The concept of discipleship has a long history with the Body of Christ, the Church. It is a term that describes THE ACT OF FOLLOWING ALL THE TEACHINGS OF CHRIST AS UPHELD AND PRACTICED BY HIS FOLLOWERS. In The New Life Miracle Church, ADVANCING THE PEOPLE OF GOD THROUGH GODLY INSTRUCTIONS is our aim. None is ever numbered among the true disciples except he first learns followership in the sacred teachings of the Master. In Matthew 28:20a, we read, “Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you”. It therefore means that Christ-centered teachings are veritable tools for Christian discipleship. Charles H. Spurgeon puts it this way: “We are not to invent a gospel; we are not to change, and shift, and cut, and shape it to meet the advances of the age.”
However, our methods of discipleship may change to suit the times but the message remains as constant as ever. Only pure wine intoxicates the brain; diluted wine is of no effect!
As a church we undertake the noble task of discipling our members. Christ’s command is plain. He says, “Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you” (Matthew 28:20a). We are patient enough to teach over and over again those things the Master has commanded until the feeblest member puts on the fullness of the image of Christ.
Every worthwhile adventure in life comes with a cost. Discipleship is no exemption. Unfortunately, not all persons are ready to pay the price. These are:
- The Presumptuous Volunteers
“And it came to pass, that, as they went in the way, a certain man said unto him, Lord, I will follow thee whithersoever thou goest. And Jesus said unto him, Foxes have holes, and birds of the air have nests; but the Son of man hath not where to lay his head”(Luke 9:57-58).
They have zeal but not according to knowledge. Their fire, like that of the dry leaves, cannot hold out long. They never fully know what it means to follow Christ. They indicate intention to follow Him without thoughtfulness. When they hear the deep things of the Kingdom of God, they withdraw. Like the man in Jesus’ narrative, they do not last on the stage.
- The Unwilling Conscripts
“And he said unto another, Follow me. But he said, Lord, suffer me first to go and bury my father. Jesus said unto him, Let the dead bury their dead: but go thou and preach the kingdom of God”(Luke 9:59-60).
This set of people never show any intention to follow Jesus but are conscripted to do so against their will. Those who are not willing to follow the Master can never do His will. They will always excuse themselves from His noble tasks and whereas the Master’s tasks require urgency. “When Christ says to a man, “Follow me’, he must not let even the tenderest relationship detain him, or the most proper duties stand in the way of the highest duty” (Spurgeon).
- The Unserious Volunteers
“And another also said, Lord, I will follow thee; but let me first go bid them farewell, which are at home at my house. And Jesus said unto him, No man, having put his hand to the plough, and looking back, is fit for the kingdom of God” (Luke 9:61-62).
They are those who say they want to follow Christ but cannot let go of the attachments in their lives. Like Lot’s wife, their hearts are with the things they left behind. They are not fit for the Master. Jesus frankly says to them, “No man, having put his hand to the plough, and looking back, is fit for the kingdom of God”(Luke 9:62).
- The Committed Followers
“And Jesus, walking by the sea of Galilee, saw two brethren, Simon called Peter, and Andrew his brother, casting a net into the sea: for they were fishers. And he saith unto them, Follow me, and I will make you fishers of men. And they straightway left their nets, and followed him. And going on from thence, he saw other two brethren, James the son of Zebedee, and John his brother, in a ship with Zebedee their father, mending their nets; and he called them. And they immediately left the ship and their father, and followed him” (Matthew 4:18-22); “And after these things he went forth, and saw a publican, named Levi, sitting at the receipt of custom: and he said unto him, Follow me. And he left all, rose up, and followed him” (Luke 5:27-28|).
This group of people constitutes an exceptional category. They do not only desire or accept to follow Him, they are willing to pay the price.
What then is the cost of true discipleship?“And he said to them all, If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow me” (Luke 9:23).
- Self-Denial – “And he said to them all, if any man will come after me, let him deny himself …”
Our love for God must be greater than the love we have for others and ourselves.
- Cross Bearing (on a daily basis) – “And he said to them all, if any man will come after me, let him … take up his cross daily …” The cross is an emblem of suffering but a necessary route to the hall of crowns. There is no alternative. It is the way the Saviour has chosen. If there is no cross to bear, there will be no crown to wear.
- Following Christ all the Way – “And he said to them all, If any man will come after me, let him … follow me”Discipleship is a continuous process. It is not enough to begin following Christ; every true disciple is expected to continuously follow Him till he makes the very last mile of life’s journey.
In the school of discipleship, there is no convocation but continuation (John 8:31). Only those who committedly follow Christ by living out all his teachings are truly his disciples.
Talking about evangelism is talking about THE GREAT COMMISSION AND THE URGENCY OF FULFILLING IT.
Jesus Christ was at the concluding part of His mission here on earth when the disciples asked Him these very important questions; “…when shall these things be, and what shall be the signs of thy coming, and of the end of time?” Matthew 24:3. The Lord Jesus Christ gave a prompt and appropriate response by enumerating the signs of the end of the age which includes:
- Appearance of false messiahs
- Rumors of wars
- Famines, pestilences and earthquakes
- Persecution of Christ followers
- Betrayals and deceits of false prophet
- Iniquities abounding and the love of many waxing cold.
While giving the answer, the Master did not fail to clearly state the most urgent responsibility which the church should be engaged in, that is, preaching the gospel. The most urgent task that the church should be engaged in today is stated in verse fourteen of Mathew, “And this gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in all the world for a witness unto all nations and then shall the end come”.
1, THE GREAT COMMISSION: DEFINITION AND DESCRIPTION.
The great commission is simply “Go ye into all the world and preach the gospel to all creatures.” This tells us specifically to preach repentance and faith in the Lord Jesus Christ. As the hearers repent and believe in the Lord with evidences of genuine conversion and transformation of life, they are to be baptized in water. The next step is their integration into the Body of Christ, the Church, where they are taught the doctrines of Christ and not the traditions of men.
As a matter of importance, the teaching of Christ Jesus must emphasize repentance, justification, restitution, consecration, sanctification, Holy Ghost baptism and other Bible doctrines. The unmistakable command of Jesus is “Go ye into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature. The command is an urgent task to every believer and every local church. Hence, the regular and central programme of the church should focus on evangelizing the lost.
In the gospel according to Saint Luke 19:10, Jesus said, “For the Son of man is come to seek and save that which was lost”. Christ did not allow anything to distract Him from fulfilling that purpose for which He came. His ultimate charge to all believers today is “Occupy till I come”. Luke 19:13.
The joy of seeing one soul saved and transformed gave Jesus Christ so much satisfaction that He looked away from His physical needs and said “My meat is to do the will of Him that sent me and to finish His work” ( John 4:34).
In Acts 8:4 “Therefore they that were scattered abroad went everywhere preaching the gospel…”. Philip was deliberate about his commitment to preaching the gospel and the result can be seen as he practically turned a whole city upside down. Paul the apostle was also very deliberate in demonstrating commitment to fulfilling the great commission. In 1 Corinthians 9:19-22, he said, “…I became all things to all men that I might win the lost…”
The New Life Miracle Church is also passionately committed to the work of soul-winning as reflected in our Vision and Mission Statements. As a body of Christ, Evangelism is our core business here on earth. We are keen to reaching the world for Christ through:
- Personal Evangelism
- Group Evangelism
- Street Meetings
- Hospital Evangelism
- Prison Evangelism
- Literature Evangelism
- Outdoor Crusade
- Media Evangelism
Finally, it is important to note that fulfilling the Great Commission goes far beyond the preaching of the gospel (Evangelism). It also includes integrating converted souls into the body of Christ through Water Baptism and teaching them to observe all things.
Do you alone? God discovered at the very beginning that a solitary life for man will jeopardize his existence. God said in Genesis:2:18 that, “… it is not good that the man should be alone…” This statement is not just the foundation of marriage but that of fellowship too. God has been fellowshipping with man (Gen. 3:8) but discovered that man needs others like himself to understand true fellowship and to cherish it.know that God does not want you to go through this life
Real fellowship is beyond showing up for church services. It involves growing with other believers in the knowledge of God, honest sharing, practical serving, sacrificial giving and much more. Note, you can worship in a crowd but you cannot fellowship in a crowd.
Fellowship is based on an intimate family relationship with Christ and His family. Can two walk together except they agree? No! (Amos 3:3).
According to the World English Dictionary, “Fellowship is the act of people sharing activities, goals, interests, duties, trials, troubles, and the likes with one another in a group”. Interestingly, the word “fellowship’’ can be subdivided into two other words ‘fellow’ and ‘ship’, so it is possible to define it as the coming together of ‘fellow’ believers into the ‘ship’ of Christ called the ‘Church’, for sharing activities, goals, interests, duties, trials, and joy.
Why Do I Need Fellowship?
The need for fellowship is as fundamental as the need for parents and other members of the family. As a child, you need a father to teach you courage, a mother to nurture you and siblings to either teach you or learn from you. This is similar to the life of a believer. You need other believers to teach and learn from in becoming who God wants you to be.
In the New Life Miracle Church, we are passionate about the sheep and the family of Christ. And in creating the platform to unite the body of Christ, we set up the following:
- Expository bible study meetings
- Prayer programs:
- Revival and Miracle Hours (Weekly).
- God is Able (Weekly).
- Night Vigils (Weekly).
- God’s Power Night (Monthly).
- Receiving Glory(Monthly).
- Night of Divine Solutions (Monthly).
- Couples’ programs (for both intending and married couples) as well as seminars, conferences and activities aimed at helping couples fulfill the purpose of marriage.
- Yearly youth empowerment programmes aimed at harnessing the potentials of our youths.
- Fishers of men. A program where believers in the church go out together to witness for Christ
We also create units where believers can interact and serve together in the church such as:-
- The Choir: the unit that sees to the production of music for service
- The Sanitation Team: sees to the preparation of the auditorium and its surrounding for service.
- The Protocol Team: sees to the ushering and maintenance of orderliness in the auditorium
- The Evangelical Team: sees to the weekly evangelism of the neighbouring community.
- The Security Team: sees to the securities of worshipers and their belongings which they bring into the church premises.
These and many more, such as, women, men, youth units/teams are created to unite the believers. “Iron sharpens iron, so a man sharpens the countenance of his friend”. (Prov. 27:17). In Acts 2:42, “…and they continued steadfastly in the apostles’ doctrine and fellowship, and in breaking of bread and in prayers”.
For in participating in this groups we learn to:
- Walk in the light
- Suffer together
- Serve together
- Comfort one another
- Pray for one another
- Bear one another’s burden
- Rejoice with the joyful
- Grow and glow in the Lord
ADMITTANCE INTO FELLOWSHIP
As in Accounting, where you are not recognised as a fellow until you are chartered and must have practised for at least ten years, during which you must have attended a series of training/seminars then pay some amount of money as stipulated by the controlling bodies. In The New Life MIracle Church, we encourage our attenders to grow into membership cadre through the various membership routes set up by the church.
- Be Born Again
- Attend meetings regularly
- Be committed financially – pay tithes, offerings, etc.
- Participate in activities of the fellowship.
Brethren, we are called to belong, not just to believe. Even in the perfect, sinless environment of Eden, God said “It is not good for man to be alone”. It means we are created for community, fashioned for fellowship, and formed for family, so much that none of us can fulfil God’s purpose by himself. The Bible speaks nothing of solitary saints or spiritual hermits isolated from other believers and deprived of fellowship. The Bible also says we are put together (Micah 2:12), joined together (1Cor. 1:10), built together (1Cor.3:9), members together (Eph. 5:30), heirs together (Rom. 8:17, 1 Pet.3:7), fitted together (Eph. 2:21), held together (Rom. 7:6), and will be caught up together (1Thess. 4:17). So, you are not on your own any longer, you have been called to fellowship.
The term “Ministry” originated from the Greek word “diakonia” which means “service”.
The one who occupies the ministry is referred to as “diakonos” in Greek, which translates to “minister” or “servant”.
We can therefore establish that the word “Ministry” means the act of rendering service by a minister or a servant.
In the New Testament, Ministry is perceived as service to God and to other people in the name of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. (Matthew 20:28)
Secularly, ministries are established by government to render various forms of services to its citizens in order to make life worth living for them.
In like manner, Ministry is a way by which God uses Christians (Ministers) to meet the needs of people both within and outside the church.
Jesus Christ provided the pattern for the Christian ministry during His time here on earth. He came, not to receive service, but to give it, and most importantly, to give it wholeheartedly.
It is upon this foregoing biblical commandment that The New Life Miracle Church has built her strategies for administering services to mankind.
As an organization with life-changing ministrations, we are committed to ministering to people through the following activities that have been tailored to meet people’s spiritual needs.
They are as follows:
- Comprehensive bible study meetings from seasoned teachers.
- A well-structured and consistent prayer plan led by gifted prayer warriors. This prayer plan consists of programmes such as:
- Revival and Miracle Hours (Weekly).
- God is Able (Weekly).
- Night Vigils (Weekly).
- God’s Power Night (Monthly).
- Receiving Glory (Monthly).
- Night of Divine Solutions (Monthly).
- Marriage Counseling (for both intending and married couples) as well as seminars, conferences and activities aimed at helping couples fulfill the purpose of marriage.
- Yearly Youth Empowerment Programmes aimed at harnessing the potentials of our youths.
- Christian Social Responsibilities to the:
- Core Members
- Committed Members
As a church that is keen on the growth and development of its members, we often meet, strategize and implement programs that are aimed specifically at meeting the spiritual, physical, financial, material and vocational needs of the various classes of people listed above, in order to win their souls for Christ and His Kingdom (Eternal life in the Kingdom of God).
The New Life Miracle Church is set to fulfill this scriptural purpose (Ministry). We are passionately committed to not just preaching the love of Christ to the world, but also showing an example of how Christ lived here on earth through helping the needy, caring for others, showing kindness, healing people’s hurts, and constantly reminding the world of the love of Christ at all times.
1Peter 4:7-11 (NLT).
You are welcomed to join us in the pursuit of administering services to mankind.