Here at Curtis we desire to create a culture of discipleship. We believe that disciple making was well-demonstrated during Jesus’ earthly ministry, and is modeled in the life and ministry of Paul and Barnabas. In the Gospels and the Book of Acts, the word “disciple” is referenced 260 times. Every time the word is used, it refers to a relationship with Jesus Christ, not a level of spiritual or religious activity. Disciples are people who are totally dedicated to learning about and living for Jesus.
We believe all Christ followers are called to be disciple makers at every age and stage of life. Over the years, we have seen God work in tremendous ways through what we call “L.I.F.E. Discipleship.” It is based on John 10:10b: “I have come so that they may have life and have it in abundance.” Jesus did not come just to die on the cross for our sins; He came to give us life. The best possible life a person can have on earth is a life surrendered to Christ.
Our Life on Life Discipleship model is best described like this:
L- Looking, Listening & Learning
I – Investing, Imitating & Instructing
F – Friendship & Follow Up
E – Equipping, Encouraging & Establishing
L- Looking, Listening & Learning
The first step to becoming a disciple maker is to look, listen, and learn how God is at work in the people around you. We must keep our eyes open to whom God may be bringing into our lives. Sometimes it may be a person we are least expecting. Taking time to listen and hear what God is doing in the life of the person who just came into your life is important. Learn what is going on in the heart of the person. We encourage each other to ask God for wisdom and discernment to understand the reason God brought this person to you.
In Acts 11:22-26, we read how the leaders in the church in Jerusalem heard of Antioch’s witness to the Gentiles. They sent Barnabas to check it out. In Acts 9:27-28, we see Barnabas on the scene ready to come alongside of Saul/Paul and take him through the next season of ministry. Years later, when Timothy comes on the scene we read how Paul (Acts 14) took the time to talk with the brothers at Lystra and Iconium about Timothy. They spoke highly of him. Based on what he had heard and learned about Timothy, Paul felt led to invite Timothy to join him.
I - Investing, Imitating & Instructing
Once you have established the people God has brought into your life, it’s now time to begin making a spiritual investment. The truth is that we do not have anything to offer this person outside of Christ and His Word!
Paul spent much time investing in the people God brought into his life. We believe that one of the most effective ways for a follower of Christ to grow is by watching other believers. Paul wrote about this model in 1 Corinthians 11:1, “Imitate me, as I also imitate Christ,” and in Philippians 3:17, “Join in imitating me, brothers, and observe those who live according to the example you have in us.” He also uses these terms in 2 Thessalonians 3:7, “For you yourselves know how you must imitate us: We were not irresponsible among you,” and Titus 2:6-7, “In the same way, encourage the young men to be self-controlled in everything. Make yourself an example of good works with integrity and dignity in your teaching.” All through much of the New Testament, we see Paul’s influence on the lives of others. His life continues to serve as a great example to follow.
F - Friendship & Follow Up
E - Equipping, Encouraging & Establishing
As we studied Paul’s relationships, we noticed that he also spent a great deal of time equipping, encouraging, and establishing the people he was associated with. When it was time for Timothy to go out on his own, Paul wrote letters with strong recommendations for Timothy. In 1 Corinthians 4:17 he writes: “This is why I have sent Timothy to you. He is my dearly loved and faithful son in the Lord. He will remind you about my ways in Christ Jesus, just as I teach everywhere in every church.”
Later, he also wrote to the Philippians: “Now I hope in the Lord Jesus to send Timothy to you soon so that I also may be encouraged when I hear news about you. For I have no one else like-minded who will genuinely care about your interests.” Philippians 2:19-20. Timothy’s ministry was the result of Paul’s Life-On-Life investment in him as a child of God.