We believe that God designs the Christian life to be one of discipleship wherein God's people pursue spiritual maturity into Christ-likeness together.
Christian Discipleship Overview
When someone turns from sin, trusts in Christ, and receives the Spirit of Christ, they then begin a lifelong journey of becoming more like him as they come to know his character and ways more and more. God's desire is to take the message of the gospel deeper and deeper into our own lives and we help one another do that through our Discipleship Cohorts ministry.
The Bible's Vision for Christian Discipleship
- Dying to Ourselves to Live in Christ // The Call of Christian Discipleship. When God draws someone to the excellencies of Jesus, he calls them to lose their life to find their life in Christ. The Christian life, therefore, is marked by losing to gain, dying to live. When we follow Jesus, we learn and re-learn this gospel pattern over and over again as Christ becomes more precious to us than everything else. (Matthew 16:24-26)
- Growing in the Grace of Jesus // The Growth of Christian Discipleship. The message of the gospel of free grace in Christ is the prime source material of all Christian discipleship. By nature we believe that God deals with us according to an "earn and deserve" system and we, therefore, treat others likewise. To know Christ, however, is to know God's sovereign grace in his dealings with us and it is this knowledge that we must grow in more and more. (2 Peter 3:18)
- Equipped to Speak the Truth in Love // The Means of Christian Discipleship. God gifts the church with pastors and teachers who equip God's people to lovingly speak the truths of the gospel into one another's lives. The means God has designed for us to grow as believers is when God's people lovingly point each other to Jesus from God's Word. (Ephesians 4:11-16)
- The Word of God // The Source of Christian Discipleship. The Bible is sufficient to equip us for a God-glorifying, Christ-centered, and Spirit-empowered life. All discipleship activities, therefore, should source their efforts in unleashing the truths of God's Word, which are able to make us wise in salvation and bring us to maturity in Christ. (2 Timothy 3:14-17)
- Becoming like Christ // The Goal & End of Christian Discipleship. When we grow in our ability to comprehend the glory of Christ more and more, God uses that to transform us to be more like Jesus. Seeing by faith as he actually is in all of his beauty and majesty empowers the transformation in Christian discipleship. We grow in Christ now in hopes that one day our faith will turn to sight and we shall finally and fully be like him. (2 Corinthians 3:18 & 1 John 3:1-3)
Discipleship Cohorts at Christ Church
Discipleship Cohorts are Christ Church’s ministry for its members designed to facilitate pursuing spiritual maturity into Christ-likeness together. We do this through committed relationships, mutual accountability and encouragement, and study of the word and prayer. Cohort members are of the same gender, consist of no less than three and no more than six people, and meet for a set amount of time. While these cohorts are not are only discipleship context at Christ Church, we do see it as one of the primary ways we hope to see God's people growing in Christ-likeness.
The Details of Discipleship Cohorts
Although each group will have some flexibility, in general groups will start the last week of January and go until around Easter. In the fall, groups will typically start the week after Labor Day and go until Thanksgiving. Each cohort decides where and when to meet based upon the preferences and needs of each cohort member. Cohorts should set a regular meeting time and consistently hold to that time throughout the duration of their cohort.
The Format of Discipleship Cohorts
Each cohort meeting will last around 75-90 minutes and will include:
- Arrive/Catch up (10 min)
- Individual testimony/spiritual update (10-15 min)
- Reading together (15-20 min)
- Discussion and application (20-25 min)
- Prayer for one another (10 min)
Can I Join a Discipleship Cohort?
While we hope to invite non-members into various aspects of our life as a church, it is our desire that discipleship cohorts would be reserved for members of Christ Church only. We would love to talk more about membership at Christ Church with you, so be sure to check out more info on our Membership page.