There is a need today to invest in the future. Life To Life believes in individually investing in people and their relationship with God. Life To Life means “life to life” discipleship . . . a faithful individual who knows, loves and lives for God, takes another Christian under their care to build them up in their faith by demonstrating what they’ve come to understand and do in their walk with God.
Give your life to people, not just your knowledge… (1 Thessalonians 2:8)
What’s the goal? (Matt 28:19,20)
Our goal is to bring people to be a “mature disciple of Christ“.
Maturity means being able to reproduce. Spiritually, this means being able to help another do and value the “things” that you do and value in your relationship with Christ. This gives them the ability to disciple another. (Col 1:28)
Historically, a disciple is a learner and follower of Christ. Today this means a serious, mature Christian who is committed to serving the Lord. (John 8:31,32)
How do we do this?
“Follow my example, as I follow the example of Christ.” (1 Corinthians 11:1)
We believe the way someone learns something, is the way that he or she is able to do something. It is the difference between teaching and training. Teaching is instruction or imparting of knowledge. Training not only provides knowledge, but also the action of doing something. Doing things for the Lord generates excitement and motivation.
Model Instruct Observe Praise Critique
We use MIOPC in our individual training: Shane disciples Trevor, a very shy student. Trevor really loves God and has a big heart to serve him. Shane wants to help Trevor develop the ability to share the gospel. Shane invites Trevor to come do evangelism with him. Trevor doesn’t have to even say a word at first. He is given the opportunity to see how Shane does it. After a while Shane encourages Trevor to have a little role by asking some of the evangelism survey questions. Trevor sees Shane share the “bridge” gospel illustration and decides to learn how to share it himself. After a semester of coming out and doing evangelism with Shane, Trevor asks Shane if he can try sharing the “bridge”. Trevor gets to share the gospel with a Sophomore who grew up going to church but didn’t really know how to define what a Christian is. That evening Trevor shares the gospel for the first time. Trevor even shares the gospel with his roommate later that week. Trevor not only understands what Evangelism is, he has begun to develop an ability to share Christ himself. Trevor’s fears of sharing the gospel have morphed more into excitement.
Don’t use people to build your ministry. Use your ministry to build people (1 Peter 5:2-3)
1- Relationship – 1 Thess 2:7 highlights the genuine care of a mother for her children. We care for people by befriending, listening, learning how we can help them, giving them individual attention, doing what’s best for their relationship with God, and providing a safe environment for good relationships. People themselves are our emphasis.
2– Structure – 1 Thess 2:11,12 speaks of the discipline and direction a Father imparts to his children. The Father takes responsibility for the children’s growth and the children benefit from submitting to his authority and leadership. In a similar manner, we take responsibility for the growth of those we individually disciple. This fatherly direction encompasses the structure and steps to maturity. Structure is also important because for something to be replicated or passed on again the steps need to be clear (see “7 & 3).
The Micro & Macro
2 Tim 2:2 “The things which you have heard from me in the presence of many witnesses entrust these to faithful men who will be able to teach others also.”
“The Things…” We call it The 7 & 3. It gives a basic structure to what helps someone become a mature Christian in a Paul to Timothy type of relationship.
The “7 & 3”
1 Assurance of Salvation
2 Quiet Times
5 Personal Bible Study
7 Scripture Memory
1 God’s perspecive on money/stuff
2 Humility to combat Pride/Insecurities
The Great Commission says disciples are to be made of every nation of people. So, how does spending a year or two of time developing one mature believer really do much? Well plainly, it is because that person has now become a laborer for Christ (Luke 10:2). Now you have 2 laborers for Christ instead of one. And, believe it or not, when this simultaneous addition continues to occur, in less than 40 years the entire earth’s population could be won and walking closely with Christ. Paul called Timothy his son and imparted to him the “things” not just for his sake, but for him to pass them from spiritual generation to generation. So we have indeed given a great service to a special person in our life, while additionally impowering them with a fulfilling calling . . . to help others to a closeness and commitment to God.