More Blogs >    Next Blog >
@import url(;
Home My Links Contact Me
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.

I agree with the general tenets of what my brother has written. Of some interest to me is the extent to which the model which will be applied must be context and culture specific.

There is some allusion to the importance of culture and situations as Bro Michael mentioned the fact that the First Century situation lent itself to the particular style that Jesus employed. But in a real way, i think we should be careful to think that the very same can be done in the reality of the Twenty First century. The pressures attendant on men are different. Taking care of one's obligation to family, society and the church has levied a totally different toll on men in this present time.

At the same time, a Western 'Christian' culture might very well struggle to provide examples and models and we might learn from observing mentoring and 'discipleship' (even if not among christians) in the developing world. We once more might learn what not to do and indeed, what can be tried. Let us be open to the guidance of the Holy Spirit as we work out our salvation with fear and trembling
comment by Gregory John Roberts — Nov 13, 2006 12:49 PM (UTC-5)
Hi Greg,

You said, "we might learn from observing mentoring and 'discipleship' (even if not among christians) in the developing world."

If Discipleship is following someone who can teach, show and coach another how to follow Jesus, how can we follow a nonChristian? In other words, if the ultimate goal of discipleship is --- a Christlike character, how can this be accomplished by someone who does not view Jesus as Lord?

Personally, I am very open to receive guidance from the Holy Spirit as I work out my salvation with fear and trembling, but I do not expect the Holy Spirit to lead me to follow the example of a unbeliever.
comment by Mike Gentry — Nov 20, 2006 03:32 PM (UTC-5)
I hope someone from the Battlezone website reads this and responds and directly. I thought the website was an answer to my prayers until I saw there are only 3 coaches in the whole country and none of them near me. My battlezone has been a source of guilt and pain for many years. I want to live as an example of what a Christian man should be. But I am unwilling to deal with anyone whom I or my family may come into daily contact on a visual level. The things I need to deal with require discretion and trust as they could cause major issues for my family life.
comment by B. Moore — Apr 24, 2007 06:05 PM (UTC-4)
Hey, B. Moore, please feel free to contact us in the contact us page. We have more Coach's throughout the country all the time...just do not have them posted yet. I would be happy to try and connect you if I can. There are other options as well. God Bless

comment by Michael — Apr 25, 2007 06:26 PM (UTC-4)
I like what I see at Battle Zone Ministries. Your article about Discipleship is great.

As I mentor teenage boys, I teach that men are to be disciples, servants, husbands, father and finally patriarchs. The first on list is intentionally first. We are to be disciples.

Dr. Ray Vanderlaun, otherwise known as RVL, is an incredible Bible teacher. He makes scripture come alive by relating evidence of the ancient Jewish culture. In the title of his ministry, In the Dust of the Messiah, RVL portrays a wonderful image of the disciples of the day. He explains that a disciple would pursue his mentor’s tutelage with such vigor, following his master so closely, that the dust of his master’s steps would settle directly on the disciple’s body.

How many men today, instead, live by the motto: “Eat my dust!” as they climb the corporate ladder? Priorities, guys, priorities.

… Jesus said, “If you hold to my teaching, you are really my disciples. Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free” (John 8:31).

Jeff Purkiss, Squires2Knights Ministries,

comment by Jeff Purkiss — Nov 14, 2007 06:48 PM (UTC-5)

not sure if this is the right person but i am looking for more info. on battlezone ministries. i just came across it on the web and loved it - GOd, sports and men, what an awesome idea! I need your help please - i have a friend that needs a "coach" in alabama. can you tell me if your minisrty reaches in that area?

please contact me asap -


I have tried to sign up as a coach in Arkansas but not having any luck. Can you help me? God has given me a passion to reach men, and has shown me, in my own life the importance of accountability. I would love to help you affect the lives of men in my state. If you want to read my testimony please go to
comment by Brian Center — Mar 5, 2009 10:54 PM (UTC-5)
Kudos Kudos on being a vessal of the almighty GOD what a great Reciever on Gods team you are. I don't Know what it is but you make Jerry Rice hall of fame records look small in compaireson to BattleZone hall of fame matrial. What God has tossed to you page after page of information that a RECEIVER like you a man of GOD a rightous and obidiant man and to keep it simple. That if your Willing
and I am Willing. Third Season
comment by Stan — Mar 12, 2009 12:13 PM (UTC-4)

Wanted to encourage you and any others whom have gone through BZ, going through BZ or interested in going through BZ. This is a lifetime process and Christ will continue to lift those up Glory to
Glory to Glory as we are willing to seek the heart of our Holy God. BZ is strong and a live in Hanford California. Disciples are being equipped and reproduce with the Grace of our Savior Jesus Christ. There is new expanding life in our Life Teams

Jesus reigns'

What a privilage to be on the BZ team...
comment by Cullen Cooper — Dec 30, 2010 08:44 PM (UTC-5)
As I reviewed the listed comments on this page, I notice that more than two years have transpired since a man submitted a post. There is therefore now no condemnation...however, I, along with the hundreds of other men that have experienced the BZ training are to be consistent conduits of encouragement and hope to the multitude of men desiring what we live victoriously IN Christ. Let us rekindle the embers of the fire that burned within us as we sat with and did life together with the team of men the Holy Spirit brought and knitted together for our benefit. Men of God, let us get back in the game of Discipleship, one comment at a time. May the words of our mouths and meditations of our hearts be acceptable in the sight of the Lord, who is our God, our Strength and our Redeemer.
comment by Harry Patterson — Apr 17, 2013 10:25 AM (UTC-4)
good point Harry it has now been another year since a post to blog. However we now have a new web site and I suspect things will change, right Michael?
comment by David Knobel — May 12, 2014 11:08 AM (UTC-4)

Add Your Comment