Discipleship more than a program, consultant says
November 13 2000 by Steve DeVane , BR Managing Editor

Discipleship more than a program, consultant says | Monday, Nov 13, 2000

Monday, Nov 13, 2000

Discipleship more than a program, consultant says

By Steve DeVane BR Managing Editor

BENSON - Churches interested in making disciples need to break down the barrier between evangelism and discipleship, a Baptist consultant said. Chad Hall, discipleship and leadership development consultant for N.C. Baptists, led a seminar Oct. 11 at Benson Baptist Church, exploring new ways for churches to emphasize discipleship

About 35 people attended. A similar number attended a seminar in Asheville a week earlier, he said.

Most churches think there are two kinds of people, believers and non-believers, he said. Churches should instead realize that people often need to be helped along the way toward becoming a disciple, he said.

Hall presented an overview of the "Engel Scale," which helps chart an individual's steps toward becoming a Christian.

The chart begins at the point when someone simply has an awareness of the supernatural, and moves to the lack of an effective knowledge of Christianity, then to an initial awareness of Christianity.

The person next develops an interest in Christianity and an awareness of the basic facts of the gospel, according to the scale. The person then grasps the implications of the gospel and gains a positive attitude to the gospel.

After the person becomes aware of a personal need and faces a challenge and decision to act there comes a time of repentance and faith. The person then becomes a disciple, according to the scale.

Church leaders need to think about ways to help people move from one level to the next along the scale, Hall said.

"This breaks down the barrier between evangelism and discipleship," he said. "We're trying to get people to be followers of Jesus Christ."

Hall talked about how the world is changing as it moves into the "post-modern" era.

"The church is a little bit back on its heels, unsure of how to deal with it," he said.

Christians must realize that post-modern people can't be argued into becoming Christians, Hall said.

John Norman, pastor of First Baptist Church in Four Oaks, said the move toward post-modernism gives the church an opportunity to talk about the mystery of God.

Those attending the seminar discussed ways to "unleash the Holy Spirit," how to do "intentional discipleship" that is organic rather than program-driven, and how to develop Spanish-speaking leadership.

Hall said he hopes that some "affinity groups" will be formed around those topics. The groups will meeting every few months to discuss common issues, he said.

Anyone interested in participating in such groups can contact Hall at (800) 395-5102 ext. 418 or by e-mail at chall@bscnc.org.

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11/13/2000 12:00:00 AM by Steve DeVane , BR Managing Editor | with 0 comments
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