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We believe there are some foundational principles that all believers, especially newer believers, need to understand. Often Biblical "knowledge" is presented to new Christians instead of Biblical "principles" to be applied in their lives and personalized instruction to help them mature more rapidly. New believers need to be quickly introduced to a life of walking in dependence on the Lord. (A manual for a car or computer may have the exact specifications and a great description, but to learn to drive a vehicle properly or operate a computer, most people will greatly benefit from individual mentoring.)

We believe it pleases God when we have the attitude of a disciple (an apprentice learner), having more concern about God making us into the most usable instrument possible in this life, and minimal interest in defending our personal viewpoints. We shouldn't have any beliefs that are not open for Him to alter. We encourage anyone reading "A Tool For Personal Discipleship" to prayerfully consider the validity of these concepts with an open mind, led by the Holy Spirit, and to give us any feedback that would help us to present Biblical truth clearly and accurately. Our passion to help believers to grow to spiritual maturity and fruitfulness in Christ is knit together with our desire to be true to Scripture.

We also believe that there are some harmful misconceptions that are prevalent in the Christian community, which are assumed to be Scriptural, primarily because only one viewpoint of a Biblical principle is presented. The neglect, or omission, of any part of the Bible (for example, the rewards ceremony of Christ) can easily convey that the concept is really not of any great significance. Various misconceptions have resulted in many unhealthy Christians who have not grown from infancy to maturity in Christ so as to become spiritual reproducers (disciplers), a goal for which God has made every provision.

Our desire is to give each newer believer (and any spiritually hungry older believer) a clear overview of the Christian life and a basic understanding of God's objectives. We believe that the failure to clearly explain essential Biblical concepts and goals to new converts initially so they learn them early in their walk, is one of the main reasons for the lack of spiritual vitality in the Christian community. If such principles are presented early on, new believers will be saved from much unneeded frustration as they seek to understand what God wants to do in and through their lives. For most converts the first few months are critical. This is the time to take advantage of the initial disposition to learning that characterizes the normal new believer. Too often new believers are simply placed in the presence of Biblical truth and expected to somehow assimilate Biblical understanding. New believers will tend to adopt the outlook and value system of those they associate with during the formative first part of their Christian walk. It is not a surprise that many new believers come to the conclusion that Sunday services are the most important spiritual experience of the week, rather than developing a spiritual walk with God that is a 24/7 experience. 

Caution: Please do not give these lessons to someone without adequate explanation. We usually tend to assume that others understand more than they actually do. If the disciple grasps and applies the concepts presented here, the energy and hours you have invested will be well worth it.

Blessings, Art Barkley

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