The Elders are passionate is for Westside to become a disciple-making church. They have personally committed themselves to be disciple-makers, and they deeply desire that every person in the fellowship learn to be a disciple of Jesus Christ and be regularly involved in making disciples of others.
This involves personally sharing the Gospel with friends, co-workers and fellow students. It also involves spending one-on-one time with other believers to help them grow in their Christian walk.
Maybe you think God could never use you to make disciples. Maybe you think this is a special role reserved for the super-spiritual or so-called "professional" Christians.
But every Christian at Westside can be learning to be a committed disciple of Jesus and have a vital part in helping others learn to be disciples.
How can you get started discipling someone? First, connect with them one-on-one and get to know where they are spiritually and identify areas where they need help, guidance, and encouragement. Then begin to meet with them to help them spiritually.
One idea is to begin a Bible read-through where both of you read Scripture on your own and then meet together to share highlights of what you've read.
You can also make use of study resources that are designed to help others grow in their faith. Here are a few ideas.
"Growing in Christ" (NavPress) - This excellent 13-lesson study book covers the basics of the Christian life and is especially suitable for newer Christians. It covers such vital basics, as assurance of salvation, how to have victory over sin, how to pray, how to follow Christ, and more.
"Design for Discipleship" series (NavPress) - This series of 7 books explains more in-depth what it means to be a Christ-centered disciple, how to develop Christian character, how to have victory over sin, how to walk by the Holy Spirit, and how to grow toward maturity in one's daily life in Christ. A helpful leader's guide is also available.
Emmaus Bible correspondence courses (ECS Ministries) - Many Bible study courses are available in both English and Spanish on the basics of the Christian life, Bible survey, book and doctrine studies and studies that meet special needs. Some courses are geared to helping seekers understand the Gospel. Especially recommended for helping new Christians grow are "Lessons for Christian Living" and "Guide to Christian Growth." For more advanced study in Christian growth, we recommend the series of Christian Training Workbooks. "Survey in Basic Christianity" is for new or untaught Christians. "Basic Christian Training" is for growing Christians who want to grow even more. "Intermediate Christian Training" and "Advanced Christian Training" take believers even deeper in discipleship training.
Simple Discipleship - This assessment tool explains an achievable, personalized discipling strategy tailored to your life and personality and that clearly points the way of Jesus.
An important thing to remember is that discipleship is not just the transfer of knowledge. Knowledge is important, and we need to understand what the Bible says. However, what we do with this knowledge is also important. Disciples of Jesus Christ are called to act on this knowledge through life application and obedience. When we disciple others, we need to help them apply God's Word, the Bible, to their lives.
Don't wait until you can disciple perfectly. None of us will ever arrive at this point! Instead, intentionally get started. Follow these 5 steps:
1. Commit to learning to be a disciple yourself
2. Build one-on-one relationships with others
3. Identify those who are willing to learn and grow
4. Offer to help them in discipleship
5. Step out in faith and get started