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Discipleship Classes:  Learning to Follow Jesus

boatThe foremost goal of Jesus MCC is to "make disciples" (Matthew 28:19-20). That's Bible lingo for encouraging ourselves and others to follow the teachings of Jesus, consistently and authentically, in all parts of our lives. To help accomplish this, Jesus MCC offers the Discipleship Training Track with key courses to help us put faith into action.

Many people of different ages and different backgrounds have experienced the life-changing power of these courses.  You can experience the power, too! 

A selection of the Discipleship Training Track classes is offered each calendar quarter, and registration forms are available in the Sunday bulletin. Homework is a part of these classes so participants can develop the habit of bringing their faith home and into their week-day lives. Registration is required, and all registrants promise to attend classes every week unless they are sick or out of town.  Class numbers are kept small so participants can get to know one another and share as they learn in an intimate setting.

Have questions about the Discipleship Track? Please email us.

Here are the current classes in the Intensive Discipleship Training Track curriculum:

Foundation Courses:

    Discipleship 101:  Developing a Close Relationship with God 
    (No prerequisites. Eight weeks.)

    This course is for all who want to deepen their faith and their understanding of the demands of following Jesus. Content of this class includes

    • reflecting on our spiritual journey to date
    • examining the concepts of salvation and discipleship
    • learning and practicing communicating with God
    • praying together. 

    Discipleship 102:  Surviving and Thriving in Christian Community
    (Prerequisite: Discipleship 101.  Eight weeks.)

    This course explores what it means to be part of a church. Concepts covered include

    • the body concept
    • spiritual gifts and service
    • appropriate expectations of a church
    • conflict at church
    • the purpose of worship
    • building friendship networks.

Discipleship 101 and 102 are prerequisites for most of the higher-level core courses.

Core Courses:

    Who Is Jesus?
    (No prerequisites. Eight weeks.)

    Do you want to know more about Jesus?  Have you ever wondered why we choose to follow this Jewish teacher who lived 2,000 years ago? Would it be helpful to walk through a brief, systematic review of his life and ministry?  This class is for the new and not-so-new seeker of knowledge. Learn about Jesus' life; his embrace of diversity and compassion; his fulfillment of prophecy; his global and eternal impact on the world. This course will feature video clips from various films to illustrate key events in Jesus' life and ministry.

    The Purpose Driven Life
    (Prerequisites:  Discipleship 101; Discipleship 102. Ten weeks.)

    You are not an accident. Even before the universe was created, God had you in mind and planned you for a special purpose. This purpose extends far beyond the few years you will spend on earth. You were made to last forever! In this class, based on Rick Warren's best-selling book The Purpose Driven Life, we will take a personal journey together that will help us answer a simple question: What on earth am I here for? Knowing God's purpose for creating you will reduce your stress, focus your energy, simplify your decisions, give meaning to your life, and prepare you for eternity.

    Understanding the Bible Better
    (Prerequisites:  Discipleship 101; Discipleship 102. Ten weeks.)

    Is the Bible inspired? Does the Bible have to be inerrant to be relevant? Understanding the Bible Better covers these questions along with many others.  This course is a "big picture" look at the Bible, discussing topics such as

    • how Jesus used Scripture
    • how the Bible came to exist in its current form
    • the pros and cons of different translations
    • Bible study aids
    • helps to interpreting Scripture
    • the role of the Holy Spirit in both the Bible's creation and its interpretation.

    Christian Theology
    (Prerequisites:  Discipleship 101; Discipleship 102. Ten weeks.)

    Do you know why you believe what you believe?  Could you systematically explain and defend your beliefs? This course that will walk you step-by-step through the basic doctrines of the Christian faith--allowing you to grow your own personal understanding of each area.

    Every Christian should take a course like this at least once in life.  Tough questions will be asked. Open dialogue will be encouraged.  We won't pull any punches.  And when we are finished, you will know a whole lot more about what you do or don't believe about:

    • Creation
    • The origin of evil
    • Satan
    • Angels and demons
    • Heaven and hell
    • Jesus
    • Salvation
    • The Bible
    • End-times prophecies.

    Lifestyle Evangelism
    (Prerequisites:  Discipleship 101; Discipleship 102. Ten weeks.)

    When someone says, "You should be a witness for Jesus," what is your gut response? Fear?  Anxiety?  Most of us conjure up the image of obnoxious people who force others to have unwanted conversations.  In this course, we'll learn a radically different approach to witnessing called "lifestyle evangelism"—a very effective, holistic approach that places emphasis on being an example of Jesus, without being weird. We'll also explore key issues like

    • Why should we care about sharing the Gospel?
    • What should we believe about heaven, hell, and eternal life?
    • Is Jesus the only way?
    • What is our message?
    • And when all pretense is stripped away, what is it that will motivate others to want to become Christians?

    Unwrapping God's Gifts
    (Prerequisites:  Discipleship 101; Discipleship 102. Eight weeks.)

    If you have ever taken a spiritual gifts inventory and come away still wondering where you fit in, this class can help answer your questions.  Even if you know what your gifts are, but want to explore them on a deeper level, this class is for you. Unwrapping God's Gifts takes a deeper look at the various spiritual gifts—what they are, how they differ from natural gifts and abilities, and different beliefs about how they work in our lives today.  We will look at natural gifts such as personality, intelligences, and interests, and we will also examine the role of values and passions in finding our specific place of service. Join us in unwrapping the gifts God has given us so we can use them for God's glory, our fulfillment, and the health of the Church.

    What Would Jesus Buy?
    (Prerequisites:  Discipleship 101; Discipleship 102. Ten weeks.)

    Did you know that Jesus talks about money more than any subject other than salvation?  He did so because money—and how we handle it—is at the heart of life.  This class systematically reviews what Jesus, in particular, and the Bible, in general, says about money—earning it, saving it, spending it, sharing it.  We're going to go deep!  Warning: The Surgeon General has determined that this course could be dangerous and upsetting! Do not take this course unless you are brave of heart, and really serious about living the teachings of Christ.

    Sexual Ethics for GLBT Christians
    (Prerequisites:  Discipleship 101; Discipleship 102. Ten weeks.)

    How does God expect us to conduct ourselves sexually?  This course will cover questions such as

    • Must sex await a marriage-type commitment?
    • Is living together OK or does God expect us to make marriage-type commitments?
    • Is monogamy required?
    • What are acceptable reasons for ending a relationship?
    • Are there any limits to the types of sexual activities permissible between spouses?
    • What about S&M, sex toys, or pornography?

    Homosexuality and the Bible, Part 1
    (Prerequisites:  Discipleship 101; Discipleship 102. Ten weeks.)

    The first part of a two-part course, Part 1 has students rigorously study Bible passages that affirm gay people. Students are required to take the information they learn and practice explaining it to other students and outside persons brought into the class.

    Homosexuality and the Bible, Part 2
    (Prerequisites:  Discipleship 101; Discipleship 102; Homosexuality and the Bible, Part 1.  Ten weeks.)

    The second part of a two-part course, Part 2 has students rigorously study passages traditionally used against gay people.  Students are required to take the information they learn and practice explaining it to other students and outside persons brought into the class. When you finish this course, you'll be able to confidently discuss the Bible with anyone skeptical that God accepts gay people.

Elective Courses:

    What Is The Bible?
    (No prerequisites. Eight weeks.)

    What are those numbers after Mark? And who was Mark?  And what's the difference between the Old Testament and the New Testament? And what in the world does "testament" mean? If this sounds like something you've wondered recently, then this class can help you get the answers you need. This basic class is for those who are new to the Bible.  The class discusses how to find things in the Bible by using the numbers after the name of the book and it looks at the basic ideas behind each book.

    Great Stories of the Bible
    (No prerequisites. Eight weeks.)

    The Bible is chock-full of amazing characters--heroes and heroines, kings and queens, prophets and villains--whose stories all teach us lessons about God.  This class brings alive a selection of these great stories. This course is an introduction to some of the major stories and characters if you're new to the Bible and will serve as a great "refresher" if it's been a while since you've been in Sunday School.

    Apocalypse Now?
    (Prerequisites:  Discipleship 101; Discipleship 102. Ten weeks.)

    When you hear the words "end times," how do you feel?  Scared? Excited? Leery? Indifferent? Curious? The subject of the end times seems to be everywhere. So, what's an informed Christian supposed to think? 

    Are we living in the end times?  Can we know?  Does it matter?

    This class will examine the three main Scripture sources of information on the end times:  the books of Daniel and Revelation and the Olivet Discourse from Matthew 24. Other passages from both the Old and New Testaments will also be included in our study. In addition, we will look at the nature of apocalyptic literature and the differing positions on the rapture and the millennium. Students will be encouraged to reexamine their own positions. This is an advanced class, and students must have successfully completed both Discipleship 101 and Discipleship 102.  The completion of Understanding the Bible Better is recommended, but not required.

    Developing Your Teaching Gift
    (No prerequisites. Eight weeks.)

    Have you ever wondered whether God might want you to lead a Bible study, Oasis Group, or other Christian education event?

    Maybe you've even taken a spiritual gifts survey that indicated you might have the gift of teaching. But you've resisted, thinking, "I don't know enough; let the more qualified people teach." If you think you might have what it takes to be a teacher, this class is for you! 

    This class will help you discern whether you have the gift of teaching, guide you in ways to teach effectively, and allow you to experiment with teaching in a safe environment. In the process, you may discover a whole new way to serve God and bless our church. Don't sell yourself short -- try something new!  This class is required for Oasis leaders.

     

Have questions about the Discipleship Track? Please email us.


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