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March 15, 2006
Hands-On Discipleship for the Twenty-First Century
Michael Pouliot @ Mar 15, 2006 07:21 PM

Hands-On Discipleship for the Twenty-First Century

Part 1

Jesus said, “Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age." Matthew 28:19-20, NIV

The Big Question
I once heard someone say “Your system is perfectly designed to produce the results you are getting.”  If Jesus said go and MAKE disciples, do you think He had in mind the current model of instruction in the 21st Century church?  Did Jesus instruct the church to create a comfortable, non-threatening service that spends 20 minutes in worship and 20 minutes of teaching?  Does this model really make dynamic disciples?  

If Jesus set the example for true discipleship as He trained His 12 men, why are we settling for a half-baked, fuzzy discipleship model?  Jesus discipled His men over a three-year intensive “hands-on” process.  They lived together, ate together, prayed together, and watched Jesus heal the sick and cast out demons.  The truth is: the First Century culture in which they lived helped foster the kind of training process necessary for authentic discipleship. 

So what should discipleship look like today if Jesus set the bar as our Discipleship Coach Role Model?

What Discipleship is NOT
Discipleship is not sitting in a pew listening to a sermon, or doing a Bible study, or engaging in accountability, or going to a men’s event.  Sure, these can be important aspects of discipleship, but if they are done in isolation, they do not reproduce disciples.  A pastor cannot disciple an entire congregation, nor should he.  If the person who is being discipled is not:

• being taught the Word of God,
• shown how to apply the Scriptures to real life,
• coached in a safe environment and learning the Christian essentials,
• released to apply the Word in real-life pressure situations, and
• reproducing other disciples,

that person is not experiencing true Biblical discipleship. 

What is Discipleship?
My definition of discipleship was inspired by the writings of Bill Hull’s book entitled, Choose the Life: Discipleship is following someone who can teach, show and coach another how to follow Jesus.  The ultimate goal of this process however, is to release the discliple when he is ready so he can reproduce what was just produced in him--- a Christlike character.

Discipleship is a caring personal investment between the one discipling and a willing, teachable pupil.  This process happens daily, weekly, yearly and beyond.  The one who is discipling must be a Chirst-Follower who knows how to follow Jesus themselves.  You cannot reproduce what you don’t possess yourself.   Or, to  put it  another way, you can’t give what you do not have.  I cannot feed the hungry if I do not first get food.  If you do not know how to follow Jesus wholeheartedly, you cannot show someone else how to follow Jesus wholeheartedly.  Thus, you will be ineffective at discipleship. The problem occurs when an immature Christian agrees to follow a man who does not put Jesus as Lord or if an immature Christian attempts to disciple another immature Christian. The goal of discipleship is to help teach, show and coach another Believer to become a C3-Christian: Conformity to the Character of Christ, so he can do the same.

BattleZONE Ministries is here to help men no longer be defeated and discouraged in their faith, but instead to inspire and show them how to live victorious IN-Christ. 

Vision:  Coach every willing man to live victorious IN Christ.

Mission:  “BattleZONE Ministries develops performance-based resources using Biblical principals and assists the local church in equipping men to live victorious IN-Christ.”

Our Purpose is the Strategy
• Teach men life application of the Bible.
• Show men what the application looks like.
• Coach men through practice in a safe environment.
• Release men to apply the Biblical principle.
• Reproduce men though cyclical discipleship.

To get started, go to and take the BattleZONE Challenge.  This tool will help point you to many resources that can teach, show, coach, release and reproduce Christ-like character.  I encourage you to take the e-learning BattleZONE Training Course, or order a copy of the course.  Also, click on the Show me how to…link under Resources to see some Christian essentials demonstrated.  Last, don’t do this alone, because Christlike character is developed in community. 

For more information about BattleZONE Ministries download our BattleZONE Brochure as a PDF.  Print one out and give it to your pastor or men’s ministry leader. 

By His Grace---for His Glory

Michael C. Pouliot
BattleZONE Ministries Inc.