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If a new believer is not instructed otherwise, he will typically appropriate the values and convictions of the Christians that he associates with during the formative first period of his new spiritual life, just as a child will tend to adopt the values and convictions of his family and peers.


Let's say that a new Christian is brought into association with a group of Navigators (Navigators.org), who we would rightly expect to immediately begin to challenge the believer's former values and convictions. That believer is either going to adopt the Navigator's values and convictions, or he will become so uncomfortable that he will seek a more "friendly" and less intrusive environment.


But what happens if there is not such a group of relatively mature mentors who will take the new believer under wing? Typically the newer believer will be introduced into a congregation, where it is often assumed that "sitting under the preaching of the Word" will be sufficient to lead that new believer into a spiritually mature walk. It is hoped that the negative traits observed in the congregation do not distort the new believer's understanding. Is that realistic?

We believe it is safe to say that most new believers will be impacted more by what they "see" other believers do, than what they "hear" them say. If it can be said that a particular congregation is more spiritually mature, then it would be realistic to reason that the combination of "hearing" Biblical truth from a pastor/teacher, together with "seeing" Biblical spirituality modeled from the congregation, would be a tremendous help in the healthy spiritual growth of a new believer. Leaders need to realistically evaluate the spiritual health of the congregation, asking themselves, "Do we want a new believer to become like the 'typical' member of this congregation?" If the answer is no, then arrangements need to be put in place to impart Biblical values to new believers.

 

For more discussion on this topic click here.

Tuesday, 28 April 2015 14:01

Inward Transformation NOT Behavior Modification

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We believe that it's a true statement to say that "a believer's level of maturity is the degree to which the Holy Spirit has been able to change their inward value system in His direction."

If the believer allows the Holy Spirit to transform their convictions and values what happens to the behavior? It is going to follow. It cannot not follow. Behavior is a result of inward values. All of us act according to our value system.

Our outward behavior is a reflection of what's important to us. God wants to change our inward thinking - our inward value system - our inward convictions because the behavior is naturally going to follow.

The video below, reveals that many parents think discipline (of their children) is all about shaping proper behavior by manipulating reward and punishment. That's not discipline that's behavior modification.

The same can be said of many believers in the Church today. Many believers are very good at manipulating their behavior to "appear" to behave correctly, but NOT allowing God to transform their thinking which will produce the behavior that is pleasing to Him.

Saturday, 25 April 2015 10:15

TESTIMONY: REAL LIFE DISCIPLESHIP

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A personal letter to a discipler (spiritual mentor) from her disciple.

I began reading in 1Timothy this morning and got stuck on the second verse, "To Timothy, a true son in the faith." You immediately came to mind, as I recognized that you are a mother to me in the faith. Tears filled my eyes because there is nothing more touching than the knowledge of someone who leads you to the love of God.

It's been a few years now, and I don't honestly think of it much - how I was so lost and without hope or faith in God. I was so focused on my own lack, fears, and hurt, that I couldn't see or hear God. I haven't forgotten how you met with me, prayed with and for me, believed in my faith that God had given me, and were always available for a phone call or visit and encouraged me continually that God loved me. His love became believable and acceptable because you were loving me. You weren't just saying it; you were living it.

And I know both you and your husband prayed for me and my son in the journey of bringing me back to spiritual life.

Truths in the DTI discipleship material fed me along the way and helped to ease my burden. I know the truth worked hand in hand with your commitment to love me.

So I thank you. To God be the glory, great things He has done and will continue to do.

I love you.

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Have you ever wondered if you are the only person visiting a particular website? Or how many people actually visit a website in a month? We keep track of the number of "sessions", or times, someone uses our site. 

top 10

For the month of March 2015 we had over 1,500 individual sessions. According to our analytics software, here are the top 10 worldwide locations from which our website has been visited. 

#1 United States

#2 Philippines

#3 Venezuela

#4 Canada

#5 Mexico

#6 South Africa

#7 India

#8 United Kingdom

#9 Australia

Of the total number of individual sessions, 58% were "new" visitors, meaning that 42% of people were coming back to the DTI website to gain more information or to download our discipleship lessons that we make available for free for download and printing.

Thank you for using our DTI website. We would love to hear from you. Use the Contact link and let us know if the free discipleship Bible study lessons are impacting your personal life and those of the church congregation you are involved with.

Blessings, the DTI Team

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"I never thought of myself as a missionary, but over the last four years our Lord is allowing me to participate in the training of churches catching the importance and vision of "The Great Commission. (Matthew 28:18-20)

"After my arrival in Dayton, NV in 2011; I began contacting and encouraging local churches to implement the DTI model of personal discipleship. Currently three of the initial four churches are discipling their flocks and at my church, Dayton Valley Community Church of the Nazarene, we have over 70% of our congregation discipled.

"While the DTI manual, "A Tool for Personal Discipleship" is a critical component of my disciple-making curriculum, I also have other tools that I use, which have had a profound impact on me as a disciple of Christ and my quest for bringing others onto spiritual maturity." (Colossians 1:28-29)

• Porter Barrington's (Christian Life New Testament with Master Outlines & Study Notes)
• Henry & Richard Blackaby & Claude King's (Experiencing God)
• William Gothard's (Understanding Spiritual Gifts)
• John Wesley's (A Plain Account of Christian Perfection)

To date, I have participated in discipleship training missions in:

• Reno, NV
• Ensenada, Mexico – both churches and a local seminary, which has adopted the DTI tool for their students
• Five Baptist churches hosted by County Line Baptist in Crystal Springs, MS
• DTI will be returning to Mississippi to train more Baptist churches in May and September.

"My life has forever been changed and I give all the credit to our Lord and His work through DTI. Halleluiah and praise the Lord!"

Tuesday, 24 February 2015 00:00

Podcast

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DTI is interested in hosting its own discipleship Podcast. We are in the beginning stages of launch. If you have or know someone who has the technical skills to help us publish these podcasts, and would be willing to volunteer your time in this endeavor,  please let us know by using the "Contact" tab and send us your contact information and qualifications. We will be in touch with you. 

Thanks from the DTI team.

Monday, 19 January 2015 00:00

Computer Manual Analogy to Discipleship

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One of the desires of DTI is to help church leaders accelerate the growth process of the Body resulting in spiritual maturity, fruitfulness and reproduction.

It's hard to do that ONLY in corporate church gatherings like the typical gatherings on Sunday mornings. Of course most believers have a "manual" right? And all the answers are in there, right?

To help explain the concept of spiritual mentoring we can us an analogy to a computer manual.

Let's assume that you have no prior knowledge of how to use a computer, and I hand you a computer manual. A few of you will manage, with difficulty, to eventually figure things out. But the vast majority of you will become frustrated and decide it's just not worth the investment.

In the Spiritual realm, we don't just want to hand a manual to a new believer, or separate pieces of biblical information (like a jig-saw puzzle) and expect them to figure it out on their own. A few will, and that testifies to the power of the Holy Spirit.

But, which would you prefer?: To be given a computer manual to learn on your own, or to have someone take the time to personally mentor you based on your needs, and answer your questions?

The command to "GO and make disciples" doesn't simply convey the idea of handing someone a Biblical manual, does it?

Click here to watch a promo video that helps convey the idea of personal one-on-one spiritual mentoring (spiritual parenting).

Sunday, 30 November 2014 00:00

Cuba Newsletter - Nov 2014

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Saturday, 29 November 2014 00:00

Pablo & Martha Garcia, our ministry partners

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martha preachingParticipating in Ministry with Pablo & Martha Garcia, missionaries to Ensenada, Mexico, has been a great blessing.  pablo translatingWhether preaching, or translating (for us Gringos) or facilitating, this wonderful couple gives all of themselves to building the Kingdom of God.  

They are personally discipling one-on-one, as well as in groups.  Their lives and their ministry attest to their spiritual character. 

martha breakout group

Did you know that they were the ones who introduced us to Cuba? 

See below for more pictures of our adventures in Camagüey, such as being "tourists" in a bicycle taxi. shopping for granddaughterbicycle taxistreet scenestreet scene2street scene5cuban coffeetourist - jeannettecoconutstouriststreet scene3

Saturday, 29 November 2014 00:00

"I have to live out this discipleship"

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pastor2The last day of the conference, one of the pastors shared how the discipleship had changed him: "This discipleship has helped me to learn - not just what I am going to do with the discipleship - rather what the discipleship has done in me. I have been able to hear what I needed to learn. Sometimes we think that because we are pastors, that we know everything and we are equipped to do discipleship. But the Holy Spirit has taught me that if I am not a good disciple, I cannot teach others.

I learned about discipleship at the conference in May in Las Tunas with Professor Cesar. And here in this conference what I have learned is that I have to allow myself to be taught. There are so many pastors here with theological preparation, others who are just beginning their theological studies and others that are hearing, for the first time about discipleship.

"I want to tell you that these brothers and sisters are a greater "lesson" of what discipleship is. They have taught me what I have to do and how I have to live this discipleship. We cannot grow weary in praying that this discipleship would not only be carried out in our churches, but that it would be taken to the world.

"I want to share one more thing. This discipleship is breaking institutional barriers of denominations. We are not proclaiming a denomination...that I am a Methodist, you are a Baptist.... we are proclaiming that Jesus Christ lives, heals and saves!"

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