The Karate Kid
The Karate Kid film is a good example of how discipleship can be taken to the next level, for training in godliness and ministry.

Writing the book on discipleship

In Articles, Direction Articles, Faith by New Life PublishingLeave a Comment

In the coming months the MPower team is looking to actively engage with Elim men across the country to encourage the discipleship of other guys – just like Jesus did! We’ll be releasing real-life stories, ideas and personal goals both here and across our social media platforms to actively engage readers in this adventure that Christ called us to. So what better way to start than to connect with Gary Gibbs who wrote a book on it? Last year, Gary Gibbs who leads Elim’s evangelism and church planting department, REACH, released ‘The Discipleship Lifestyle: How disciples develop disciples’. MPower leader Mark Lyndon-Jones asked Gary about it.

MPower: So Gary, what made you put pen to paper?

GG: During Covid lockdown it became clear that one of the areas of lack in our church ministry was in making disciples – the very thing Jesus told us to do! To a degree we did OK at producing people who turned up a few Sundays a month, sang the songs, listened to the talk, drank a coffee and left until the next time, but often we had little in place to enable them to pursue radical following of Jesus.

MPower: How do you think we can begin to remedy that?

GG: Well, I don’t think discipleship happens on Sunday mornings to any degree. Our church services are primarily about worship and receiving teaching – both are crucial areas, of course. But if we are to be discipled, adjusted, encouraged, equipped etc., this can only really happen in smaller groupings or even one-on-one.

I cover a lot of biblical material on this in the first part of the book. Discipleship practices occur in the Old Testament and the New. The example ‘par excellence’ is of course Jesus! It’s fascinating to see how he did life with the twelve and was perhaps even more focused with the three. It occurred to me also that Jesus didn’t only disciple others, he was a disciple himself, learning from his Father.

MPower: Where do you think we need discipleship input?

GG: Two main areas; our character and our gifting. The ultimate goal is to bring each one of us to Christ-like maturity, so both issues are of critical importance.

MPower: On a practical level, how can blokes take this forward?

GG: I’ve been blown away by the number of small groups using the book as a resource to help create a discipleship culture. Each time they meet they talk around a chapter which they have all read (each chapter has some reflective questions at the end). Then they hold each other to mutual accountability in outworking some stuff.

There is a different level of discipleship when you take on board a period of training in godliness and/or ministry. A good example would be Mr Miyagi and Daniel in the film ‘The Karate Kid’!

So, get the book and go from there! I can offer a special deal if a group of guys want to buy multiple copies. Just email me: gary.gibbs@elim.org.uk. Otherwise, it’s available on Amazon as paperback or Kindle.

Also, if you want to connect with the MPower team and join this journey to a lifestyle of discipleship why not contact us through our WhatsApp link either here or whilst you’re at the Elim Leadership Summit.

From Direction Magazine issue 236

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