2017 European Disciple-Making Leaders Network: Year-Round Track
The Year-Round Mentoring for Disciple-Making Leaders is an additional component of the Disciple-Making Network led by John Musselman and Bill Lohnes. The goal of this initiative is to provide Christian leaders with comprehensive training in disciple-making, including biblical and theological foundations, historic and contemporary applications and methods, and a careful analysis of every stage in the discipling process. This initiative seeks to:
Foster leaders’ personal development in the context of peer relationships
Strengthen leaders’ commitment to disciple others in the words and ways of Jesus
Encourage leaders to be devoted to training a new generation of mature and reproducing leaders for the exponential spread of the gospel throughout Europe and beyond
The 2017 Network at the European Leadership Forum is only one component of the Disciple-Making Year-Round Mentoring. The full curriculum includes:
1. A four-day private network at the 2017 European Leadership Forum
2. Six two-hour webinars with webinar assignments between the 2017 and 2018 Forums
3. A 3-day retreat in December 2017
4. A Pre-Forum meeting at the 2018 Forum with previous members of the year-round mentoring group
Participation in this network is by invitation-only. Participants should be men who are willing to commit to become part of a learning community and who are spiritually mature and actively involved in evangelism and discipleship.
Due to the year-round component of the network, participants will incur additional costs. These costs are broken down as follows:
1. December Retreat: 100 euros for scholarship recipents; 150 euros for all others.
2. 2018 Pre-Forum Conference: 20 euros for scholarship recipients; for all others, 60 euros for a double room or 80 euros for a single room.
To see the 2017-2018 Disciple-Making Year-Round Mentoring curriculum, follow the link here.
Interested applicants need to first apply and be accepted to the Forum before filling out the application specific to Disciple-Making Year-Round Mentoring Network.
Bill Lohnes was raised in the Lutheran Church in the Midwestern area of the United States. In 1972, he married Paula, his college sweetheart, and they began a 40-year career in the Financial Services industry. In 1998, a series of events, including their daughter Holly’s witness to them at the foot of their bed, led Bill and Paula to attend a home Bible study. Four years later, after being faithfully mentored by a Christian discipler, John Musselman, Bill surrendered to Jesus as Savior and Lord. In 2002, Bill founded his own investment firm, Wise Path, which is now a part of the Kalos Private Wealth Group. In 2004, the way was forged for their ministry, Narrow Gate EFL, which is dedicated to Investing in Disciples and Equipping Disciple-Makers.
John Musselman is the President of the Jackson Institute, a leadership development organization whose mission is to contribute to the cultural, intellectual, and spiritual formation of individuals who are on a passionate quest to be welcomed, received, and acknowledged by God. He studied at the University of Alabama (Honors BS in Mathematics), Reformed Theological Seminary (MDiv), and Fuller Theological Seminary (DMin). After serving on the staffs of Coral Ridge Presbyterian Church in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida and Perimeter Church in Atlanta, he founded the Jackson Institute in 1991. John’s passion is reflected in the vision of the Jackson Institute: “to permeate the kingdom of God with reproducing leaders.” He has authored Classic Discipleship, a manual for equipping leaders in Christian discipleship, and The Holy Spirit and His Gifts. In addition, he has edited John Bunyan’s The Pilgrim’s Progress, A.B. Bruce’s classic work, The Training of the Twelve, and Thomas Watson’s Man’s Chief End: God’s Glory. He and his wife, Colleen, live in Atlanta, Georgia.
Orientation to the Mentoring Group
The purpose of this introductory session is to introduce the Forum’s Year-Round Mentoring for Disciplemaking Leaders initiative to the new, incoming class of 2017-2018. Our first and highest priority will be to introduce each person to the group and get to know one another’s story, including brief details related to education, marriage & family, spiritual life, ministry, and vital interests. In addition, Bill Lohnes and John Musselman will provide an overview of the Year-Round programme and set the stage for engaging in a learning process that has been carefully designed to address the most important ideas and best practices related to biblical discipleship.
Biblical Foundations of Discipleship
Historically, many organizations gradually and unintentionally shift from their original course and become something quite different in the following generations (e.g., Harvard University, the YMCA). The old is forgotten, even scorned; and the new, fully embraced and promoted. Jesus Christ never abolished or modified his strategy for world evangelisation or implied that the task could be accomplished through programs or mass evangelism alone. Any possibility of success would ride on the commitment of those who believe in and practice “spiritual multiplication,” the exponential growth of the body of Christ that occurs when mature believers lead others to Christ and then disciple them until they themselves grow to maturity in Christ and are trained to effectively live out their faith before the watching world. Forming a solid biblical and theological foundation for discipleship will help us answer the question that every generation of believers must ask: Will my ministry be built upon pragmatic and methodological concerns or upon careful exegetical activity related to the life and ministry of Jesus Christ? Establishing a sound biblical and theological framework for discipleship will ensure that what we do and say in the name of Christ will have lasting value and preserve His strategy for lasting fruitfulness.
What Jesus’ Disciples Need to Learn
By definition, disciples are learners. The prevalent word used in the New Testament for learn has the basic meaning “to direct one’s mind to something.” An intellectual process is always implied. A disciple, then, is one who thinks, who concentrates, and who prayerfully apprehends what His Master wants him to be, to know, or to do as revealed in the Bible. Once the biblical vision of learning has been established, much that is difficult about discipleship (e.g., curricula choices, discussion topics, vision and direction, etc.) will be easily resolved. The insights gained will provide context for determining the unique patterns of discipleship that can be embraced by each participant for discipleship groups and movements within their own sphere of influence.
The Relationship Between Evangelism and Discipleship
In this session, we will discuss the Great Commission as recorded in Matthew 28:18-20. After carefully exegeting Jesus’ well-known command and examining the specific language used in the text, we will consider the implications for contemporary ministry and note how wrong interpretations of this passage directly impact the church’s mission in and to the world.
What Is Discipleship? The Definition Unfolded
Definitions are important. It has been said that the word discipleship has as many definitions as there are believers. This session will lay out a biblical foundation and vision of discipleship from which to engage in the process of investing our lives to assist others in their spiritual maturity.
The Purpose and Benefits of Discipleship
Why should believers be involved in discipleship? What purpose does it serve? What benefits does it offer? In this session, we will discuss the rationale for discipleship, along with the most important benefits that accrue to those participating in the discipleship process.
The Ministry of Jesus
In this session, we will consider how Jesus’ model of training the Twelve is the model for contemporary discipleship.
The gospel records reveal that Jesus invested approximately 3½ years of His life with a small group of men whom he called His disciples. His purpose was clear: that they might become like Him and do what He asked them to do. During their apprenticeship, He loved them, taught them how to live, and prepared them to minister in His name around the world. When these men were first recruited by our Lord, they had no idea what was before them, neither the severe trials nor the intense blessings. Sometimes stoned, shipwrecked, imprisoned, beaten, mocked, and banished, they continued to obey the call of their Lord to disciple the nations. Person to person, city by city, and nation by nation, they preached and taught in synagogues, arenas, marketplaces, and homes, then instructed those who received the free gift of eternal life in the words and ways of Jesus until they reached maturity (Col. 1:28-29).
The Twelve had been well prepared. These untrained and uneducated men had become like their Master. It is not surprising, then, that their mission was not only centered on winning the masses, but on following Jesus’ method of working with a few who, in time, would become spiritual reproducers themselves. For instance, Paul discipled Timothy and Titus; Peter trained John Mark; and John personally discipled the Christian leader and martyr, Polycarp.
Jesus’ training had been so thorough and His strategy for world domination so effective, that by the end of the second century, the gospel had spread to every part of the Roman empire. Today, the gospel continues to be proclaimed around the world in churches, stadiums, prisons, and homes; in villages, rural areas, and densely populated cities; by pastors, evangelists, missionaries, an equipped laity, and through a wide variety of media. Much is being done to win the masses. But we must not forget, nor ignore, Jesus’ strategy for winning the world.
Final Considerations on Discipleship
During this final session, we will review what we have learned and discussed in our Network during the Forum, highlight the upcoming six webinars with their associated assignments, finalize instructions on the 10-page paper, emphasize the importance of quality time management, and consider any final comments and questions.