The Disciple Newsletter
A Newsletter for the Serious Religious Christian
By H. Bruce Stokes, Ph.D.
Ministry Philosophy of the DiscipleCenter
The following Guidelines express the basic philosophy of ministry at the DiscipleCenter.
1. Every Member a Minister – Every believing adult has a responsibility to minister to the Lord, to fellow believers, and to the non-believer. Ministry to the Lord involves worship, prayer and praise, both personal and corporate. Ministry to fellow believers involves living the "one another" relational commands and doing good to all men, especially those of the household of faith. This ministry begins in the home, is reinforced in the congregation, and extends to the church (believers) wherever they are found. Ministry to the non-believer involves doing good to all and being an example of the faith to those who do not know God.
2. The Heart of the Great Commission is Discipleship. Jesus commanded that His disciples make disciples from all of the nations. This discipleship mandate involves the preaching of the Gospel, baptizing those who respond, and teaching them to observe all that has been commanded. To evangelize with out discipleship, is to disobey this commission.
3. Ministry is Gift Based, NOT Need Based. Ministry cannot be based on needs only. Placing an ill-equipped person in a ministry situation can be detrimental to both the minister and the one ministered to. The needs will always surpass the ability to give in ministry. Appropriate stewardship of ministry gifting and ability requires that each minister evaluate the best use of their ministry to the enormous need that exists.
4. Ministry is Life to Life. The Biblical intent is that every person minister in some context. To remove oneself from ministry through financing others is not Biblical. Participating with others in ministry by financial support is Biblically sanctioned but does not remove the responsibility to minister in a person to person, Life to Life relational context.
5. Every Family is a Ministry. The initial place of ministry is the family. The person who ignores or forsakes his family to minister to others is violating the Biblical priority of ministry. Children learn Life to Life ministry at home. Parents have their primary ministry in the child rearing period. Congregational ministry is secondary to the home. Pastors and Deacons should be past the child rearing period before taking on primary congregational responsibilities.
6. Leadership involves Servanthood. Leaders are not in the position of leadership to benefit themselves but to serve others. Position is not given to exalt the person, but to recognize the faithful stewardship that has been demonstrated. The greater the position of leadership, the greater the need for humility and demonstrated character.
7. The DiscipleCenter is a Training Place for Ministry. Members of the DiscipleCenter are expected to learn and do Biblical Ministry in their household, the congregation, the Church, and the world. Mature disciples will attempt to give more than they receive in ministry. New disciples will seek to grow in their maturity and discipleship.