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Welcome to the Discipleship programme

The Christian life is not meant to be lived in comfort – it’s meant to be missional. We’re supposed to be out there battling for souls who need saving – and need a Saviour.

But we need to be prepared for the battle. 

Discipleship is both about preparing ourselves for the battle, and about going out there and making disciples. We want to equip you and encourage you – and then we want you to GO! The whole purpose of discipleship is to follow Jesus’ teaching. And He taught us to GO – into all the world, and make disciples. Be prepared – you will be given opportunity – and will be encouraged (and even expected) to GO!

Here, we have put together some useful resources for you to learn more about the Bible and the Christian life.

This is your starting point – dive into the resources, and navigate through the programme at your own leisure. They will take you to follow Christ on a journey together with Misfits Ministries. You will receive an email to let you know when a new article or resource has been added. 

Additional resources are available on our website, so be sure to register there and check in.

We look forward to the journey together – please get in touch with us as we journey – your feedback is important to us. Thank You.

Chosen Zoom meetings

We are encouraging groups of people to get together to run Chosen Zoom meetings, to discuss the Discipleship Course with other like-minded people. Get in touch if you would like to know more.

Follow Me by Casting Crowns

Why people don't make disciples

Born Again Christians?

Introduction

Who am I to be writing about discipleship?   Nobody!

If you don’t know me, you don’t need to – I’m not important.   I don’t have a position, I’m not prominent, and I don’t like the platform.   I am not a pastor or a preacher; I am not a leader or an elder; I’m not a Biblical scholar and I haven’t been to Bible college; I’m just an ordinary Christian, like you.  

I am not worthy, but I am willing; I am not out of the ordinary, but I am obedient; I am not qualified, but I am called.  

That calling came on a mission trip to Estonia, many years ago, and you can read more in the book, ‘Chosen: Called to Be a Disciple’ and in the emails that accompany this series.  

But long before that mission trip, I had become a Christian, and you can read the horrendous and harrowing journey that led me there elsewhere! But essentially, I had gone through the following process to become a Christian.

Prelude to Discipleship

If you are reading this then you are most likely already a Christian, or, at the very least, you are a regular churchgoer.   Or maybe you are on a journey of discovery, and want to know more about what it means to be a Christian before you make a commitment?

It’s a choice to be a Christian, but it’s often a choice that we make before we know what it actually involves!   We all have individual journeys, which are intriguing, infinitely interesting and part of God’s intricate tapestry that weaves us into His purpose and plan for our lives.  

But before you continue on the journey of discipleship, you will need to have reached certain milestones along the way. There are no shortcuts.   These milestones are ‘way stones’ – markers on the way to becoming a Christian. Make sure you visit each one before you go any further.

Believe

Of course, you must believe.   You must have a faith and believe there is a God, and that Jesus Christ is the Son of God who was sent into the world to live among us and to save us from our sins and reconcile us back to God.  

Believe in the Lord Jesus and you will be saved, along with everyone in your household.

Acts 16:31

The Bible explains that we, “have all sinned and fall short of the glory of God” (Romans 3:23).   We’ve all messed up, one way or another.   None of us, however good we would like to think we are, comes close to the glory of God.   Not Mother Theresa, Martin Luther or Florence Nightingale; nobody comes close.  

But God knew that we couldn’t do it by ourselves and He had a plan!

For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.

John 3:16 (NIV)

Jesus – the Son of God – was sent to earth to live and, more importantly, to die to pay for our sins.   That’s the Good News.   We don’t have to pay for our wrongdoings, our mess; Jesus has paid for us, and He paid with His life.

Confess

The next step is to confess with your mouth.

If you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.

Romans 10:9 (NKJV)

That’s what we believe.   But to just believe it is not enough, we have to declare it, own it, state it, announce it and perhaps even shout it out, (or at least tell somebody)!   That might be to your best friend, your partner, your spouse, your parents, your relatives, or initially it might only be a church pastor.   But “if you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord … you will be saved.”  

You see, it starts with an internal process: a change of heart and a change in your belief, which is followed by an external process as you tell someone, and make it known that you believe that Jesus Christ is your personal Lord and Saviour.

Repent

The Good News is that Christ has paid for all our wrongdoings.   That’s amazing!   It doesn’t matter what you have done, whether big or small, past, present, or future.

Repentance isn’t just being sorry, or feeling remorse for what you have done wrong in life.   Rather, it’s a turning away from previous behaviour you now realise is wrong in your life.

But if we confess our sins to him, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all wickedness.

1 John 1:9 (NLT)

It’s not always easy to change, and it has been said that the best predictor of future behaviour is past behaviour.  They say that “People can’t change,” and to some degree, I do agree.   However, God can change people.   In fact, when we accept Christ as our Lord and Saviour, the Bible tells us that we become a “new creation.”   We are changed from the inside out.  There is a change of heart, and with that comes a change of mind.  

Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new.

2 Corinthians 5:17 (NKJV)

It is because of this change, brought about by the Holy Spirit, that we can turn away from and change our previous way of life and wrongdoings.   Repentance is a choice we make, but the Good News is that God will change us when we give Him our permission.

Be Baptised

Not everyone will agree with this, but the Bible tells us so.  

Anyone who believes and is baptised will be saved.

Mark 16: 16(a) (NLT)

Not everyone believes that you have to be baptised in order to become a Christian and a disciple of Jesus.   After all, the thief on the cross was not baptised, and he was promised a place in heaven with Jesus.

However, all the early disciples were baptised, and Jesus clearly commands us, as you will read in the third chapter, to:

Therefore, go and make disciples of all the nations, baptising them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit.

Matthew 28:19 (NLT)

Therefore, I would argue that to be a disciple, to follow Jesus, we should be baptised.   Personally, I struggled with this for some time and I wrestled with this particular verse.   However, in time, the Holy Spirit worked in me to bring about a realisation that I should, actually, be baptised in water. 

Maybe you have the same wrestling, or perhaps you don’t believe that you need to be baptised.   We must not be prescriptive about our actions taken faith, but it is important that we adhere to biblical doctrine.   We have a faith, a belief in God, in the death and resurrection of Christ as a payment for our wrongdoings, and we have announced this, and that’s a starting point.   We must then work out our salvation.   Of course, our salvation is a free gift, given to us by God even though we don’t deserve it.   There’s no question about that, no doubt about that whatsoever – it’s a free gift to us all.

But then, once received, we must work it out in our own lives.   How will that change us?   How will it change our behaviour, our actions, our decisions; and even our thoughts and the words we speak?   We have a responsibility to work that out in our own lives.

Work out your own salvation with fear and trembling.

Philippians 2:12 (NKJV)

It says, “Work out your own salvation,” not somebody else’s.   It’s for you to work out your own.   Therefore, we must not be prescriptive and follow religious rules and regulations – as the Pharisees did at the time of Jesus.  

The Pharisees were “far, you see;” far from Jesus, far from the truth and so far from knowing the true will and the true heart and work of God.   Don’t be far from Jesus.   Keep Him close and follow Him.

Follow Christ

Finally! Following Christ is why we are here in the first place, making this first step in a journey to follow Christ.   

One of the things He said at the beginning was, “Follow me.” According to the Bible it is natural that when we follow Christ, we should follow His teaching and His ways,

Follow me, and I will make you fishers of men.

Matthew 4:19 (NKJV)

Are you ready to go fishing?   I heard this joke about fishing, I can’t remember where.   It goes like this:

A young fisherman heard about a well-known fisherman, who was famous for always catching the most fish whenever he went out.   So, he decided to ask if he could go with him to learn some of his trade.

Off they went on a boat into the middle of a lake.   The young man says, “Shall we cast off the fishing lines here?”   The well-known fisherman answers, “No, just pass me that box in the back of the boat.”   So, he passed him the box.

Then, to his disbelief, the well-known fisherman took out a stick of dynamite from the box, lit the fuse, and threw it in the water.   Off it went, BOOM!   Dozens of dead fish just rose to the surface of the water, and he took out his net and “fished” them out.   It was by far the biggest catch of fish that the young man had ever seen.

But … he knew it was wrong.   He said, “You can’t do that!   It’s illegal.   You can’t go fishing that way.   You will get in trouble.”

So, the well-known fisherman calmly took out another stick of dynamite, lit the fuse, and handed it to the young man and said, “Well, what are you going to do?   Are you going to fish?”

If you can imagine this book as a stick of dynamite, I have just lit the fuse and handed it to you!   Are you going to fish?   Are you going to be a disciple and follow Christ?

Following is an active process.   It takes purpose and it takes planning.   It is a constant choice – a daily decision – to follow Christ … or not.

As we go out fishing, we must fish in a responsible manner.   Using sticks of dynamite is not responsible, of course.   Having said that, some Christians need to have a stick of dynamite lit in their hands before they go out to do anything!   We all do, I guess, at times.   We need an impetus:  something to get us going, to do something, to be what God intended us to be, to fulfil His purpose in our lives and with our lives.

Are you ready to go?  

Jesus says:

Come, follow me, and I will show you how to fish for people!

Matthew 4:19 (NLT)

Are you going to fish?