Recently, I was asked for some input on how I would structure a discipleship program if I were to have about 6 months of fairly intensive time to work with a small group of men. I thought that I would share my initial thoughts here.
When I began doing homeless ministry, I spent some time looking at some of the sermons found in the book of Acts to gain some insight into a model to base evangelistic preaching/teaching on. The model I came up with covered things in this order: 1) God’s glory, 2) man’s fallen state, 3) the work of Christ, 4) the promise of salvation coupled with the hope of ongoing sanctification in this life.
Unpackaging this in terms of a longer study would look something like this:
I. God’s Glory
a. Who is God?
i. names of God which reflect God’s character
ii. character traits of God
b. What has God done?
ii. Ordaining and Governing history
II. Man’s Fallen State
a. What does it mean to be made in God’s image?
i. the doctrine of the Imago Dei
ii. human dignity as a result of the Imago Dei
iii. the doctrine of the Imitatio Dei (how do we imitate God?)
b. What happened when Adam and Eve sinned?
i. Genesis 3
ii. The promise of a redeemer in Genesis 3
iii. Inherited sin guilt and the impossibility of our paying God back that sin debt on our own merit
c. How has the fall corrupted and contorted the Imago Dei?
i. Our aversion to the things of God and suppression of the truth
ii. The problem of pain–why do bad things happen to good people?
III. The Work of Christ
a. Who is Jesus and why is a Savior important?
i. the person and character of Christ
ii. the names of Christ
iii. the Old Testament prophesies of Christ
iv. The work of a mediator and paraclete
b. How Did Christ save us?
i. the preexistence of Christ
ii. the humiliation of Christ in life and in death
iii. the exaltation of Christ and his ongoing work as mediator at the right hand of God the Father
IV. The Promise of Salvation and the Hope of Sanctification
a. Who is the Holy Spirit?
i. the person of the Spirit
ii. the work of the Spirit
b. What is Faith and how is that tied to salvation?
i. The nature of Faith (Hebrews 11:1)
ii. Regeneration, Conversion, Repentance
c. What does it mean to be saved?
d. What happens next once I am saved?
i. Sanctification as a means to prepare for glory
ii. Living all of life “Coram Deo” or “Before the Face of God”
iii. 2 Peter 1:3-11 and adding to the faith as “Partakers of the Divine nature” (untwisting the Imago Dei–like having broken bones set)
iv. The fruit of the Spirit
v. The gifts of the Spirit