View BFF's material

Knowing God: Experience & Love Him

Facebook BFFBFF is now on Facebookwith interesting photos and resources! Please visit and join us in releasing God's powerful Word to our generation!

First step of discipleship
revive devotions
Advanced Discipleship
The BFF Digital Libraries
Overcoming Anxiety: Finding Peace, Discovering God

 

Discipleship Level 1

RSS Feed

Basic Christian Discipleship Concepts & Materials

Paul J. Bucknell

Basic Discipleship Stage of Christian Growth

Basic Discipleship, An Introduction

Basic discipleship is the place that immature Christians are established in their faith by developing their awareness of what it means to follow Christ. It is here that older Christians help train new or very young Christians. Like small children, new Christians are unstable and need security. Who would labor nine months to have a child only to neglect him after he is born? But this is precisely what many churches have done. Let me share another illustration.

My wife recently planted seeds in the garden. We know from experience that when the beans start growing, birds come by and snatch the top of the sprout, virtually destroying the plant. So we expend extra effort to cover them. We also pay much more attention to watering at this stage because the soil at the top gets dry and the roots haven't reached far down.

In the same way, we watch over a new Christian. Basic discipleship training materials provide the opportunity and guided teaching to pass on this kind of needed nurturing. By caring for these questions of assurance and providing good basic teaching about Christ and salvation, the 'child' Christian can in a short time of three months grow into the Intermediate Stage of Discipleship.disciplehip step

The strong Christian culture in many places has disguised the need for this training for a long time. The members would receive much of their Bible and character training at home. This is not the case anymore. To make things worse, the culture has been able to use the media to shape the thoughts and moods of God's people.

Being deliberate on discipleship

People can sing the lyrics of many ungodly songs more than quote the Holy Scriptures. The church needs to quickly jump back into the race of equipping their people. No wonder there is a prevailing lack of commitment in today's church. God’s people have not been trained. As the church takes on its task to disciple (train) her people, families will again renew their task of training at home.  This brings about a stable society.

Every church should make sure every professing Christian has gone through a form of basic discipleship. We should train them in such a way that these disciples should be equipped and burdened to train others at this basic level. In this way, God's people can train any new Christian, whether it be at their home, workplace or gym. The training is simple and helps the Christian fulfill his or her obligation to make disciples.

Jesus said, "Go and make disciples."

One pastor who uses this training concept recently had an evangelistic outreach. About thirty people raised their hand. This was exciting, but not anywhere as special as the thirty people from the congregation (that is a big number for that church) who got up and counseled them. They would not only help the person understand whether they are saved but over the next few months regularly meet with them one–on–one and lead them through basic discipleship material.

Notice that these thirty have not only been trained but trained to serve. We must train the Christian to participate in the training from the start.

Haven't been discipled?

Those who have been a Christian a longer time but have not received basic discipleship training need special attention. If at all possible, they should start afresh here at the Love means that we disciple others. ???foundational truths and move on quickly to the next stage. Unless the foundation is firm, one cannot safely build upon it. One can almost guarantee that these same individuals have already picked up a number of wrong thought patterns and bad spiritual habits.

More mature Christians need to disciple these individuals. If these Christians want to grow, they will easily adjust and grow. If they have a dull heart, much patience is needed. Certain bad concepts have to be taken down before a new building is erected.

BFF's Basic discipleship training materials

Biblical Foundations for Freedom (BFF) has a lot of materials discussing discipleship at each of the three levels: this basic level, the intermediate and advanced levels. This takes a Christian from the start to the finish. We never stop growing in our life and service. We even have a diagram that shows the flow of discipleship and how this training can be integrated into the church.

BFF has three sets of basic discipleship materials that you can freely use. These materials are designed to train the new or immature Christian in today's modern context. Discipleship LibraryThere are other discipleship material out there, but they are largely designed for student groups and not centered around the church as they should.

My heart aches to see students who have been active in their Christian groups only to later never to become active in the local church after they move away. There are a number of problems. Transition is not easy. They have not been trained to adapt to a traditional church setting. They get lost in a big church. But the biggest problems is that they have never been trained to be Christ and other centered. They are self-centered without even knowing it in many cases.

Read on to get a better understanding on how these basic discipleship materials work. Even better, download one series, become familiar with it and start using it! Or, if you are interested in reading more about discipleship go to the directory at the bottom of the page. This will lead you to where you want to go.

Don't get lost in the plethora of BFF Biblically-based materials!

3 X E One–to–One

Basic Discipleship Booklet  

Teacher's booklet
Student's booklet

This 7 lesson-long discipleship training series is designed to help new Christians adjust into their new-found faith. 3 x E basic Discipleship Training COurse for New Christians-  freeThe 3 E's (Exaltation, Edification and Evangelism) help the young Christian get a good grounding in God's Word and to live for God and others. This series was designed to confront the problem of commitment to Christ and His church by specially providing two things:

1) A strong focus on the church

Most discipleship material has been written for the college student group. Church is not part of many of their lives. As a result, those effective disciples on the campus have faced a near impossible healthy transition to the local church upon graduation. Although some materials are improving (by mentioning the church), it lacks a clear emphasis on the local church.

This series has brought the church back into the center of the discipleship material. The solid emphasis on local church participation is especially practical and helpful.

2) A clear offense against selfism

The 3 x E disciple booklet is also designed to combat the selfism that is so rampant in our modern world. Unless taught otherwise, Christians tend to exclusively focus on how they can grow as a Christian. Even discipleship courses sometimes unintentionally allow the disciplee to focus on building up their own spiritual life without the end goal of equipping them to serve. The Lord wants us to grow and serve together. There is a purpose to growth that goes beyond ourselves. If we do not get the disciplee's heart at this stage, it will be far more difficult to get it later.

Brief overview of the booklets

There are two kinds of booklets: a teacher and student copy. Read through the sample to get a feel for the material, both student and teacher versions. BFF exists to help you become effective disciplemakers wherever you are on the planet. They can be inexpensively ordered at the BFF Resource Center. We allow you to print copies for those you disciple.

When you finish, hand the student a teacher copy and have him or her join you in discipling another person! The student copy is largely an outline to be filled out as the trainer directs. The disciplee's own booklet with all his valuable notes in it becomes his or her valuable resource! The teacher copy, however, has all the verses in it and gives them more confidence that they have not left out anything important when discipling others! Encourage them to write their notes from their student copy to their teacher's copy. This should prepare them for the next step!

Remember that these seven lessons gives a young Christian a great start, but it is only a start. We need to excite the Christian to always look forward as to how God might want them to grow.

Always be sharing how God helps you keep growing!

Cross Training

Cross Training

A basic discipleship training series based on relationships.  

Designed to impact lives.

Cross Training is designed to touch the way we live. Many discipleship booklets focus on the spiritual life and doctrine but ignore how Christ wants to impact the rest of their lives. Only through the integration of faith with their lives can we produce healthy Christians.

Focused on the cross.Cross Training discipleship material focused on improving relationships with God and others

As long as a person focuses on fulfilling themselves spiritually or otherwise, they will miserably fail in their Christian lives. The key to fulfillment is found in serving others. The Cross Training (CT) series breaks through this barrier by showing how this is worked out in many different areas of life: such as a son, wife, colleague, businessman, father, etc.

The cross has two bars. The vertical one reminds us how we need to obey the Lord. The horizontal bar directs us to focus on caring for others. Jesus says that these two teachings: (1) to passionately and wholly love God and (2) to love others as ourselves summarize all the commands. This biblical framework must be carefully laid in each Christian's life.

Unique emphasis on relationships.

The Cross Training material came about when I began to discover the special way Jesus taught people. While we are used to listening to instruction (largely one-way), Jesus used dynamic relationships. A master and his slave or a father and a son are just two examples. Relationships are two–way and therefore provide a much deeper and richer understanding of how we need to live out our lives. Each biblical illustration is taken from every day life and therefore easily applicable to the educated and illiterate or with people from other cultures.

Attractive and easy to use discipleship materials.

We have two formats: Convenient booklet form or 3 ring binder for teaching.

Each of these twelve booklets has its own distinct artistic design and color. Because of the similar layout, it is easy to learn how to teach through them. The booklets are complete in themselves. They can be read together or read before meeting together so one can spend more time on discussion. Key application questions are provided.

 

 

Good for Sunday school classes

These materials can be used for a Sunday School class too. In this case, I focused on the main teachings and gave the students the booklets to read later at their own convenience.

Home School Course or Family Devotions

Most of our courses are very suitable for homeschool or family devotions. Each page or main section can form a wonderful discussion point. I right now am using them in our own family devotional times. They are great because they explore areas that are often neglected.

For example, the Father-Son booklet, gets right into the whole issue of obedience. We can see Christ as the model and wonder how He would or could obey His Father. The children can get a larger context on obedience than just from his or her parents.

Cross Training's twelve attractive training booklets can be purchased in color or black and white at the BFF Resource Center. Feel free to view them on the web or order the pdf ebooks at the BFF Store.

We suggest giving those who finish the course their own color copy and encourage them to teach others. The BFF Discipleship Training DVD is also available at the BFF Resource Center where one can get a marvelous deal on getting all the BFF discipleship resources on one place including the Cross Training materials (and powerpoints).

Great for either a one-to-one situation or for a class. Biblical reflection on personal relationships is in great need throughout the world!

Life Lessons for the New Believer series

Life Lessons for the New Believer has at this time only three lessons. It is being made as I work on discipling a few of my children!

The materials including the videos can be viewed here.