Pastor Tim Wimberly - Cambodia Missionary

Pastor Tim Wimberly - Cambodia Missionary

Why Disciple?

David declared it, Jesus commanded it and the Father gave his son for it!

My wife and I have been around discipleship for our entire vocational ministry life (the last 27 years), in one way or the other. After inviting a young man to live with us 27 years ago, who ended up interning with us in our youth ministry, came the desire to create a ministry where young people could surrender at least a year or more of their lives to serve and surrender their lives to Jesus and His ministry within the local church. Sense that time either directly of indirectly, we've seen over 300 young men and women graduate from a school of ministry initially called Masters Commission, and then changed its name to Anthem School of ministry, through the local church. This has caused for great celebration for His kingdom and believe that we are just scratching the surface in what Jesus is calling us (the local church) to do.
I'm reminded of King David's declaration, “One generation shall commend your works to another, and shall declare your mighty acts.

They shall speak of the glory of your kingdom and tell of your power, to make known to the children of man your mighty deeds, and the glorious splendor of your kingdom.” Psalms 145:4, 11-12 ESV

We are all responsible for the emerging generation, for discipling and passing on all that God has given to us. Discipleship is a close relational experience with someone who knows them well, who models Godly principles and can lead them to encounter the living God on a day to day, moment by moment basis, this is US, the local church. There are too many young people without Godly role models and disciplers. This tremendous privilege and responsibility cannot be left to a few. To transform a home, a city, a nation we must take the next generation and discipleship is model within Jesus has mandated for us to see it to its fruition!
We have an opportunity to open the doors of our local churches and welcome this generation to be apart of something bigger then they are, the command that Jesus left us all with, "to GO, to MAKE, of all nations! ELN and programs like this are one of the most creative vehicles for this to take place.

Join me, join us, as we partner with what the Holy Spirit is doing in this hour within a generation that is crying out for more of Him!

Pastor Jon Cobler - Church of Living Water

Pastor Jon Cobler - Church of Living Water

Over two decades ago I had no idea that signing up for an ELN program would be the one of the biggest life changes experiences I would ever have. The exposure, learning and relationships that stemmed from that experience continue to form and nourish my thinking and ministry today. There is a generation of men and women about to graduate from high school that are longing for an adventure that is meaningful, authentic AND that will help them understand how their faith can intersect with the world in front of them. Immersion discipleship programs, rooted in the local church, are one of the best answers the church can offer as an answer to the question this generation is asking.

The statistics are in and more and more than ever before young adults are reassessing what it means to be “religious”. Historic loyalties to denominations and churches are all but completely passé and there is more access to alternative voices than ever before. The pornography epidemic is running rampant and college campuses are all too often sexual gymnasiums where young people “hook up” as casually as kindergarteners play on the playground at recess. Too few churches or youth ministries have an answer to these challenges and pastors are rightfully concerned about what these realities mean as this generation steps into leadership roles in the church and the marketplace.

Yet in the midst of the challenge the words of Jesus still echo, “"Look, I tell you, lift up your eyes, and see that the fields are white for harvest.” (John 4:35). The challenges are real but the opportunities are immense for those leaders willing and ready to recognize that there is a generation right in front of them longing for something that is immersive, experiential, powerful and rooted in relationship. There is no better place than the local church for men and women to have that experience.

The beauty of immersion discipleship is that it does far more that teach to the “head”. , Immersion discipleship takes a person beyond the classroom and involves the head, heart and hands in the process of becoming the free and powerful person that God has made them to be. Considering the desire for experience to be central to spiritual formation this is both attractive and effective. When students are able to learn in an environment that takes the “whole person” into account, the results are far more transformational that classroom learning alone. The additional benefit within the local church is the impact of having a group of passionate, growing and motivated group of students on the community around them.

I encourage every leader of a local church to invest in an ELN program. Someone once asked when the best time to plant a tree is...the answer? “The best time to plant a tree was 20 years ago, the next best time is today.” When is the best time to launch an ELN program? Now that I can look back 20 years at my graduation day and see how God used that experience to equip me for the ministry in front of me, my answer is simple. If you haven’t already done it, start the journey today.