We wonder what it would have been like to be part of that band of people who became the first followers of Jesus. In many ways, the evangelical church in America has failed to Live for Jesus, Love like Jesus, Learn to follow Jesus and Leave behind the thing that Jesus left behind – true disciples. The evangelical church has declined in both numbers and effectiveness over the years. Currently, only 35% of our population feels connected to church. In an attempt to achieve growth and reach people who do not attend church, new Christian movements have developed. But many are failing to teach sound Biblical theology.
Statistics indicate that 65% of the American population feel disconnected and disenchanted with Christianity. Yet, nearly 90% of our population believe in God. Some of these are openly hostile to the evangelical church. But many are desperate to find real relationships with people who know Jesus and place Him at the center of their lives. Many are uncomfortable with the church as we have come to know and love it. In response, the church growth movement has, in many ways, caused the church to focus on attracting attenders but have lost the art of making disciples. And, much of what we are seeing in the new emerging church doctrine is actually leading people astray. We simply need to return to discipleship as Jesus knew it and His followers practiced it.
Our purpose is to help God’s people return to their roots. Whether you are hungry for spiritual things and want to know Christ in a real and relevant way, in an environment where you can feel comfortable asking anything without fear of condemnation; or if you are a church attender who wants to learn how to become a true and genuine disciple of Christ so you can be a more effective Christian - our mission is to equip you to serve.
We believe that true disciples are committed to intimate and loving relationships with other people who really want to know how to live well for Christ. The kind of love that proves Christ to be real and that a relationship with Him changes everything. The kind of intimate relationships required for this cannot happen in large groups where you hide out in the crowd, sitting back and being served while enjoying the show. The modern evangelical church has, in many ways, become a religion of "Consumerism" where you can get whatever you want, the way you want it - fast, so you can go back to your real life. Real discipleship can only happen in small groups. In Jesus day, a small group of committed followers of a rabbi were called “Talmidim.”
They served together, learned together, loved each other, shared their resources and had meaningful relationships. They were committed to learning how to live well for God as they followed in the footsteps of their rabbi. And the church exploded in size because God brought the increase! Our desire is to learn how to follow Jesus and live as He would have us live. There are two main things that set us apart as true disciples of Jesus. They are LOVE and LEARNING.
We love God with all our heart, mind soul and strength. We love others with the kind of love that can only come from having a personal relationship with God’s Son. And then we spend the rest of our lives in relationship with each other as we learn to live differently, focused on Jesus, with Him at the center of our lives. We train members to be shepherd leaders who know how to show people the way of Christ.
Modern Church Inc. has redefined the term “Small Group” to mean something that it never meant in Jesus day. Many confuse gathering and fellowship with discipleship: A sort of club to belong to. The truth is, small groups do not make disciples. It is committed disciples who form relationships that become small groups. As author Mike Breen explains, “Discipleship and most small groups today, are like a car without an engine. It does not matter how great the car is, if it does not have an engine it isn’t going to take you anywhere. Discipleship is the engine of the true church."
Source: http://mikebreen.wordpress.com/2011/09/12/ why-the-missional-movement-will-fail
We agree. We believe in discipleship that produces serious followers. The kind of followers who are interested in learning with other followers of Jesus. Followers who learn to share the love of Christ with each other: Followers who share their faith with those who do not know Christ as their Savior: Followers who will live in such a way as to attract others to join them in learning how to follow Jesus too: Followers who become active in a ministry of service for which they were created: Followers who become leaders of others. This is discipleship. This is the church.
Whether you are a new believer or a long time church attender, we long to help you grow in your relationship with Christ. It all starts with understanding salvation and what it means to be a follower of Jesus. We follow and teach a simple model of growth and discipleship. We teach organizational leadership that accomplishes our mission. We assess your spiritual gifts and help you find the best fit ministry that is just right for you. We equip God’s people to become shepherd leaders who draw people closer to our great Savior, Jesus Christ.
Our hope is that our partners - supporters - member churches - coworkers - church leaders - students will become, to each other and to the Evangelical Church in America, like a little yeast in a batch of dough that causes it to grow and multiply like the early church grew. To that end, we hope you will join us.
We offer resources and training to church members and leaders on a variety of subjects to help you "Become a Follower of Jesus."
Visit our programs page here
Come and follow as we LOVE - LIVE - LEARN - LEAVE