My first day back at LifeWay Church Resources, after having been away for three years, I was called to the Vice President’s Office. Eric Geiger had a dream, a dream to create a series of resources that would give the church what she needed to make disciples that makes disciples. I was given oversight of this amazing project.
The journey to create this series of interactive studies was one like I had never seen before. Below you’ll see the story describing the process that was used. At the end of the description you’ll find a link to the webpage where you can learn more about the series.
The Disciples Path series was created by disciple makers for disciple makers. Fifteen disciple making church leaders were recruited to conclude what would be needed to instill the doctrines, biblical understandings, and principles and practices of a growing disciple… a mature disciple that would then make disciples. This group included church leaders from various ministry areas and traditions. The personalities that joined us in this endeavor were, Allan Taylor (FBC Woodstock, Woodstock, Georgia), Heather Zempel (National Community Church, Washington, D.C.), Jonathan Dodson (City Life Church, Austin, Texas), Ben Reed (Saddleback Church, Lake Forest, California), Rod Dempsey (Thomas Road Baptist Church, Lynchburg, Virginia), Craig Etheredge (First Baptist Church, Colleyville, Texas), Carolyn Taketa (Calvary Community Church, Westlake Village, California), Josh Howerton (The Bridge, Spring Hill, Tennessee) Eddie Mosley (LifePoint Church, Smyrna, Tennessee), Eddy Pearson (Arizona Baptist Convention), Steve Layton (Brentwood Baptist Church, Brentwood, Tennessee), Ms. Chuan Anderson (First Baptist Church, Palm Coast, Florida), Jim Shaddix (The Church at Brook Hills, Birmingham, Alabama), and Steven Rummage (Bell Shoals Baptist Church, Brandon, Florida).
When these discipleship experts were gathered together in one room, the environment was electric. Biblical expectations of a disciple, Jesus’ model of disciple making, personal experiences in disciple making, even personal biases became part of the conversation. A natural pruning took place as many, many ideals were verbalized, translated, evaluated, and siphoned through so that the team ended up with a list of disciple making principles and practices that are not only biblical but practical.
But these experts did much more than simply conclude the principles and practices that would be utilized. These senior pastors, education ministers, small group pastors, collegiate ministers, and discipleship pastors concluded what studies would be needed, what sessions would be included in each study, as well as the format that each study would utilize. And, so that there would be consistency and passionate disciple makers creating these resources, each session was written by one of these passionate, knowledgeable, disciple making church leaders.
The outcome is a series of studies that, when used as suggested, is a powerful tool in the toolbox of anyone willing to disciple another believer.