A revised edition of a Disciples classic, A Handbook for Today's Disciples (Fifth Edition) is an overview of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) as the denomination approaches 2020. This handbook provides concise information on Disciples history, thought, worship, mission, and structure - a valuable resource for lifelong Disciples, newcomers to the Disciples' ministry of Christian unity, and those who simply want to know more about the church. Cummins, a noted Disciples historian, illustrates his summaries of Disciples traditions with excerpts from Disciples documents and scripture, bringing a major American religious movement into sharp focus.
Author: Anthony J. Gittins
Publisher: Liturgical Press
Release Date: 2016-11-04
Vatican II’s famous declaration that "the church on earth is by its very nature missionary” has often been taken out of context and used to support all manner of church initiatives. But, the conclusion of the statement—"since . . . it has its origin in the mission of the Son and the Holy Spirit"—is of monumental importance. In The Way of Discipleship, theologian Anthony Gittins describes the eternal mission of the Trinity, historically brought "down to earth" in the ministry of Jesus, and then continued to the ends of the earth by those called and sent as disciples throughout future generations. Gittins explains that Christian discipleship must be the living out of Jesus' own example in many different times and places. He encourages people of all ages to follow the invitation of Jesus to be missionary disciples. The Way of Discipleship explores several New Testament examples of Jesus' call and commissioning, distills the principles involved, and then recontextualizes the stories so that they pose a direct challenge to disciples today. In this way, Gittins builds up a picture both of "the Way" of Jesus himself, and of the way in which today's disciples can loyally follow his call to mission.
Author: Dietrich Bonhoeffer
Publisher: Simon and Schuster
Release Date: 2012-08-07
One of the most important theologians of the twentieth century illuminates the relationship between ourselves and the teachings of Jesus in this classic text on ethics, humanism, and civic duty. What can the call to discipleship, the adherence to the word of Jesus, mean today to the businessman, the soldier, the laborer, or the aristocrat? What did Jesus mean to say to us? What is his will for us today? Drawing on the Sermon on the Mount, Dietrich Bonhoeffer answers these timeless questions by providing a seminal reading of the dichotomy between “cheap grace” and “costly grace.” “Cheap grace,” Bonhoeffer wrote, “is the grace we bestow on ourselves...grace without discipleship....Costly grace is the gospel which must be sought again and again, the girl which must be asked for, the door at which a man must know....It is costly because it costs a man his life, and it is grace because it gives a man the only true life.” The Cost of Discipleship is a compelling statement of the demands of sacrifice and ethical consistency from a man whose life and thought were exemplary articulations of a new type of leadership inspired by the Gospel, and imbued with the spirit of Christian humanism and a creative sense of civic duty.
The Christian faith community regards the making of disciples as a prime directive of Jesus himself, though this theme is not dominant in contemporary models of teaching in the church. This investigation seeks to develop a theory of discipling and to test its congruence as an effective educational strategy with the objectives of modern Christian faith communities. After briefly examining the discipling model of teaching as practiced in the world of the Ancient Near East, a detailed study of New Testament texts investigates the practice of discipling by Jesus and his followers and in the church of the first century. An understanding of the concept of discipling is gained by gradually refining its definition as the study progresses through a contemporary examination of other informal models of education. Religious and educational research findings are explored to enable the validity of the discipling model to be determined. Finally, the definition is used as a benchmark to examine various contemporary educational theories within the community of faith. In contrast to the schooling model, discipling has been shown to be an effective model for teaching attitudes, values, and behavior as well as knowledge and beliefs in today's church. Its emphasis on commitment to learning relationships within a nurturing community and active involvement in the mission of Christ to the world, and its capacity to adapt to differences in age, culture, ability, and interests, make it a model of teaching worthy of much greater attention by the Christian faith community.
Some of the key issues that make up the content of this book are (1) why God expects obedience from his children, (2) how acknowledging our sinful nature helps to maintain a right relationship with God, (3) being aware of and taming the power of our tongue, and (4) how we act out the love of God that shows we are indeed a true believer. These issues and several others in this book will help a Christian become the mature Christians that God expects his children to be.
Author: Steven W. Manskar
Publisher: Upper Room Books
Release Date: 2016-09-01
A Disciple's Journal, carefully designed and deeply Wesleyan, provides a pattern of daily prayer and scripture reading for disciples who want to grow in holiness of heart and life. It invites readers into a Wesleyan way of following Jesus Christ shaped by the General Rule of Discipleship: To witness to Jesus Christ in the world and to follow his teachings through acts of compassion, justice, worship, and devotion under the guidance of the Holy Spirit. The journal includes: A daily lectionary that corresponds with the Revised Common Lectionary Inspirational quotes from John Wesley Excerpts from Wesley's sermons Hymns from Charles Wesley Orders for prayer in the morning and evening Prayers for each day of the week A journal for discipleship A pattern for intercessory prayer
"A Discipleship Journey for New Believers" is a compilation of forty short subjects that every new believer in the Lord Jesus Christ should have some knowledge. The language is about a ninth grade level with some theological terms that need to be a part of ever Christian's vocabulary. These have been written after many years in the ministry and the discipling of many young believers in their newly‑found faith. This is not meant to be an exhaustive understanding of biblical doctrines, but a beginning of what hopefully will become a mature understanding of one' s faith as a Christian in the home, in the community and in the local church The three questions at the end of each subject, especially if worked through in a group of 3‑5 readers, will help everyone to understand the subjects more clearly. Some subjects will be skimmed the first time through and understood more clearly when read later. But some ‑ especially the first section will have bearing on one's faith immediately. Hopefully this may be a volume to be kept nearby for the first few months of faith and will have greater understanding and maturity the more times we read it as a believer.
Author: James A. Harnish
Publisher: Abingdon Press
Release Date: 2012-02-01
A Disciple’s Path is an engaging approach to discipleship from a distinctly Wesleyan perspective. Whether used as an introduction for new members or a renewal course for existing members, the program guides individuals to take the next step in discipleship and become dynamic, engaged followers of Jesus Christ. The study combines a Wesleyan understanding of our growth in God’s love and grace with the time-tested practices of spiritual discipline expressed in the membership vows to uphold the church with our prayers, presence, gifts, service, and witness. Participants will develop spiritual practices, discover their unique gifts, and become engaged in ministry that brings transformation in their own lives, the lives of others, and the world. This Daily Workbook contains six weeks of daily readings (five per week) that guide participants in learning and practicing seven essential spiritual disciplines: Prayer Scripture Meditation Corporate Worship Small-group Community Financial Generosity Gifts-based Service Invitational Evangelism Each day’s reading includes a Scripture, a message for the day, questions and prompts for personal reflection (with space provided for recording responses), and prayer. A special introductory section includes material on the history, beliefs, and structure of the church and answers to frequently asked questions. “Whether you’re just setting out or are further along the path of discipleship, this excellent resource will help you to take the next step.” —Roger Scholtz, Senior Pastor, Manning Road Methodist Church, Durban, South Africa “A Disciple’s Path has the potential to revolutionize the way we view our participation in the church. Following this ‘path’ can transform us from wanderers into pilgrims.” —Dr. Steve Harper, Professor of Spiritual Formation, Asbury Theological Seminary
Following an encounter with an African bishop - who believed all who lived in his diocese (and not only congregations and clergy) should be loved and cared for - Robert Cotton became convinced that Christian disciples in this country need to be assured that they have something vital to communicate to the well-being of their local communities. We are all, to some extent, 'vicars' - vicarious disciples who cannot help but influence those around us. Indeed, it may be beneficial to think of ourselves as public actors for the faith, housed in a theatre of meaning, the Church, and putting on a divine play for which there is an eager audience. The audience may consist of people of other faiths or none: the author encourages us to have confidence in a theology that does not limit salvation to those inside the Church; he believes that we can come close to the presence of God in active engagement with people of goodwill. And, of course, as Christians it behoves us to respond to others' agendas and concerns with generosity and grace. This gentle, beautifully written volume packs quite a punch. Taken seriously, it will revitalize our personal and corporate vision of Christian living as, inspired by the Holy Spirit, we seek to bring light and joy to the cities, towns and villages in which we live.
Author: Vernon T. Jones
Publisher: Wipf and Stock Publishers
Release Date: 2013-08-16
"For surely I know the plans I have for you, says the Lord, plans for your welfare and not for harm, to give you a future with hope." Jeremiah 29:11How do we know God's plans for us? How do we know God leads and talks to us daily? How do we become more disciplined in our spiritual walk in order to better hear God's voice and guidance in our lives? There are no easy answers to these questions. However, when we are intentional in our times of prayer, Bible study, and reflection, the Holy Spirit opens our hearts to God's love, allowing us to see opportunities for further direction and growth. Discipleship--A Lifelong Spiritual Pilgrimage offers guidance and gives support to those already involved in this pilgrimage plus encouragement to those wanting to do more in developing good discipleship practices.
“Go therefore and make disciples of all nations.” —Jesus This is a book about pursuit. How God pursues people. How we pursue him. And how he uses us to pursue others. God pursued us when Jesus came into this ruined world as an agent of redemption, asking us to follow him and to become his disciples. Yet, what does Jesus actually mean by disciple? And as his disciples, what is our mission? Pastor Bill Clem masterfully answers these questions, explaining what Jesus meant when he called his followers “disciples”, and what he intended when he told us to then make disciples. This helpful guide weaves together Scripture and real-life stories to illustrate the essential elements of Christian discipleship. Whether you’ve just become a follower of Jesus or you’ve been one for years, Disciple will help you see that Jesus invites his people to freedom rather than mere rule keeping, and it will give you a relational framework—instead of behavioral prescriptions—for pursuing God.