Leadership Class - Responses to "Building a Discipleship Culture"

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Leadership Class - Responses to "Building a Discipleship Culture"

Post by Admin on Wed Sep 12, 2018 5:16 pm

Post your 250-word response to "Building a Discipleship Culture" (Part 1) below.
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Re: Leadership Class - Responses to "Building a Discipleship Culture"

Post by ZachAmick on Thu Sep 27, 2018 2:13 pm

Admin wrote:Post your 250-word response to "Building a Discipleship Culture" (Part 1) below.

This introductory section is packed full of wonderful information. Breen’s references and descriptions of other books, including his own, create in me a desire to gain more knowledge in this area of ministerial leadership. His understanding of the age we live in and the increasing frequency of cultural shifts sets a great backdrop to the transcendence of discipleship. This speaks to the great wisdom of God for providing a vehicle of spiritual reproduction that does not depend upon, yet works within the wide array of ever changing cultural contexts. Breen does however identify a common ingredient necessary to the existence of discipleship, and that would be the texture he refers to as family on mission. Breen explains how this meets the needs that many of the current generation feel are being unmet but goes beyond that to be a natural source of all that is necessary to impart the gospel into another’s life. In looking to Christ Jesus as our perfect example in everything we do, Breen wisely identifies several aspects of being a family on mission that Jesus modeled for us. Finding a correct balance of invitation and challenge, making use of different teaching styles and learning methods, finding our identity and needs in the Father, and properly ordering and investing our resources are all areas of discipleship and indeed life itself that Jesus modeled for us. Even just by reading this introduction, I can already see how wonderfully this book will impact my work as a missionary and illuminate more of the scriptures and the life of Christ. One of the things that Breen left me curious about was his hierarchy of capitals, which order he would place things in and why. I also am curious if a discipleship culture could be established without someone having been in discipleship. Does the example of Christ in the gospels and access to the Living God provide enough for a group to begin discipleship? Perhaps what I am most curious and excited about as we read this book is how to live as a family on mission with my wife and son.
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Leadership Reflection: Bethany Hutson

Post by Bethany Hutson on Thu Sep 27, 2018 9:26 pm

Admin wrote:Post your 250-word response to "Building a Discipleship Culture" (Part 1) below.

The first part of Building a Discipling Culture was about understanding discipleship. For example in the first chapter, we are not called to build the church, but Jesus builds the church. We rely on Him through the Holy Spirit and trust that He will do the work. In addition, there is a theme called Family on Mission where discipleship is not a program or curriculum, but a way of life. In the everyday aspects of life, we are making disciples. In the second chapter, it talks about how we are to model Jesus and have a mix of invitation and challenge for disciples to grow and function in. For example, we want to invite our friends on this journey, but we also need to challenge them in their walk with the Lord. Therefore, discipleship is an intentional pursuit and takes time and effort. The fourth chapter talks about the definition of discipleship and what it means to be a lifelong learner of Jesus. It emphasizes the importance of knowing God and being obedient to Him. The last chapter in this section talks about barriers that get in the way of building the culture of discipleship. These barriers include approval, appetite, and ambition. We need to allow these barriers to transform into godly ways of approval, appetite, and ambition and allow God to have His control. The chapter also shows us the practical implications of discipleship where we are learning about the discipleship vehicles, family on mission, and discipling language. We want every disciple to disciple. Overall, understanding the way that Jesus disciple is important in creating that culture of disciples making disciples.
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Re: Leadership Class - Responses to "Building a Discipleship Culture"

Post by Amanda Middleton on Fri Sep 28, 2018 6:15 pm

Admin wrote:Post your 250-word response to "Building a Discipleship Culture" (Part 1) below.

Discipleship is so important and it doesn't really existed in today's church. I love that Breen calls out the church for putting too much emphasis on building classes that give information and then just stopping there. There has to be more relationship between the people in the church than what there currently is.

My favorite quote from part one was "No one accidentally creates disciples. Discipleship is an intentional pursuit." I loved this because it's so true. You have to be intentional about conversations and hangouts without making them seem intentional. I think we sometimes think discipleship can be accidental because we think about the people that discipled us, it didn't feel intentional from the receiving end.

Breen explains the process of discipleship as guiding someone from knowing information to actually applying said information in their lives. This happens by modeling it first, offering guidance when needed, and then letting them do it on their own. Once your disciple is on their own, they can tweak the process and make it better and more efficient for those they are discipling. I had never thought of discipleship in this manner before but it's helpful to see it laid out this way. I kind of follow this model of discipleship, but I think I could be a better discipler if I used this model.
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Re: Leadership Class - Responses to "Building a Discipleship Culture"

Post by Carson Bledsoe on Sun Sep 30, 2018 10:32 pm


The first chapter of this book really shows that the author is intelligent without being cocky and knowledgeable about discipleship without being condescending towards the church. The way Breen discusses how the church and Evangelical Christianity as a whole have approached discipleship rings to true to my own experience growing up in the church. It is easy as Christians to sometimes forget that it is not only important for us to grow closer to Christ but to also teach new believers how to do this, as well as bring new people into the family of God. When one really thinks about it, it’s shocking that we can so easily forget Jesus’ final commandment to us to “go and make disciples of all nations”(Matt. 28:19). This is the only number Jesus cares about, which is really quite freeing to think about, he doesn’t care really how many attend church, or large group, or even necessarily small group. He cares about the number of F.A.T. disciples there are. The idea of practicing discipleship was really interesting to me as the question of “how one makes disciples” has been on my heart and mind a lot. To think of it as something one must practice is comforting and encouraging. It was also “cool” (can’t think of a better word) to see things we do as Chi Alpha clearly discussed, especially in terms of “ huddles.” I found Chi Alpha makes good use of all three types of learning as we have classroom type learning (large group services), apprenticeship(student leadership, CMIT, letting students help plan and lead), and immersion(CMIT, staff, and still student leadership to a degree).
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Re: Leadership Class - Responses to "Building a Discipleship Culture"

Post by hstrelow on Mon Oct 01, 2018 3:32 pm

Admin wrote:Post your 250-word response to "Building a Discipleship Culture" (Part 1) below.

IN the first part of Building a Discipling Culture, I was quickly struck by the similarities I see between the recommended practices of discipleship and the way Chi Alpha implements these practices. From my first year, it was abundantly clear that discipleship was central in the culture of XA. That being said, much of what I read from this text was not new information, but rather instilled what has been taught to me for the past four years. But despite this fact, I still learned something incredibly interesting about what keeps us from becoming great disciple makers. Breen pointed out three temptations that lie at the core of our being: approval, appetite, and ambition. This part of the text was incredibly interesting because it shifted my focus from successful discipleship to what [I]prevents[I] successful discipleship. Reflecting on these three temptations, I felt the Lord speak to me about the temptation of approval. My desperation for the approval of others has caused me to refrain from rebuke and to seek my own glory. I want to grow in the sweet assurance of Christ's approval that I may find more success in leading others to Him.
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Re: Leadership Class - Responses to "Building a Discipleship Culture"

Post by Alicia.O. on Tue Oct 02, 2018 3:24 am

Admin wrote:Post your 250-word response to "Building a Discipleship Culture" (Part 1) below.

The topic of building a discipleship culture is one that I am eager to learn about all throughout the rest of my life because of how crucial I see it being in the Kingdom of God.

I really appreciate how Mike Breen offers a lot of information that produces self-reflecting. I was specifically interested in Chapter 4 when Breen starts talking about approval, appetite, and ambition being the three things that keep us from being great at making disciples. Appendix 1 breaks down how these three temptations relate to where we land on the Enneagram. I typically fall between personality types 1 and 2 meaning approval and ambition are my areas of temptation which I knew beforehand through the conviction I was having when reading Chapter 4. With approval I so often find myself trying to make God and someone else proud which leads to me serving two masters. It is when this approval of man is laid down that we really get to see God work. I struggle with ambition because I struggle with control. Time and time again God shows me how little control I have and the less control I have the greater my faith becomes. I really see how toxic these two things can be in discipleship and I am glad this book helped resurface these areas of weakness that I need Jesus to redeem.
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Re: Leadership Class - Responses to "Building a Discipleship Culture"

Post by Caleb Nally on Tue Oct 02, 2018 7:04 pm

Admin wrote:Post your 250-word response to "Building a Discipleship Culture" (Part 1) below.

I thought the first part of chapter 3 was awesome. Here Breen is talking about what needs to happen to be effective in getting people from knowing about something to actually knowing it. Breen lists off the three steps as; passing on information, apprenticeship, and immersion. Breen is using these three steps to show how the church can improve on how they make disciples. He talks about classroom learning and how that is a good start because it gives information about Jesus but teaching alone doesn't foster discipleship. There needs to be apprenticeship and immersion to actually know something. Apprenticeship is key because it is inviting the person into your life and showing them what it means to follow Jesus in your everyday life. The last key Breen talks about is immersion and how this is where the disciple will be shaped. Breen talks about immersion and how the key to immersion is "having access to the culture you want to shape you." Immersion only works when you are around people that are fluent in what you are trying to learn. The church needs to transition from giving step by step lists to help people grow in discipleship but actually walking with Jesus and living a life centered on Jesus.
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Re: Leadership Class - Responses to "Building a Discipleship Culture"

Post by Marie Hugershoff on Tue Oct 02, 2018 8:06 pm

Admin wrote:Post your 250-word response to "Building a Discipleship Culture" (Part 1) below.

I loved the first part of the book. I think the first chapter did a great job of expressing the importance of making disciples. There is one point when Mike Breen says "disciples are the only thing Jesus cares about, and it's the only number Jesus is counting. So if we are not making disciples, what are we doing? He also says in chapter 2 that "No one accidentally creates disciples. Discipleship is an intentional pursuit." I found that to be very convicting because sometimes I find myself hoping that by living my life like Christ, and by entering into relationships with faithful, available, teachable people, that I will end up discipling them. Which is just not how Jesus did it and is not how we should do it. I also really like the idea of the 3 keys in chapter 4. Reading this chapter made me realize how thankful I am for how Chi Alpha is structured, because I think it makes discipleship feel a lot more natural and a lot of things that are necessary for discipleship are a part of Chi Alpha culture.
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Re: Leadership Class - Responses to "Building a Discipleship Culture"

Post by ryanelliff on Tue Oct 02, 2018 9:45 pm

I appreciate how the author takes such care to explain what discipleship is and how the church is currently missing the mark. I was brought up in a church that tried to have its members become "self feeders", as Breen calls it. I was taught that as long as I read my Bible, attended church, prayed, tithed and went to every church camp and retreat, that I was being a "good" Christian. What I was missing was the "be like Jesus" part! As Breen points out, Jesus was primarily focused on discipleship. He spent His life with His disciples, He taught them what to do, He showed them how, then He challenged them to go and do it!

I really like the quote "No one accidentally creates disciples. Discipleship is an intentional pursuit." This is so true and has been a personal conviction of mine lately. I have been guilty of living a pretty lazy life, especially when it comes to discipling others. I thought that if I had my life right with God and I did what I was supposed to do, the people around me would notice and would follow my example. Kind of like salvation by osmosis. Well, it didn't work. At least to my knowledge it didn't. Maybe I have hundreds of converts that accepted Jesus as their savior just because I acted like a Christian around them. But, that is highly unlikely. Being intentional is HUGE. Actively pursuing someone and speaking Jesus into their life is so important and necessary when creating disciples.

The way Breen breaks down the way we learn things into three categories (Classroom/Lecture, Apprenticeship, and Immersion) is interesting. It is important to have a balanced mixture of all three to truly understand things. I can closely relate this truth to trying to learn a new language. Before we left for our assignment in Russia, I tried to learn Russian language using Rosetta stone. The information was good, but I had a hard time remembering the words and really didn't learn much in about 6 weeks of studying. However, when we landed in the country, I was able to take that "Classroom" information and start applying it. We were immersed in the Russian culture, surrounded by native speakers. I had some friends that would take me to the market and I would observe them interacting and conversing and after a few weeks started having conversations on my own. Having classroom teaching, an apprenticeship and being immersed in the language allowed me to truly LEARN the Russian language. Although I have lost most of what I learned in those 6 months, I still remember some of it because of how it was learned. This is the same way with discipleship. There must be a well-balanced approach if we are to expect our disciples to become disciple-makers themselves.

There is a lot more that I would like to discuss from Part 1, but I'm pretty sure I'm past 250 words by now... so I'll stop.
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Re: Leadership Class - Responses to "Building a Discipleship Culture"

Post by cjgalyen on Wed Oct 03, 2018 2:18 am

Admin wrote:Post your 250-word response to "Building a Discipleship Culture" (Part 1) below.

Building a Discipling Culture was an insight into the importance of making disciples in the church. One quote was "If you make disciples, you always get the church. But if you make the church, you rarely get disciples". This opened my eyes up to the importance of disciple making and the lack of intentionality in the American church. Building a church and making disciples are two different concepts, that should be the same thing. The American church in today's culture is people attend a service, the preacher preaches, we sing, and maybe some people go to a small group Bible study that the church hosts. This is not the type of discipleship that Jesus teaches us. One model used in the book is "Invitation vs Challenge". When Christians are both high invitation and high challenge, this is where a true discipleship culture is formed. This is when the discipled person is welcomed into the church with a high level of invitation, but is also taught and encouraged to step out in faith as a form of high challenge. We are not meant to sit back and learn about Jesus, but we are called to learn and then teach with a continuous flow in and then out. Finally, in the last part of the book, it talks about the three methods of learning. These are teaching, apprenticeship, and immersion. The church focuses alot on teaching but that is only one part of the whole picture. There is also apprenticeship with is showing a discipled person how to lead and step out in faith by doing it with them, or imparting some knowledge of faith in a representation of one's life rather than a lesson. Finally, immersion is when there is a culture that is formed and a person naturally absorbs information that forms their thinking. The challenge is to create a church culture of discipleship so that this immersion can be formed.
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Stephen Averitt Response to "Building a Discipleship Culture"

Post by S.h.ave on Wed Oct 03, 2018 7:53 am

Admin wrote:Post your 250-word response to "Building a Discipleship Culture" (Part 1) below.

There were so many things that I enjoyed from reading this portion. I think the thing that grabbed my attention the most was the discussion about how to build a church. I've noticed that many churches try to grow their churches by way of programs and bringing people into the building. I don't know that I ever realized that discipleship should be the thing that builds the church, or as Breen says, that Jesus "will build his church" (p. 6). I find it intriguing that by simply building disciples, the church would grow exponentially. For some reason, church pastors don't let discipleship be the most prominent way to build the church. As to what Breen says about churches copying each other, "producing less effective, cloned versions of the same church," (p. 59), I was confused as to what he meant by it. He spoke against copying church models, but he also that after gaining information, we must imitate those who disciple us. If one church is "successful", then why should we not imitate it, since that is a part of discipleship?

I also enjoyed Breen's discourse on invitation versus challenge in our churches. Both are vital to a growing relationship with Christ. When one is lacking, the faith walk becomes more stagnant. I would say that I'm better at challenging than inviting. For some reason, I've always been a closed off person, not wanting to fully let people in. This is definitely where I need to grow because when I challenge people, it carries less weight than if they were to see it at work in my own life. But I love what G.K. Chesterton said: "If a thing is worth doing, it is worth doing badly" (p. 17). Discipleship and Invitation are worth doing, even if I struggle in it.
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Re: Leadership Class - Responses to "Building a Discipleship Culture"

Post by Kolten Turner on Wed Oct 03, 2018 2:22 pm

The author makes it clear that people learn one of three ways. !. Lecture 2. Apprenticeship 3. Immersion He emphasizes the idea of a mixture of the three during discipleship. In order for the church to effectively disciple others, we must understand people for who they are and how they react to the world around them. If we try to disciple everyone the same way we were discipled, there's a good chance that we're missing great opportunities to teach others about Jesus. However, if we understand which of the three the person we are discipling responds to the best, we can then narrow in on the proper procedure to follow. Inevitably immersion is going to come if the person being discipled is truly serious about his/her faith. It's just typically how things go. They will eventually be surrounded by others who think and act the same way they are learning to. However, I believe apprenticeship could be the most important stage in the discipling pyramid. God calls us to live as Christ lived, and we have to be willing to be examples in our daily lives to other believers and non-believers around us. In the case of Christ, practice will never make perfect, but it can get us closer every time. Therefore, it's important for us to take on apprentices and "show them the ropes". Any time someone starts a new job, there's always a seasoned veteran there to show them what to do. We've learned even in the secular world that it's easiest for us to learn quickly that way. If the secular world recognizes it, we should be going above and beyond with our apprentices.
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