Last year our ladies' ministry here at NDC inspired me to desire to start some men’s Bible studies. I was actually a little jealous of all the things the ladies had going on. As a result of this desire, God has opened up a number of small men’s groups that I ended up leading or co-leading throughout 2022. I believe the desire to make disciples is in accordance with the plan that Jesus Christ has for us in the church. We read His words in Matthew’s gospel, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. 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 end of the age,”(Matt. 28:18-20 NIV). Jesus’s instruction regarding making disciples is a command and not an option or opinion. In fact, the words, “make disciples”, in the Greek language are in the past imperative tense which communicates the idea of a call for a specific and definite decision. In 2022 I made a definite decision to be more deliberate about making disciples in my remaining ministry at NDC. I’m thankful for the 15 or so men who were part of our discipleship groups and as I continue to encourage our brothers to not only be disciples but to be disciple-makers, I anticipate that God is going to multiply His work through the open doors He sets before us.
One of the discipleship tools that we have been using (started in Sept. 2022) is, “The Truth Project” which was developed by Focus on the Family back in 2006. Even though this material is a little dated it is very relevant to what is happening culturally right now in our world. This small men’s group meets on the first Saturday morning of each month at 8:30. The material is a great blessing and I’m thankful to those who encouraged me to use it for this purpose. Starting tomorrow morning (1/14) at 8:45 on the off Saturdays from the other study we’re beginning a small group study in “Disciples Making Disciples”, that will meet for approximately four months for an hour or so. Also, this coming week on Wednesday evening (1/18) at 7:15 we’ll be starting our third home Bible study by studying “The Experiencing God” material that has been revised and updated, since the last time I taught this material back in the 1990s. That study will be at Bill Hughes’ and will be the third study that Bill, who lives around the corner from the church, will be hosting. Again, as I seek to obey the sweeping scope of Jesus’s commission that is associated with His unlimited authority, I invite any man who might be interested in joining us for one of these three studies. My desire as the pastor of New Durham Chapel is that we grow together in the grace and knowledge of the Lord Jesus Christ. One of the best places to begin to grow is by being obedient to the last commandment that Jesus left to us before He ascended to His father and that commandment is “to go and make disciples”. If you have never been discipled, I would really encourage you to connect with one of these groups or to find someone else to meet within a small study to hold one another accountable and grow in the amazing grace of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.
Serving Jesus together,
Pastor Rich Sivo