Getting a Clear Discipleship Strategy: NewStart Day 25
Many smaller churches have no clear discipleship strategy. A few years ago, I got tired of winging it every time a new person needed to be discipled. I developed a tool that can help, the NewStart Discipleship Journal, and started using it where I pastor, in Southwest OKC’s Bible Methodist Church.
It did help! For the first time, I feel like I have a discipleship plan that can really multiply disciple-makers in my church. As a small church pastor, I know this is a big deal.
If you’re interested in how I did it, you can register for my free 1 hour webinar on “How Even Small Churches Can be 100% Ready to Disciple New Christians (And multiply Disciple-Makers!).”
Here’s a teaching transcript from the first discipleship video from day 25:
New Start Discipleship Day 25
Hey, welcome to New Start discipleship. It is day 25, and we are wrapping up the first half of the reading plan. So, we have finished up all the way through the New Testament, the highlights of the New Testament. And so, after we're done with now, we're going to go back to the second 25 and pick up the Old Testament. And so, I'm excited to walk with you through that. Let me just encourage you to plan on, once you get through this 50-day going back and reading the whole thing and getting the bigger scope. So, I'm excited to do that. Let me just set this in context for you, okay? We started talking about Jesus, who He is and what He's done for us. We talked about His teachings and His life, His sinless life, His death for us, His resurrection from the dead, His preaching of or His call to us to go out and spread the good news of his kingdom. He rules, he reigns, nothing trend changes or challenges that and he expects his people to grow up and be Holy, right? And so, we've gone through the whole New Testament, and because of his great love for us, he has secured for us forgiveness and redemption and sanctification. That is absolutely fantastic.
In Revelation 21 and 22, today's reading, we have come to the place where his kingdom which he began, is continued to spread and grow and take authority over this earth until it finally results in the redemption, the fixing of everything broken by sin. You see the world, and the creation has always been broken by sin ever since Adam and Eve sinned. And Jesus is going to remodel this earth and make it into what God always intended for it to be, in the first place. And that's what Revelation 21 and 22 are. If you start off in Revelation 21, it says;
“I saw, John saw a new heaven and a new earth.”
In other words, the idea of the dwelling place of God, sometimes we think of heaven as like this floating on a cloud thing and it's really not. Heaven is a term for the sky, the universe and all that is around it. And it kind of considers that as the dwelling place of God and the earth as the dwelling place of men.
And so, the new heaven and new earth means that God recreates creation and or remodels, I should say doesn't ditch the current one, he's going to remodel the current one, but the first heaven and the first earth had passed away and there was no longer any sea. So, it doesn't mean there won't be large bodies of water, it's just that two-thirds of the earth that's covered with water and all that the fear that was in the ancient world about that was going to be no more. The sea was the place for most of human history where people sailed away, and then many of them never came back. So, storms and boats sinking and you know, widows walking the shore watching for their husband's boat to come back. And he's saying no more of that. And so, there's no longer any sea, any water covering two-thirds of the earth.
And then it says,
“I saw the Holy City, the New Jerusalem coming down out of heaven.”
So, you get the idea that, Jesus said, I'm going to go and prepare a place for you. And then I'm going to come again, and He brings the place with him when He comes. So, New Jerusalem is a prepared glorious capital city for the new heavens and the new earth. And so, He goes around and he measures this new city and Angel with John and his vision and John's vision of heaven, the final destination of God's people, he measures the city and it's 1500 miles by 1500 miles by 1500 miles. So, the world has changed and or else our bodies have changed and we are able to work and live and things have shifted enough that we are able to live in a new and incredible city that God has prepared. And it says here that;
“God's dwelling place is now among the people.”
So back at the beginning, God puts Adam and Eve out from his presence, and they're separated from the good place He prepared. And now God has gone into the hearts of people, changing them from the inside and now he's brought himself back to them. Which is an incredible, incredible idea. God and man were always supposed to be together. And sin separated us from the Holiness of God, but God created a way that we can be sanctified and changed and forgiven and brought back until Jesus changes everything and fixes everything that sin broke. No more disease, no more cancer, no more brokenness. I'm going to let you read through and see all of that today. But that's the big picture and glorious, incredible finish as the kingdom of God comes in visible glory on this earth, Justice reigns, righteousness is restored and beauty is everywhere and that sounds pretty good to me. I can't wait to see you there.
So, God bless you. That's the reading for today. And then we're going to jump back tomorrow and start into the Old Testament, all right? And cover the backstory. God bless you.