What is the goal & vision?
The goal of the NEW LIFE Discipleship Program is to help new and renewed believers GROW in their faith through regular, intentional and personal mentorship.
“Like newborn infants, long for the pure spiritual milk, that by it you may grow up into salvation—if indeed you have tasted that the Lord is good.” (1 Peter 2:2)
If we are to GROW in our faith, it does not happen automatically. We need to be helped along by Spirit-filled mature believers who can urge us to ‘follow me as I follow Christ’ (1 Corinthians 11:1).
The NEW LIFE Discipleship Program seeks to help facilitate these types of mentorship relationships.
Why New Life Discipleship?
Here are 3 quick reasons why we believe NEW LIFE Discipleship would be helpful for you:
1. Big groups are scary
Sometimes it’s hard to get real in a big group of people – especially if we don’t yet know and trust them. We often feel less free to open up about personal struggles or details of our life in a bigger group. NEW LIFE Micro Groups are meant to be small and intimate to help facilitate close friendships where trust can be built and you can feel safe to share life.
2. Starting off in the Christian life is often hard
If you’re new to the faith or just starting to get serious about pursuing a life transformed by the Christian faith, you very quickly find out – “THIS IS HARD!” We’re often confronted with the cost of following Christ and many questions – it can be confusing! Often we don’t know where or who to go to with these struggles.
This is where having a more experienced mentor in the faith can be very helpful!
3. Customized & tailored for your growth
One of the most confusing things about starting to grow in the Christian faith is the question, “Where do I even begin?” There are so many topics to understand and the Bible has so many books – this can all feel overwhelming!
The NEW LIFE Curriculum has been carefully chosen to fit the needs of new and renewed believers in Christ. It will give you the essentials you need to start building a firm foundation in the faith as you continue to grow towards maturity in Christ.
WHAT DOES NEW LIFE DISCIPLESHIP LOOK LIKE PRACTICALLY?
You will be matched with a mentor who has a passion for seeing others know, love and follow Christ and has been hand-picked by the elders of our church and trained for NEW LIFE Discipleship. The size of the NEW LIFE MicroGroups is intentionally kept small at about 2 to 4 people.
The primary book used in the NEW LIFE Program is “The Walk: Steps for New and Renewed Followers of Jesus” by Stephen Smallman. This excellent resource helps stimulate thoughtful discussion and reflection on the core truths of the Christian faith and their impact on our lives today.
Wisdom is knowledge rightly applied. We don’t just want you to know WHAT to believe, but also HOW that impacts the way we live our lives. NEW LIFE Discipleship is focused on helping new/renewed believers apply these glorious truths of the Christian faith to everyday life.
The timeline for this program is designed to be flexible based on your schedules – allowing MicroGroups to meet as often as is needed and convenient. Each NEW LIFE MicroGroup will figure out together what dates and times work best for their schedules.
The typical schedule for NEW LIFE MicroGroups is to meet every other week for 12 weeks (6 months).
MicroGroups are free to meet wherever it is convenient and comfortable for NEW LIFE Discipleship to take place. MicroGroups can meet around the dinner table in the home or in cafes or other similar casual locations.
Commit to New Life Discipleship!
We hope that you see the urgent need for intentional discipleship and growth in your faith, and that you are prayerfully considering how you can grow more towards the fullness of maturity in Christ.
If you are interested in being mentored through our NEW LIFE Discipleship Program, simply sign up through the button below – we’d love to walk with you!
Frequently Asked Questions
Below are a few frequently asked questions about the NEW LIFE Program:
“Him we proclaim, warning everyone and teaching everyone with all wisdom, that we may present everyone mature in Christ. For this I toil, struggling with all his energy that he powerfully works within me.” (Colossians 1:28-29)
No Christian can live that out alone. You can’t proclaim to yourself, or warn yourself, or teach yourself completely in this way because we don’t know the things we don’t know! So, we need others to proclaim to us, warn us and teach us with all wisdom so that we might mature in Christ.
Discipleship is a community project – this is why we believe that spiritual mentorship is vitally important for our growth in the faith.
There is no financial cost of being involved in the NEW LIFE Discipleship Program. The only ‘cost’ to you is your time.
This book is an amazing resource that is easy to read, thoroughly biblical, and great for facilitating discussion around foundational truths of our faith and Christian life.
Baptism and/or membership are not requirements for NEW LIFE Discipleship. However, they will be topics that are brought up and discussed in the NEW LIFE Program.
The timeline for the NEW LIFE Program is very flexible.
The goal is not to get through the material as fast as possible, but rather to build meaningful relationships that result in understanding and application of the material. MicroGroups can take it as fast or slow as is necessary and comfortable.
· Foundational Doctrine (What do we believe and why?)
· Christian Ethics (How does God expect us to live as Christians?)
· Piety (How do I study the Bible? How to pray? What are spiritual disciplines?)
· Church (What is the importance of church, baptism, the Lord’s supper and community?)
· Mission (How do we live out Jesus’ Great Commission to us?)
We will also contact you once you are finished the NEW LIFE Discipleship Program to find out how it went and how we can continue to help you along in your growth in Christ.
We understand that we all go through seasons of life where our capacities and time might be restricted. If you’d like to check out NEW LIFE Discipleship at a later time, please indicate so on the form above and we can follow up with you at a later date.
1. A GROWING faith
The author of Hebrews has some strong words for the believers there who were stagnant in their faith:
“For though by this time you ought to be teachers, you need someone to teach you again the basic principles of the oracles of God. You need milk, not solid food, for everyone who lives on milk is unskilled in the word of righteousness, since he is a child. But solid food is for the mature, for those who have their powers of discernment trained by constant practice to distinguish good from evil.” (Hebrews 5:12-14)
They needed someone to teach them the basic principles of the faith so that they could mature through constant practice and training. Without this sort of intentionality, we are in danger of stagnation and ineffectiveness for Christ’s Kingdom.
We want YOU to have a GROWING faith.
2. A RADICAL faith
The call of Christ on every Christian’s life is to pick up their cross, deny themselves and follow whole-heartedly after him:
Then Jesus told his disciples, “If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me. For whoever would save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake will find it. (Matthew 16:24-25; see also Luke 9:23 & 14:26)
Lesslie Newbigin said:
“A preaching of the gospel that calls men and women to accept Jesus as Saviour but does not make it clear that discipleship means a commitment to a vision of society radically different from that which controls our public life today must be condemned as false.”
This sort of ‘radical’ faith really isn’t so radical according to the Bible, but should rather be the norm for every Christian. This doesn’t come easy, and we need help in walking this path.
We want YOU to have a RADICAL faith.
3. A WISE faith
Every new and renewed believer needs to be mentored by those who are mature in the faith so that they can avoid common pitfalls and foolish decisions by learning from the wisdom and experience of others. This is why Jesus gave us various leaders in the church:
“…to equip the saints for the work of ministry, for building up the body of Christ, until we all attain to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to mature manhood, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ, so that we may no longer be children, tossed to and fro by the waves and carried about by every wind of doctrine, by human cunning, by craftiness in deceitful schemes. Rather, speaking the truth in love, we are to grow up in every way into him who is the head, into Christ…” (Ephesians 4:12-15)
Through the help of NEW LIFE leaders (who were specifically hand-picked by our church elders), we want to help to build you up to maturity and wisdom in your Christian faith to equip you for the work of ministry that God has for you.
We want YOU to have a WISE faith.
If you know of someone in our church who would benefit from NEW LIFE Discipleship, simply contact Pastor Ricky at Rbeck@harvestbuffalo.org.
While you wait to get plugged-in to a NEW LIFE MicroGroup, below are a few Biblical resources that can help you grow and understand your faith more.
The ministry founded by R.C. Sproul that exists to proclaim, teach and defend the holiness of God in all its fullness to as many people as possible.
The blog of pastor, author and Christian speaker – Tim Challies – with helpful book reviews and informative articles to help believers grow in their faith.
Sermons, books, podcasts, videos, and daily articles from the ministry of John Piper.
A ministry committed to encouraging the recovery of the gospel and the biblical reformation of local churches.
GRACE TO YOU
The ministry of John MacArthur where you can find sermons, books, blogs, and devotionals that all aim to teach biblical truth with clarity.
Free 24-hour Christian internet radio. Listen to trustworthy preaching & teaching from well-known Bible teachers.
RENEWING YOUR MIND
A daily destination for trustworthy Christian teaching and in-depth Bible study with R.C. Sproul.
Answers you can trust from seminary professor Michael Horton and Pastor Adriel Sanchez.
DESIRING GOD PODCASTS
Various podcasts from Desiring God including “Ask Pastor John”, “Solid Joys daily devotional” and more…
Weekly thoughtful interviews with Christian authors about the Bible, theology, church history, and Christian life.
ESV DAILY DEVOTIONAL
A daily podcast to help you read through the entire Bible in one unforgettable year—in as little as 15 minutes a day.