The process Jesus used to make disciples was to choose people who would follow Him and take them on an incredible journey that would transform their lives and the world. This journey consisted of five observable stages, each of which required a higher level of commitment. At the end of this journey, which lasted just over three years, He commissioned 12 men to be reproducers. They were to do this by leading others on the same journey that they had just completed, teaching them all they had learned and sending them out to make new disciples. (Matt. 28:18-20)
The Disciple's Journey
The Disciple’s Journey encompasses a series of four books designed as a resource to help disciple Christians from the new believer to long-term Christian, and to train disciples to disciple others. The four books are completely independent discipleship studies, but they are designed to build upon each other and are based on the same five-stage progression that Jesus used.
There are a total of 51 group sessions across the entire journey. These sessions are designed for Bible study, discussion, accountability, training and prayer. Each session requires approximately two to two and a half hours of preparation, which is broken up into 5 daily studies. If you choose to meet weekly, you could finish The Disciple’s Journey in a little over a year. Meeting bi-weekly is what some groups prefer. The advantage of meeting every other week is that it gives more time to prepare for group sessions, and it provides more time to be involved in ministry and outreach.
Not a separate function—a natural extension
The Disciple’s Journey resources should not be seen as a separate function of the ministry or small group in which people are already engaged--discipleship begins in these groups. The Disciple’s Journey resources are designed to be a natural extension of these ministries or groups, not to take their place. This natural extension provides for a more in-depth, intentional, intensive and personal training of faithful, available and teachable people who will be qualified to disciple others.
(2 Tim 2:1-2)
Download your copy of Spiritual Boot Camp now and call young believers to discipleship where they can lock down the foundations of the Christian faith.
Jesus did not immediately call men to become fully devoted followers. He brought them along, step by step, until they were ready to fully commit to following Him. The Apostle John gives us the earliest account of Jesus’ interaction with His future disciples sometime in A.D. 26. “The Starting Five”, as we will call them, were first introduced to Jesus by John the Baptist. When Andrew and Simon first met Jesus they had not yet come to faith in Him.
When the two disciples heard him say this, they followed Jesus. Turning around, Jesus saw them following and asked, “What do you want?” They said, “Rabbi” (which means Teacher) “where are you staying?” “Come,” he replied, “and you will see.” So they went and saw where he was staying, and spent that day with him. It was about the tenth hour. John 1:37-39
Spiritual Boot Camp is the resource used for this first stage of The Disciple’s Journey. Believers and non-believers alike are invited to participate in this nine session course which, is designed to bring people to faith and teach them the basic fundamentals of the Christian life.
In this stage, Jesus called some of the disciples who were His occasional followers to be His permanent companions. Jesus observed their level of commitment for about a year before he did this. This is Mark’s account of “The Calling”:
“Come, follow me,” Jesus said, “and I will make you fishers of men.” At once they left their nets and followed him. Mark 1:17-18
Jesus called those who demonstrated, by their faithfulness, that they were ready for the challenge of the next stage. Jesus called His disciples to be with Him on a more regular basis and to train them to become fishers of men. This training began immediately as they followed Him on His first Galilean tour starting in the summer A.D. 27.
7 Great Doctrines of the Bible is the resource you will use for the calling stage of The Disciple’s Journey. The focus of this nine session course is to become firmly grounded in sound doctrine and to develop the faith skill of “fishers of men”.
A larger group of disciples followed Jesus from the summer of AD 27 until the winter of AD 28. They learned much after being with Jesus for over a year on His second Galilean tour. They had proven faithful and were now ready for more intensive training to prepare them to be sent out on their own.
During this stage, Jesus made the final cut and choose from among His followers twelve men whom He also designated Apostles. From this point on, His main focus would be training the twelve. He did this while still including other disciples and teaching the crowds.
One of those days Jesus went out to a mountainside to pray, and spent the night praying to God.
When morning came, he called his disciples to him and chose twelve of them, whom he also
designated apostles. Luke 6:12-16 (NIV)
People who have proven FAT (faithful, available and teachable) during the previous stages of The Disciple’s Journey and have shown a high level of commitment will be chosen to enter “The Choosing Stage.” This stage is only for those who are willing to pay the price for further intentional and intense discipleship training. It is for those who are willing to reproduce themselves in others.
Anchoring is the course in The Disciple’s Journey that facilitates “The Choosing Stage” and “The Sending Stage.” This is an intense twenty-four session course that combines group study time with group ministry and outreach. The focus is not just about knowing more, but focuses on character transformation and using what was learned in hands on ministry.
This is a leadership book that prepares people to reproduce by leading others through the Disciple’s Journey they just completed. People who complete this stage begin discipling others by starting a Spiritual Boot Camp group of new believers. In this book there is a special focus on how to develop new believers so that every new believer is personally invited to participate in a discipleship through a Spiritual Boot Camp group. It is our conviction that it this phase of discipleship that is neglected in many churches, A special focus on giving new believers a solid foundation is critical to successfully developing fully devoted, reproducing disciples, and this book aims to address this issue.