We want to assist you in meeting the challenge of growing disciples with a passion for Christ in today’s world. God wants doers and not hearers only. It all begins here, and the choice is yours to make!
Very few if any Christians would disagree that there is a tremendous need for evangelism and discipleship training. However, there is a big difference between realizing a need and doing something about it. We hope to gain the attention of the decision-makers in our church and ministry environments. We believe how Jesus and the New Testament church went about evangelism and discipleship which led to the multiplication and explosion of new believers and disciples should be our model.
Much emphasis has been placed on sowing seeds in the Christian community. United Christian Missions is firmly committed to sowing gospel seeds. We are also equally committed to helping believers understand what Jesus would have them know and understand concerning the fullness of their relationship with Him. As a result, our strategic focus is on providing
Studies that will Equip sowers and receivers in Evangelism and Discipleship so they are equipped and motivated to become Multipliers of the gospel message.
Our aim is to teach new as well as tried and true effective methods for winning people to Christ who then take what has been sown in them and reproduce in others under the leadership of the Holy Spirit. To help provide the nourishment needed for the new seeds that have been planted, we believe vital Christian doctrine and principles must be made available to the new believers by mentors in the caring fellowship of an existing church or new mission fellowship or church.
Discipleship efforts that depend upon chance and left to the individual to gain through corporate worship only have been inadequate at best. When properly trained mentors discipling one on one or no more than three combined with corporate worship is by far the most effective approach to discipleship.
Most Christians have been told through sermons, teachings, and reading their Bibles about the importance of sharing their faith. If telling people to be obedient and doing it is all that it took then it would already have been done. The accountability built into the mentoring process instills the expectation that sharing one’s faith is the expectation and not the exception. If the willingness to share what Jesus has done for us is not present, then there is cause to worry about one’s own salvation experience. Thus, the need for discipleship training for all new believers as well as current church members should be the goal of any discipleship initiative. Perhaps our greatest failure has been not to teach old and new Christians alike what Jesus would have us know, believe, and do as professing Christians.
Our Lord commanded his disciples:
“Go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, of the Son and of the Holy Spirit; and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you; and surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.” (Matthew 28:19-20 N.I.V. translation)
Evangelism and discipleship are both necessary components of the gospel message. The evangelical community has placed much emphasis on conversion, with very few attempts at helping converts understand the Christian life. Too much has been left for a new believers to catch what they can from the normal activities and services of the church. An even deeper concern is leading a person to Christ without providing them the opportunity for growth in Christ. It is these scenarios and many others which United Christian Missions is seeking to address through its “Studies for Equipping in Evangelism and Discipleship.”
Conversion and discipleship go hand in hand. Most new-birth Christians desire to be disciples. It is often the failure of church leadership and existing disciples that new believers and many church members are never disciplined or encouraged to know what Jesus would have them know, do, and become.
In America, many professing Christians’ knowledge and understanding of God’s word are not much better than those who do not profess faith in Christ according to George Barna’s research statistics. The Christian churches’ influence on society is rapidly decreasing, while the influence of the world is rapidly invading churches.
United Christian Missions through its (SEED) initiative, Studies for Equipping in Evangelism and Discipleship believes that its simple approach to evangelism, discipleship, mentoring, and church growth addresses many of the needs of Christian churches. In order to address any need, you have to first recognize the need and determine why it exists and what has contributed to it.
In the more economically developed countries in the world and in particular the United States the church is in a rapid state of decline. In less developed countries and third world countries in particular there is a hunger to know more about God but not enough dedicated leaders and resources to keep pace with the escalating growth in population.
A Gallup poll released in March 2021 found just 47% of Americans reported belonging to a house of worship, down from 50% in 2019 and 70% as recently as 1999. We must re-discover our love for our savior who died so that we might have life. His substitutionary death for us is the gospel that must be enjoined not only by our minds but with our hearts, bodies, and souls if the dying embers of an unused faith are to burn again.
In many situations, we have been so busy doing church that we have lost sight of how to be the church. When one-half of the 47,000 churches in the Southern Baptist Convention, perhaps the most evangelistically minded denomination in the world, did not baptize a single person in 2019 something had to change.
There is no way one can claim to love the Lord with all their heart and love their neighbor as themselves if they are not obedient to telling others about Jesus and what He has done. We are commanded to go to the ends of the earth but going starts with one step which may lead across a room, a field or wherever is one step beyond where one is standing. We are to teach them about whom Jesus is and what He has done for me personally and what He can do for them. We are to continue discipling them by teaching them what Jesus wants them to know and do.
The pastor and church willing to be obedient to the Great Commission will spark a revival. A person used by God is a person who becomes energized to be used again and again.
If you are still reading, God is speaking to you, and He wants you to see what He can do with your life. The devil will tell you this is just another program. Look how many you have tried in the past. After all, how good can it be if it is free? The greatest gift ever given was freely given to us in Jesus. This gift will help you to make the most of mankind’s greatest free gift, who hopefully you have already received.
Greg Ogden, in his article, “Making Disciples Jesus’ Way, A Few at a Time” shares the following causes for the low estate of discipleship:
Pastors have been diverted from their primary calling “to equip the saints for the work of ministry.” We have made discipleship for super-Christians, not ordinary believers. Leaders have been unwilling to call people to discipleship. Many churches have no clear, public pathway to maturity. Most Christians have never been personally discipled. We have tried to make disciples through programs. If we are to impact our communities and countries, the main question now becomes: “What am I going to do differently where God has planted me to have a greater impact for the kingdom?”
United Christian Missions’ Studies for Equipping in Evangelism and Discipleship is an attempt to bring together some of the best methods from numerous sources and make them conveniently available for free to dedicated Christian leaders who will take the time to examine them. SEED is a method of dedicated Christians investing in the lives of others who will then join them in revitalizing lives and God’s church.
Whether you want help in evangelism and/or discipleship the 100, 200, and 300-level studies will be of great help. The 400-level studies provide you with excellent options for growing disciples. As one progresses through the studies and utilizes the studies in their particular environment hopefully some will feel God’s calling to become church planters. The 500-level studies will become invaluable for those individuals. Perhaps some within your area of influence may already feel the calling to be a new work or church planter. If so, all the studies 100 through 500 will be invaluable.