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What is DISCIPLE?

The purpose of DISCIPLE Bible study is “to equip the saints for the work of ministry, for building up the body of Christ.” (Ephesians 4:12)

What you can expect from the DISCIPLE Bible Study program is biblically nourished persons committed to live as disciples. Persons taking part in this study will learn the meaning of servant leadership. DISCIPLE aims at transformation, not just information.

Disciple groups are covenant groups, in which members covenant to pray for each other, keep confidences, and complete the course.

DISCIPLE I: BECOMING DISCIPLES THROUGH BIBLE STUDY is a prerequisite before taking any of the other DISCIPLE courses.

 

Why study DISCIPLE?

DISCIPLE is a program of disciplined Bible study aimed at developing strong Christian leaders. It focuses on the disciple as learner, believer, follower, proclaimer, and servant while providing the fellowship of a small group for study, prayer, preparation, support, and servanthood.

DISCIPLE assumes that the Bible is key to renewal in the church and affirms that the canon was formed as it is in order for God to speak to us. The study gives the Old and New Testaments equal time, emphasizing the wholeness of the Bible as a revelation of God and draws upon the work of scholars to aid understanding of the Bible.

 

The DISCIPLE Group

DISCIPLE is based on the model of Jesus and the twelve disciples. This small-group study works best with 8-14 members including the leader. Having fewer members can limit the discussion, and if a member or two leaves the group, it becomes much harder to continue. Having more than 14 members can also limit discussion, with too many people involved, and make it easier for persons to be less prepared and committed to the study. Group members may come from all walks of life, may or may not be members of the church, or may be first time or experienced students of the Bible. Regardless of their background, groups covenant together in terms of commitment of time, daily and weekly preparation, and attendance at all weekly sessions.

Groups may be led by anyone, but it should be the same one or two people for the entire study. Training seminars are held nationwide and are highly recommended for those planning to lead a DISCIPLE group. Even those who have completed an entire DISCIPLE study may want to consider training for additional ideas and support. People generally lead as they were led. DISCIPLE graduates who lead other studies of DISCIPLE but have never been to training usually approach the DISCIPLE materials and group process in the same way they first experienced it. Training offers hands-on experience with the resources and the additional components used with each study and provides understanding and practice of small-group leadership skills, the philosophy, the format of the material, and the weekly group schedule.

The greater the commitment of the group, the more fulfilling the experience.

 

Time & Commitment

DISCIPLE can reach its fullest potential when group members prepare, attend weekly sessions, and participate fully.

The group members’ commitment will include:

Studying about thirty minutes daily in preparation for the weekly study session.

Participating in an orientation session and all of the weekly study sessions.

The successful, productive group will covenant together for full commitment to study and prepare and to attend and participate. We recommend following the biblical pattern of Sabbath rest after six days of study.