Posts Tagged ‘discipleship’

“Satan loves you almost as much as you do!”

December 17, 2010 Leave a comment

Someone reminded me recently by saying this: “Satan loves you almost as much as you do!”

That’s a strong statement when in reality Satan hates us according to John 10:10: “The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have life and have it abundantly.” Only Jesus really loves you because He alone is the good shepherd of your soul!

But the point behind that comment is somewhat true. Satan presents himself as an angel of light according to 2 Cor. 11:14: “And no wonder, for even Satan disguises himself as an angel of light.” Therefore, Satan wants you to think that he loves you and wants good things for you that you already want yourself.

But a bigger enemy than Satan that you must face daily is your own flesh and its lusts & desires for the things of this world. Your flesh gets tempted by Satan but you must learn to say “no” to your flesh and Satan while saying “yes” to obeying God and doing what is right.

We need to love God more than anything else in the world, including ourselves. When we understand this, Luke 14:26-27 makes sense as Jesus said to the multitude: “If anyone comes to me and does not hate his own father and mother and wife and children and brothers and sisters, yes, and even his own life, he cannot be my disciple. Whoever does not bear his own cross and come after me cannot be my disciple. – The Holy Bible : English standard version. 2001 (Lk 14:26-27). Wheaton: Standard Bible Society.

Count the costs of following Jesus. You must be willing to deny yourself and “bear your cross” which means you must consider yourself DEAD daily to be His disciple. This is the message of biblical counseling, too, to deny yourself for the glory of God.

Strong stuff!

-Mark (loving myself less so that I can love Him more)


Men need Men

December 11, 2010 Leave a comment

Where are all of the godly men?

We need more men who are following Christ to disciple other men (Matt. 28:18-20).

Men who love their wives, do not provoke their children to anger, and follow hard after God are RARE these days. Rare.

Young men need older men to learn from. Role models are in short supply these days.

And it all starts in the home. American men are often too busy these days to spend time with their families in intentional discipleship situations.

Sadly, I think the coaching profession does a better job of discipleship sometimes than the church world. Great coaches beget great coaches. Likewise, great men need to begetting great men – and it starts in the home. Think about how many second and third generation Christian men are leading the church and the world today. Most great theologians and pastors these days come from Christian homes (not all but the majority).

I am thankful for the men in TIL who are doing the hard work of biblical counseling which is the personal ministry of discipleship.

-Mark (grateful for the men in my life who have taught me how to be a better man and recognizing the need for more spiritual growth every day)

Why Biblical Counseling is Important

June 16, 2010 Leave a comment

I believe that we are living in the last days. When I read the book of Acts and see how the early church functioned in Acts 2 & 4 specifically, I see a caring group of believers sharing material possessions, praying, worshipping, and living out the call together. I see pastoral care and a lot of “one anothering” going on within the body of Christ in Acts.

Today, I see a lot of believers turning to unbelievers for help. I see a lot of church employees referring people OUT of the church to secular unbelievers and to well-intended, though sometimes misdirected, “Christian” counselors.

Overall, I see a lack of shepherding and “one anothering” that leads to a gap in care which is where biblical discipleship and care of others comes in. We want to strengthen the body of Christ!

It’s getting better in the church today with biblical preaching, strong small groups, and more “one anothering” going on, but it breaks my heart when so many churches either do not want to invest the time in caring for their members OR they do not know how to use the Scriptures to minister the love of the Spirit to their members; so, they send them outside the church for “real answers and real love” – (which is not “real” at all, thus the quotation marks).

So there is a large need for TIL and other such groups like us in the body of Christ teaching the body of Christ to “speak the truth in love” in the body of Christ to care for the body of Christ as God desires.

-Mark (all about the local church and praying churches will begin caring for their own better in the knowledge that caring for their own will lead to care and compassion outside the church to the lost)

Programs are NOT the answer!

April 12, 2010 2 comments

People today look to the latest book, the latest trend, and the latest  program to solve problems. But God tells us to look to Christ. He alone is the answer.

Christianity is not a program.

It’s a relational process of knowing God, being discipled by others, then discipling others, and then sharing the Gospel with lost people. Yet it’s all RELATIONAL.

Matthew 28:18-20 states: “And Jesus came and said to them, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. 19Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.” – The Holy Bible : English standard version. 2001 (Mt 28:18-20). Wheaton: Standard Bible Society.

It’s not complicated but it is time consuming to make disciples. Who are you discipling? Under whom are you being discipled? Are you obeying Christ in His final command here in the book of Matthew?

-Mark (obedience is discipleship; biblical counseling is discipleship)

The TIL “secret ingredient” for success!

January 2, 2010 Leave a comment

TIL is spiritually successful because the Lord has given us abundant grace. All glory belongs to God!

But what’s the TIL “secret ingredient”? Like Coca-cola, TIL has a secret ingredient and is hugely successful. (it’s revealed at the end of this blog)

So why is God blessing this ministry so greatly? One reason is that we are all about His glory in fulfilling His great commission in Matthew 28:18-20: “And Jesus came and said to them, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. 19 Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.”The Holy Bible : English standard version. 2001 (Mt 28:18-20). Wheaton: Standard Bible Society.

What is this commission all about? Going? No, not hardly! It’s about MAKING DISCIPLES of CHRIST which is what TIL is all about – only we do it through the context of biblical counseling and soul care.

It’s simple really. We counsel in teams of 2 so that disciples are replicated. We want new counselors to learn from older counselors. We want the new ones to become leaders to disciple/train other biblical counselors one day, too.

For this reason, I believe God has made TIL successful. We are primarily concerned with the replication of leaders and committed followers of Christ who use God’s own Word by the power of the Holy Spirit to transform lives in Birmingham and around the world.

As we embark on more training this year than ever before, I encourage you to get involved in this ministry with us. Our training classes (locations and dates) will be announced soon and I hope you will be a part of them – as well as our in-session training when you sit in with a biblical counselor who will mentor, train, and disciple you. That in-session training as a co-counselor is our TIL “secret ingredient.” Shhh – don’t tell anyone our secret ingredient! (just kidding, tell the whole world!)

When people sit in with a co-counselor, they grow in Christ (Eph. 4:15) rapidly. That’s the secret. Secret’s out now. The classes we teach are great but the secret ingredient is the HANDS-ON doing of discipleship that actually occurs for BOTH the counselor and the counselees! Everyone in the body of Christ grows in this model of discipleship patterned after Matt. 28:18-20.

-Mark (thankful God gave me a part to play in this ministry and more importantly, in the body of Christ)

Two Models in the Church Today

December 1, 2009 Leave a comment

I think there are 2 very different models for churches in America today:  an Evangelist model vs. a Discipler model.

Here’s what I mean.

The Evangelist model emphasizes conversions and is wonderful in bringing people to Christ, but deficient in discipling those new converts into strong believers.

On the other hand, the Discipler model emphasizes discipleship and replication and is following the command of Matt. 28:18-20 (the Great Commission). This model is great at strengthening the body of Christ who are THEN supposed to go out and make more disciples of Christ. Conversions will happen with this model, too, so don’t think it’s deficient in evangelism because it’s not.

Christ told us to go and make disciples. I prefer this model to the first model mentioned because it will transform the world.

We thank the Lord that TIL embraces the latter model while still EVANGELIZING the lost! We love replication and multiplication of committed followers of Christ. 

Actually, the Discipler model ends up with more converts than simply an Evangelist model in about 10 years or so!

-Mark (awed by Jesus’ model of discipleship of 12 men that has revolutionized the world)

Small Groups Complement What We Do at TIL

August 31, 2009 Leave a comment

We love small group discipleship. We believe TIL complements small groups by providing two-on-one, pin-pointed & micro-discipleship in the body of Christ.

We seek to strengthen the body by addressing real problems. We serve many families right now and see God work in marriages weekly!

Micro-discipleship is simply dealing with a problem issue with the Holy Scriptures as the “prescription” while pointing people to Christ’s healing power! Our goal is to help people get involved in small groups for support and encouragement in the body of Christ! 

We’re looking forward to teaching in more small groups in weeks to come!

-Mark (marveling at the Lord’s work)