I have created a unique study program that allows you to do in-depth studies based upon what you are really interested in studying -- at your own pace. I provide study guides, which cover over fifty difference subjects that touch your life where you live. You can do this at our table in Penn Yan, New York or from your own home. Either way, the goal is to become accountable to the Lord for how you spend your time and how deep you go. The more you apply yourself the more you grown; simple.
OUR DISCIPLESHIP PROGRAM
In the sixteenth century, Martin Luther’s message of reformation was spreading across Europe like a wildfire. Meanwhile, he sat at his kitchen table with his students and colleagues, having informal discussions. They could ask questions about everything from doctrine to history, to current events, to the ideal form of government for the church and the country. Luther stated his beliefs freely and shared his opinions with candor. He even allowed those who spent time at his table to write out what they saw and heard. One young man did that. He captured these “divine discourses,” including the humor, wit, and prejudices of Luther, and published them in a book called Table Talk. This book provided an uncensored look into Luther’s mind and motivations.
Several years ago, I was asked to provide some discipleship training for a group of young men. They desired personal training that would assist them in their spiritual formation. Rather than meet with them individually, I gathered them all around my table. During that long, cold winter, we had many warm discussions where we talked freely about the issues perplexing them. We explored a wide range of subjects, all very helpful to their and my spiritual growth.
Since then, I have welcomed many others to my table, calling it the Discipleship Group. They have come from near and far. I have made it clear that they are not to be my disciples. I have helped them focus, instead, on the living Christ and what it is to be His disciples today.
We eventually moved the meetings to a table at church, where we could study and pray together. We limited our gathering to four days a week during certain months of the year. I developed some study notes on a number of subjects and provided them for each person to work on at his or her own pace. We began each day studying our notes in quiet, but when a question arose, a lively discussion often ensued, taking us in many different directions. Our table talks have greatly impacted me as I believe they have done other participants.
Several pastors began to notice what we were doing and asked about it. Some even sat in on these morning talks, taking part and observing what we were doing. One of them told me, “You are the only pastor I know who loves what he is doing, but you are also the only one I know who is doing what we all signed up to do in the first place.” They recognized how pastors need to interact with hungry people, training and equipping them, but often end up pushing papers and overseeing programs instead.
In the end, these table talks have helped us all draw closer to the Lord, giving us a sense of profound gratitude for the wonder of His Word and the working of His Spirit. It makes me ponder what helped spread the Reformation more, Luther’s time at the table or his time at his desk?
COME STUDY AT MY TABLE
For years, I have been working on the study notes developed for our table talks, desiring to share them with those called into discipleship. I have written many studies that help point people to the Lordship of Jesus. These enable them to gain a deeper appreciation for His Word and the local church. My heart has been to work with those who are eager to acknowledge Christ in all their ways and want to learn to hear His voice, discern His will, and live in a way where pleasing Him is the priority.
In the past, people have asked for my material so they can work on various subjects on their own from home. This book was developed to help meet their request. Some people, however, continue to come to Penn Yan, New York, where they can give themselves more fully to this. They come from all over. Some stay for three, six, or even twelve months at a time. Together, we study as a group each morning, Tuesday through Friday, with the afternoons free to seek the Lord, do deeper studies, or work part-time, as need be. Furthermore, we help people find places to stay and assist them in securing part-time work in our community. We give each student opportunity to go on mission trips, here and overseas, as the Lord leads. None of this has been easy, but I believe it has been fruitful.
Initially, everyone starts with basic discipleship studies. These provide them with a solid, biblical foundation, readying them for further study. There are assignments at the end of the notes that help them do more in-depth study on their own. When they finish with these, they can choose from about fifty other topics, depending on what the Lord is dealing with them about. I also recommend they go through my book list. It contains resources that added a lot to my own spiritual formation when I was a young disciple.
Beyond this, the students receive some practical assignments in our church and community that help them grow. There are also opportunities to go on local trips and retreats.
The bottom line is this: Jesus must become our Master (Teacher), and we must become His disciples first and foremost. My role is simply to create a framework for this to take place and to challenge students to embrace it completely.
This book is part of a larger series of books that pertain to discipleship and preparing for the ministry. These studies are laid out like the floor plan of a house, taking you from one study to the next, as if going from room to room in a systematic way. This is why we call it Discipleship House. You will find a complete plan with all the subjects we cover by clicking here.
At the end of each section, I have compiled a list of assignments meant to help you explore the subject more deeply on your own when you have time. At the end of the study, I have included a Q&A section where I provide answers to commonly asked questions.
PDF We would like everyone who in taking the Discipleship course to start by reading this book first. We have made it available in an easy to read PDF format for students and for small group Bible studies. We will send you this PDF version by email for $5.00 per copy when you pay for it by using PayPal. You can get studying right away by clicking here....
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