Thursday, February 16, 2006

Discipling New Christians (Acts 14)

We started Acts 14 last night in youth group and didn’t get through the whole chapter. So, here are some observations on something we started to talk about and will continue next week.

Acts 14 gives us some practical advice on what to do with new Christians. Paul and Barnabas, on their first missionary journey to the region of Galatia won (with the help of God of course!) many converts to Christianity. But, they also encountered resistance in these cities. I’m talking about resistance that led to Paul being dragged out of one city and stoned (v.19). However, despite impending trouble, Paul and Barnabas made trips back to these very cities to disciple new believers (v.21-22).

So, what does the Paul and Barnabas model of discipleship look like?

1. They strengthened and encouraged the disciples to remain true to the faith, Acts 14:21-22. What all does this involve? Looking at Paul’s sermons one could guess he elaborated on Jesus. Maybe focusing on who He was (God’s Son, God, Savior), why He came and had to die (forgiveness of sins and salvation to all who believe, even Gentiles), His resurrection (what that personally meant to Paul since he encountered the resurrected Christ on the road to Damascus, what that meant for the Gentiles, and how that is the driving force behind Christianity). I’m sure Paul and Barnabas nailed all the corners down on the basics of Christianity.

2. Paul and Barnabas appointed elders for them in each church and, with prayer and fasting, committed them to the Lord, in whom they had put their trust, Acts 14:23-24. It wasn’t enough to just have new Christians. Paul and Barnabas needed leaders to lead this new congregation. Paul may have charged these leaders with the task of preaching and teaching God’s truth. Whatever it was the fact remains that leaders were appointed. And it seems this was no light task because prayer and fasting were involved. So, we have in the Paul and Barnabas model of discipleship two key components:
1. Strengthening and encouraging disciples to remain true to the faith. (Teaching correct doctrine and beliefs about Christianity.)
2. Appointing elders. (Passing leadership on to someone else in the Church.)

Your thoughts?

8 comments:

runtotheburger said...

Tim,

You're posts are phenomenal...Outstanding. I love reading them. However, is it really all that healthy for your wife to be publicizing to the entire world your fights? Especially when you're a youth worker? How good is it for a teen to come and read all about your personal fights? I don't know... It's kind of weird. You guys should be careful.

Peace out.

Tim Sheets said...

Appreciate new people stopping by and commenting! Thanks!

As for my wife’s postings, they are not all about our fights. She only published the one fight because it was so comical. We still laugh about it today. It’s funny sometimes what you will fight over with the people you love.

I didn’t intend for that to be a stumbling block to anyone. If it is or becomes that…I’ll erase it. We both love Jesus the Christ and hope He shows in our writings, attitudes, disagreements, and actions. Here, I’m just trying to get people to engage the Scriptures outside of Church. I appreciate the advice and we will be careful what we publish. Thank you for reminding me of that.

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Icthusfishie said...

My opinion is that it helps people to see that you both are real live honest people who do have goofy fights sometimes. I think it lets the kids see that you are real. Trina's not out saying Tim's a rotten husband or anything. Just my thoughts

John10 said...

Good post! Thanks for focusing on the Word.

I'm so thankful for a church that believes in discipleship! I don't know where I would be if it wasn't for some older and wiser men stepping up and getting involved in my life. They taught me about Christ and how to live Him.

I'm glad Paul did this. He was showing us the importance of helping one another out. This is what the New Testament teaches us. To help one another out. To help one another grow deeper in the things of God. Left alone, we people will wither away and become awful creatures.

I love your blog! said...

Your blogs are fantastic and they even include your wives comments and fun filled daily adventures. Keep up the writing and tell Trina she is human like the rest of us and thanks for admitting it.

Tim Sheets said...

Hello again to everyone!

I would like to keep the discussions on the topics addressed. In this case, it was discipling new Christians. Discipleship is something very important to me. I hope and want to hear from you on this subject.

If you have other questions, comments, suggestions, remarks, or anything not related to the topic you can email me Rhinotim@aol.com or invite me to your blog to discuss it. I thank all of you for stopping by and hope you are encouraged by God's Word!

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Cecily-Sue said...

Tim i don't have too much to say...its not thursday yet so this blog is from last week and yeah.........umm...i'm at school and bored and i've already read this blog two times so i decided to leave ya a comment so here ya go...comment...hahahaha...(ok that wasn't very funny but you get the point) see ya later
CecilySue

Icthusfishie said...

Tim,
I just wanted to apologize for not keeping things on track. And hey, it's Thursday, so where's the new article?? Ok, I know it's way early in the morning and it should be posted by the time I'm home on break. I'm looking foward to it! Your posts are as good as your lessons!