spiritually mature from becoming bored or discouraged.[vi]  Small groups can be very fulfilling, but also damaging if run incorrectly.

Eric Meyer

CMN 8263: Discipleship & Evangelism

Professor Lanker

May 13th, 2008

The Complete Book of Discipleship Outline

Chapter 10:  Congregations, Pastors, and Discipleship

Summary:  The church is an institution, and that word can have negative connotations.  However, the institution of the church is the framework that supports all other aspects, and needs to be well designed.

1.      Bigger churches are not better at creating disciples.  Quality of programs and depth of spirituality amongst members is much more important than the number of members.

2.      Spiritual formation of people is slow work.  Patience is required in this culture.

3.      The church is a hospital for the soul.  That means it will be filled with a people looking to improve their spiritual health.  Courageous leadership is needed.

4.      Systematic education can help move parishioners down the path of spiritual maturity.

5.      Church leaders need to be careful not to worship the idols of size and recognition while focusing on strengthening their spiritual disciplines.

Quote:  “…as a leader, you can’t be satisfied with just talking about what Jesus commanded.  You must commit to living it out in community with others.”  (p. 271)

Interaction:  Timothy Keller has built one of the largest churches in America in the heart of Manhattan.  One of his methods described in The Reason for God[vii] is spending at least an hour after every sermon simply answering questions from non-believers.  This example of leadership created disciples.  All organizations are reflections of their leadership.  If the leaders have high integrity and character, chances are good that organization will as well, regardless of size.

Eric Meyer

CMN 8263: Discipleship & Evangelism

Professor Lanker

May 13th, 2008

The Complete Book of Discipleship Outline

Chapter 11:  Spiritual Generations

Summary:  In order for God’s Kingdom to expand, the Gospel must be passed on from person to person.  It is a Christian’s sacred trust to share the good news.

1.      The Gospel won’t spread itself.  In order for Christianity to flourish, disciples need to teach new disciples.  They have to defeat the current cultural proclivity to avoid hard work and looking for the easy answer to life’s problems.

2.      Disciples need to be judicious about who they teach.  Teaching is an investment, and reliable students are a requirement.  Reliable students still need the teacher to support them as a reliability partner.

3.      While it may sound elitist to carefully choose who to teach, a leader needs to guard his time and the Gospel.

4.      Disciples need to be taught to imitate Jesus.  Their individual qualities and traits need to shine through, but they are ultimately responsible to act as Jesus did.

Quote:  “What is our culture’s mantra?  Victory without sacrifice, achievement without vision, and get it now and pay later.” (p. 283)

Interaction:  My favorite comic is Opus.  Many years ago there was a daily cartoon where the main character was trying to lose weight through a series of miracle plans.  Another character kept asking, “Why don’t you eat less and exercise?”  That is how I am beginning to feel about evangelism and discipleship.  There is no easy way to follow Jesus.  It takes dedicated effort. 

Eric Meyer

CMN 8263: Discipleship & Evangelism

Professor Lanker

May 13th, 2008

The Complete Book of Discipleship Outline

Chapter 12:  The Future of Discipleship: Living The Jesus Way

Summary:  Many people who claim to be Christians do not follow through with Christian behavior.  It is simply not enough to believe. 

1.       There are really only two ways to live; one either lives for Jesus, or one lives for himself.  Many Christians fall into the second category.

2.      Christians need to put the will of God before there own will, even if they work for the church.

3.      A church full of individuals who don’t interact is no way to run a congregation, yet that is how many congregations behave.  Getting people through the church doors is only the very first step in teaching discipleship.

4.      Life in Christ is a marathon not a sprint.  Christians need to set aside their impatience, and take on the yoke that Jesus offers. 

5.      Humility and submissiveness need to be valued more than celebrity ministers.

Quote:  “The Christian world has a highly developed celebrity system indistinguishable from its secular equivalent.”  (p. 298)

Interaction:  Oswald chambers said the Gospel has little chance to get past the personality of some preachers.  He explains that, “The danger is to glory in men; Jesus says we are to lift Him up.”[viii]  What blows me away about that statement is that it was written 100 years ago.  Oswald would shudder to see the Christian books with the author’s bleached teeth shining on the cover!

Eric Meyer

CMN 8263: Discipleship & Evangelism

Professor Lanker

May 13th, 2008

The Complete Book of Discipleship Outline

Bibliography


----

[i] Timothy Keller, The reason for God (New York, NY: Penguin, 2008), 210.

[ii] Philip Yancy, Where is God When it Hurts? (Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan, 1990), 234.

[iii] Mike Breen and Walt Kallestad, The Passionate Church (Colorado Springs, CO: Cook Communication Ministries, 2005), 128.

[iv] Mike Breen and Walt Kallestad, The Passionate, 81

[v] Brother Andrew, And God Changed His Mind (Grand Rapids, MI: Chosen Books, 1999), 128.

[vi] Greg Hawkins and Cally Parkinson Reveal, Where are You?  (Barrington, IL: Willow Creek Resources, 2007)

[vii] Timothy Keller, The reason for God

[viii] Oswald Chambers  The Utmost for His Highest (Grand Rapids, MI: Discovery House Books, 1963), November 9th

RELATED MEDIA
See the rest →
RELATED SERMONS
See the rest →