Make no mistake, discipleship is costly. It requires expenditure and sacrifice, but there is a return on the investment.
Because, it is an investment. Discipleship is putting in effort with the expectation of a worthwhile result. Thus discipleship is an investment in the individual, in the future of your assembly and in your community.
If we expect young people to become godly adults, thriving spiritually, we have to be very intentional in discipleship. Both the disciple and the mentor must be willing to sacrifice time, talents and treasure to fulfill the command to make disciples.
Deliberate discipleship is the only way to produce local assemblies filled with spiritually thriving individuals, who are growing in the grace and knowledge of the Lord Jesus Christ. Men and women with a local and global mission focus. Men and women who know the word of God, and live it out in their homes, churches and communities.
There is a yawning need for discipleship in our assemblies.
Ann Bjorlie recognized the need for young women to be discipled, motivating her to start the In Tents Discipleship Program in 2010. Her goal was to impart to young women a vision to serve the Lord in their churches and communities.
This is accomplished by exposing the young women to specific and varied teaching, gifts and ministries. Many unique older women teaching the younger women.
Our focus is 5 core disciplines and practices. We then show how ministry flows out from this foundation. We see the core disciplines as either integral parts of a personal relationship with the Lord, or as clearly laid out commands from the Bible that each believer is to practice.
How to Study the Bible and Quiet Time
In Tents 2019 was held from May 31-June 8, in Grand Rapids, MI. Eight young women stayed at the Bjorlie home for 8 days. We ate, laughed, cried, sang, prayed and learned from over a dozen women.
Each of our core studies received hours of dedicated teaching time. In addition to that, we had sessions on conducting visitation, how to teach kids’ clubs, preparing and sharing your testimony, door-to-door evangelism, the joy of music, how to lead a bible study, how to be a good neighbor, and how to maximize your single season.
Many of these sessions were followed up with hands on practice. Bringing a meal, visiting the new mom, sharing testimonies, hanging invitations to the upcoming event.
Our time together culminated in a neighborhood outreach where the gospel was preached, over 100 people were fed, faces were painted, balloons were twisted, and a bounce house was filled with laughing children.
We learned the importance of a daily devotional quiet time, and just what that might look like. We daily practiced the discipline of group prayer, popcorn style-each taking their turn to worship, praise and beseech God’s mercy and help for the issues burdening our hearts. Every night one of the instructors shared their personal salvation story. The story of God’s faithfulness and grace in their own life.
We did life together. Like Jesus and his 12 disciples.
It is not too soon to start planning how you can be involved with In Tents 2020. (As the director, I’ve already begun my planning. No rest for the wicked…)
Our projected dates for 2020 are June 5-13 (DV).
Mark your calendars.
Pray about attending.
Send a young woman from your assembly. It will benefit her and your assembly.
We realize that discipleship is not accomplished in one or two weeks (wouldn’t that be nice?!), but each of these opportunities lay a good foundation that can be built upon. That must be built upon.
Who will you send? Who will go? What steps will you take to disciple your next generation?
Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect any other author or an official position of the assemblyHUB team.
Bernadette was saved at a young age and has been involved in assembly work for over 20 years. She and her husband have 4 children and they have been home schooling for many years. She is an avid blogger and you can find her over at barefoothippiegirl.com.