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  • Darrell Stetler II

How to Disciple New Believers: Transcript of Day 8

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 8:

New Start Discipleship Day 8

Hey, welcome to New Start Discipleship Day Number 8! Let's get rolling. We're in John 15. Today, John 15. After Jesus raised Lazarus from the dead, he gave his disciples a really important speech about what it means to be alive in him, right? This is really, really powerful stuff in John 15. He says,

“I am the true vine, and my father is the gardener.”

So, he's going to give you this illustration, this picture of this vine coming up from the ground, and it's got branches, that branches out and grows all over everything. And fruit is hanging from that, right? You get this like a grape vine sort of picture. And He says in verse 2,

“He, the father cuts off every branch in Me that bears no fruit.”

Now, this is very important, because as a Christian, you and I are supposed to be bearing fruit. We're supposed to be showing in our lives, the result of the life that is in us.

A few years ago, I took some wooden, got some trees, some cuttings of trees, and I planted them out here on our church property. And I planted them along the outside. But I didn't do it quite right. I didn't take care of them, I didn't keep them watered, I didn't keep everything in a good place and they just never survived. They just didn't. It didn't go well. They were cut off and they did not bear fruit, all right? And eventually, I just kind of down, I just chopped it down. Because they weren't survived, they were just sticks poking up out of the ground, right? There was no something I did wrong, and there was no life that was there.

Now, in your heart, in your life, Jesus has given you; new life as a Christian. And he's watching to see the fruit that develops though he's patient, and he's kind. And maybe it's only a little fruit at first, right? But if I had seen just even a couple of little leaves, springing out of those little trees that I planted, I would have kept them. I would have worked with him, I would have staked him up, I would have dug around the roots, I would have put some more water, maybe some fertilizer or something, you know, I would have done whatever was necessary to help them grow. But there wasn't, so I cut them down.

But in your case, what is the fruit? What is the fruit that God wants to bring in your life? Well, he's looking for a new character. He's looking for new actions, you're looking for new thoughts, even the time that you spend with him as part of your fruit. There’re new ways of living, new ways of thinking. Maybe it's not much, maybe there's just a little green leaf springing out and that's all there is. Listen, if that's where you are, if that's where you are. God's not in a hurry to cut you off all right? He's not. He's watching for fruit, and he's seeing it start to develop in your life. So, rejoice over every little piece of fruit because that's what God's doing every little bit of fruit, every little sign of life in your life, cherish that, grab it, grab it and just rejoice in it. Because that's what God's doing. And he's gonna look at this verse. Next verse it says,

“Every branch that does bear fruit, He prunes so that it will be even more fruitful”

Right? He cuts it back, he shapes it, he lifts it, he sticks it up, he cuts off the extra pieces that might branch out of not bear fruit, so that it can be even more fruitful. God has got an incredibly fruitful life for you.

Now, there's one of the things he talks about quite a bit in the second half of this chapter, he talks about how the world hates Christians. What does it mean by, the world hates Christians? Well, the world doesn't mean the planet or even necessarily the people. It means the world system, right? The values of the world that are opposed to the values of God, that world system hates Christians.

Sometimes that comes out like family members, or bosses, or jobs, or work teams, or acquaintances or old friends that really get a problem with you. And as you're walking with Jesus, it can really be a hard thing. So, listen, if the world hates you, verse 18, just keep in mind that;

“It hated me first.”

Okay? Jesus knows what it's like to be rejected. And if you're experiencing that, at this moment, in your walk with Jesus, you are kind of going into your second week, and if you're experiencing that, just relax, Jesus knew it was coming. Just rejoice in the fact that Jesus knew it was coming that they hated him first. It's better to be hated with Jesus, than to be separated from him, all right? You keep going, you keep trusted God. God's gonna take you through. You're gonna make it. Let's get started our journal for the day.

My name is Darrell Stetler, and I create discipleship tools to help small church pastors finally learn what it means to make disciples, not just collect attenders!

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