Historically many techniques and descriptions have been used to make disciples, yet for all the variety when we pull back to view the big picture each path feels familiar. Every disciple walks a similar journey towards maturity. The Discipleship Journey is our attempt to describe the experience of becoming a disciple and clarify the responsibility given by God to microchurches as they walk with young disciples. This journey, as illustrated below, walks through five different stages. Shown in each stage is the resource that the Underground offers to microchurches in attempt to come along side them and to empower them in disciple making. To be clear, the Underground Network does not make disciples, microchurches do. The Underground Network serves microchurches as they make disciples offering an array of resources to strengthen their work.
Holistic Discipleship Workshop
This workshop is designed to help microchurches develop and optimize discipleship plans within the context of the Underground movement. The video will unpack the discipleship journey, outline the responsibility of the microchurches and correlate what services the Underground can provide to assist along the way.
Every microchurch needs to have a discipleship plan and understand how it connects with the broader Underground programs. Wherever you are, whether you have a specific strategy or organic approach, this workshop is designed to help you develop your discipleship plan.
Watch the video workshop and check out the downloadable guides in order to generate and optimize a discipleship plan for your microchurch within the context of the Underground community. As you form disciples and make apostles, let us help you with our programs and services.
These are resources that are available to you from the holistic discipleship workshop.
Make A BDP
Each microchurch must make a plan to pass on the essentials of being a disciple after they have been grounded in the love of God. We are calling this a Basic Discipleship Plan. Microchurches can have a variety of methods and lessons they emphasize so no one way is being endorsed as the “only way” to make disciples. We encourage microchurches to develop their own content but also affirm the use of published material in complete or partial ways.
In this video and guide we facilitate a microchurch in the generation of their own Basic Discipleship Plan (BDP) which is contextualized for their specific ministry.
If a microchurch does not have the desire to create their own BDP we have created a generalized one with wide application for various microchurches. This BDP comes in two forms: an ebook and a printable PDF so to maximize accessibility.
From Disciple to Leader
The Leadership Training Course is designed to equip and empower emerging leaders in our microchurches. This curriculum serves as a bridge between the foundations class, where a new follower of Jesus is taught the foundational aspects of Christianity, and the Elders In Training class, where a leader is trained to to lead a ministry and/or start a new ministry. This class will both prepare a Christian to take a step into leadership and guide them through the journey of being developed as a servant. The goal of this training environment is to establish a new leader in the theological concepts of leadership as well as equip them in the practical disciplines that would be needed in order to lead within a microchurch.
In addition to attending a 2 hour class every month, the students will meet with their current microchurch leadership to debrief and process the information given in the session. Therefore, each student must be sponsored by the leader they are currently or preparing to serve with. This allows a developing leader to receive specialized training without removing them from the discipling relationship already existing. It allows provides more applicable homework each month.
The classes will be on the 4th Monday of every month, hosted at the HUB.
Below is a breakdown of the classes that will be offered in the Fall 2015-Spring 2016 session.
1 Servant Leading
Whereas the world has a certain image in their mind when they think of a leader, Jesus and his Word shows us a different approach. This class will cover the biblical perspective of leadership and how this concept must be considered and applied through the posture of a servant. The topics discussed in this class will serve as a foundation for the rest of the modules of the course.
2 Self-Feeding and Spirit Filled
A leader needs to be able to help walk with other people and help them grow closer to Jesus. This presupposes they know how they are able to do that for themselves. This class would cover the discipline of being in the word and spending time in prayer. The result of abiding in Jesus should be the filling of the Holy Spirit and the opportunity to walk and lead in the Spirit.
3 Making Disciples
It is all well and good to go through life and serve people and lead ministries, but if we aren’t being faithful to Matthew’s great commission, our fruitfulness might only extend a generation or two. It is vital, not only for our own ministry, but more importantly for the kingdom that we know how to invest in younger believers and raise them up to be leaders as well, eventually sending them out to lead and pilot their own work.
A leader can know all the greatest methods and have all the greatest tools, but if their character and attitude doesn’t look anything like Jesus, they will more quickly repel Christians and non-Christians than attract them. It is important that our lives are bearing the fruit of the Spirit and our character is a testimony, just as our words and strategy ought to be. This class will cover topics concerning growing kingdom character.
5 Able to Teach & Communicate
As a leader continues in ministry and finds herself serving people, the need to be able to teach and communicate will be essential. This class will cover the basics of how people learn and how to be a good presenter and storyteller.
6 roles & Teams
Leaders should never, if possible, serve alone. Jesus sent his disciples out in teams and we ought to find ourselves serving in teams as well. However, whenever people come together for work and ministry there can be, on the one hand, a situation where someone isn’t operating out of their strengths or, on the other hand, conflict between the teammates. This class will cover team dynamics and strengths of individual leaders.
7 Living a missional life
Within the life of a microchurch, we should find ourselves busy with worship, community and mission. Worship and community tend to come more easily to most, whereas the lifestyle of mission can be quite daunting and intimidating. This class will cover the theory and practice of a leader engaging the lost and poor through living a life of mission.
8 Lifelong learning
As the course comes to a close, it is necessary for these new leaders to know their training does not end with a quick, 8 class curriculum. We are responsible as Christians, not just leaders, to stay healthy in our relationship with God and sharp in our theology and missiology. This class will cover the topics of leaders living a life of continual learning.
The Question of Calling
Where do you feel God is leading you? Gain insight and discernment about your calling by learning to listen in prayer, assess opportunities, and unpack your unique personality and gifts.
All of us have come to points in our lives where we feel ready to serve and give but we just aren’t sure where to do it. Calling can be both an elusive and frustrating idea. Those who have clarity on calling, the place and people they know to love and serve, seem to be more confident and effective. Those of us who are still unsure can find ourselves floundering or insecure about our place in the mission of God.
Hearing God’s voice is the goal, but finding the time, listening to all the ways he is speaking and finally making sense of it all can be a daunting assignment. If you have never really sensed this kind of clarity in calling, or if you are sensing that your calling might be changing we have designed this event for you.
We hope this lab helps you learn to listen in prayer, assess opportunities, and unpack your own personality and gifts.
Faith in Action
We want to thank you for your interest in developing and leading a new microchurch. It is appropriate that you know in advance that part of this process includes assessing whether or not you might qualify as an Elder (micro church leader). The Bible offers certain requirements for Elders, such as those found in 1 Timothy and Titus. When we review the various biblical passages on the qualifications of a leader, it is important to note that approximately two-thirds of them are character qualifications and one-third functional qualifications (how well can you do the job). Therefore, the elders will take your character development as well as ministry experience into consideration when making this decision.
Please note that we ask you to read through and agree with the Underground manifesto before filling out this form. Please carefully read about our core values before moving forward.
Becoming an Elder
This doesn’t apply to everyone, but not all are called to be elders. If a leader begins to shepherd an accredited micro church and has signed the covenant of Elders, the leader becomes an Elder in Training. They are accepted on probation into the body of elders. They are non-voting members of that body until the completion of their ordination.
Ordination requires three conditions: 1) 12 months of faithfulness to the micro church they are leading, 2) completion of the Elders Ministry Training course, and 3) final approval by the governing elders. In addition to completion of the course work, the leader will be evaluated by the Governing Elders to determine if they are demonstrating character consistent with the biblical standard for elders, and that they have faithfully led their micro church toward the vision that God gave them.
A mixture of practical, governmental, and theological principles which constitute the core competencies of an elder. Once complete, an the body of elders helps further their apostolic life and provide community and accountability for leadership challenges.
What is it
Once microchurch leaders are leading accredited microchurches and have signed the covenant of Elders, the leader becomes an Elder in Training. They are accepted on probation into the body of elders, and are non-voting members of that body until the completion of their ordination. The course will consist of 11 modular classes plus a mandatory final class on sacraments. An Elder in Training can join anytime, and look to graduate 12 months from the date of entry.