Purpose to Love People Is Expressed Through Benevolence

Participating in God’s Work of Meeting People’s Needs

God places a high priority on the training ministry of the church, and so must we.In the New Testament you will find a number of distinct Greek words which could indicate different strategies, or programs, for the nurture of believers. The place, setting, and timing for these programs may vary from church to church, but to yield the greatest results, all of these strategies should be available within the ministry of the church.The process is not instantaneous but rather unending. People will be at different stages and will grow at different paces. This presents challenges for leadership but supports the reason for varying strategies, or programs, for accomplishing this objective.Both the large and the small group settings are important in the process as well as personal time with the Lord. The dynamic changes in each of these contexts and neither should be a substitute for the other.When the church takes a committed, consistent, and balanced approach to providing opportunities for people to be nurtured in their knowledge of and love for God, then the church can move into the reproductive stages where those who have been discipled take what they have learned and teach others.     The Priority

  • patterned by Jesus (Matt. 9:35; Jn. 17:6-8, 14, 17, 20) and the Apostles (Acts 2:42; 5:42)
  • commanded in Scripture (Matt. 28:19-20)

 The Program

  • discipleship (Matt. 28:19-20 – matheteuo)
  • equipping (Eph. 4:11-16 – katartismos)
  • teaching (Matt. 28:19-20 – didasko)
  • preaching (2 Tim. 4:2 – kerusso)
  • exhorting (1 Tim. 4:13 – paraklesis)

 The Process

  • life-long (Phil. 3:10-16)
  • developmental (Heb. 6:1)
  • relational — corporate (1 Tim. 4:13), interpersonal (Col. 3:16), and personal (2 Tim. 2:15)

The Product

  • maturity (Eph. 4:11-13)
  • discernment (Eph. 4:14; Heb. 5:14)
  • growth (Eph. 4:15; 1 Cor. 3:6-7)
  • greater knowledge of and love for God (Col. 1:9-11; Phil. 1:9-11)
  • multiplication (2 Tim. 2:2)