WHERE’S THE TREASURE?- RESOURCES
There are so many resources to help us in our quest to make disciples. And that’s good! We need all the help we can get. We all think and learn differently. Some of us are readers. And others of us like to think out loud and would rather read less. Some of our disciples are younger and some are older.
As you become an authentic disciple and then choose to disciple others, search to find the best tools to grab the hearts of those you are discipling. They may not think or grow like you, at all. So be attentive and meet their needs.
Don’t be afraid to try different books or manuals or other tools until you find the one that works. Our goal was to give you loads of resources so you could grab one off the top or search through to the treasure on the bottom. You may find something we need to stick in our library. Please tell us! Let’s help each other make as make authentic disciples as we can, for the Kingdom and the glory of God!
Let’s begin by talking about our Content. Our Content is what we study and focus on. We have so many choices on what to study. And we are often drawn to what most excites us in our own personality and ability to learn. Some of us are very studious. We love to dig into the Word and maybe even the Greek. Some of us like telling and hearing stories, but we don't want to study too deeply. Others of us love a good book that takes us to specific places of spiritual growth. And there are lesson plans for every Book or topic.
The most important part of deciding what content to use in the Disciplemaking process is matching the Content to your people and the End-Goal. You can’t simply start by picking your favorite book or Book or study guide. That may not work and it probably won’t reach your ultimate goal.
Spiritual Growth- You have to begin by looking at your individual situation to decide what will help them really grow the most in your spiritual journey.
Next, you need to assess what subjects you will need to cover over the next 12-24 months to build authentic disciples who truly reflect the mind, character and priorities of Jesus. This is the End-Goal. The goal is not simply knowledge. Knowledge in itself never produces life. But the goal can’t be about going and doing without knowledge and character building as well.
The Mind of Christ- There are over thirty definable topics about Christian living that the Word brings clarity on throughout the Bible. Then there is the Word, filled with stories, history and His story! Our End-Goal is to help our disciples grow so close and intimate with God that they think and see life through God’s eyes. There are many books and studies that will guide you into the Word and point you quickly toward specific topics in your study of God’s principles.
The Character of Christ- The Word tells us the character qualities that a Christ-follower exhibits. But defining those characteristics in real life and walking through the thought process of a whole new way of thinking and living takes time and lots of discussion
The Priorities of Christ- We have to become doers of the Word and not simply hearers. God has actionable priorities that have to be part of the authentic disciples life. Again, excellent books and studies will point to the verses that demonstrate the lifestyle of serving, fishing and multiplying disciples.
The End-Goal is applying the truths so our disciples actually live the Life. If they aren’t changed and reflecting Jesus, we aren’t finished yet!
The people we choose to disciple are all unique with a variety of issues and needs. We often see groups forming around our differences. We have discipleship groups for men, women, young people and children. We have groups formed around addictions, disabilities, bereavement, singleness and so much more. And so we have books and studies that focus clearly on those specific uniqueness’s. That can be very helpful as we try to empower people to live out an authentic Christian life. But there are two major categories that most people fall into. All of our disciples have the same foundational needs, no matter what unique group they are part of.
New Believers- They need everything, starting with the simple foundational truths of the Bible. Many books and guides are available to walk new believers through to a full understanding of Biblical truth. What books often don’t do is walk these new believers through the practical steps of how to actually grow up and become an authentic disciple. People have real life issues that need to be wrestled with all the way to victory and maturity.
Everyday Christians- Our churches are filled with people who know a lot of truth, but they haven’t applied it. They often have intellectual and practical holes in their understanding and lifestyles. They know some truth and some half-truths. Their knowledge is often shallow. They need to be walked through to a deeper understanding of the heart and mind of God. They need to know how to live and how to apply God’s truth to their everyday lives. They need to know that character is as or more important than knowledge. And they need to get out of the pew and start doing the Kingdom!
These specific needs will guide you toward the End-Goal in your search for the right Content. It’s not that there isn’t content. There is too much content. You will have to wade through all of the resources out there until you find what works for you. Once you find the right content, you’ll be able to pass it on for life! Our website will guide you to many options. Your church, friends and the Internet will also point you toward great products. Find the right ones and go!
Some of you may find that the best content is more for you as the leader and not for the group. For example, a good book or study can equip you so well that you then can sit with your group and the Word, knowing where to find the right verses to instruct your topic. More is often accomplished with less content and more discussion. The mind awakens as people actually connect with the topic. Many people mentally disappear in a study environment, but no one knows. That’s why it’s essential that we learn how to engage in our groups in such a way that everyone is mentally present, everyone is processing and experiencing the conviction of the Holy Spirit to grow up and be whole. Discipleship is less about presentation and more about interaction and integration. Our goal is discussing, understanding and applying content so lives are actually changed! We don’t need more people filled with kingdom content. We need more kingdom people filled with God!
Thirty-Two Topics and Categories
Here is a list that can help guide you to the essential areas of conversation and study that we need to have. You will find books, booklets and single page studies available on all of these subjects. You will find series of booklets or books that cover most of these topics. Many of them include thoughtful questions to help with your discussions. The Internet is also filled with sites that have downloadable studies on these topics.
Start with some quick clicks to go to various resources that we’ve made available.
If you want to understand more about content before you dive into the Treasure, keep reading.
Some of my Recommendations
There are so many choices for content when we make disciples. You will also discover that we are all so different. Some of us are readers and others of us are not. That simple truth will guide you as you search for the right content.
BOOK- MULTIPLY by Francis Chan is available for sale or online and downloadable for free. This book provides excellent content from Biblical history and God’s plan for His Church to lifestyle development.
SERIES- THE GROWING OUT series by Carl Simmons is available online and downloadable. Six books cover all of the foundational values and issues on Christian living, from Growing in Character to Growing in Your Mission. You may also choose to buy them on Amazon. The Navigators also have good series for good disciplemaking.
STUDY SHEETS- I appreciate the simplicity of Collaborative Discipleship by CRU and personally use it in making disciples. I also like The Discipleship Training Manual from The Bridge of Sacramento, a great downloadable 24 lesson study of God’s Word on Christian living.
Again, we are providing our own free set of manuals you can download and use for disciplemaking. These don't give you the content- they provide the guidance on planning and initiating the plan and structure to help you with your disciplemaking.