When the New Testament Church started it grew rapidly, but there were no churches. Disciples met in homes, yet Christianity exploded all around the world. How did the apostles do it? They built people not buildings. They poured themselves into others who in turn mentored even more. It was a strong, solid church that withstood persecution and hardships. This book is a step-by-step Biblical system to disciple anyone. If you are a parent, teacher, coach, or especially a leader in the church you will find this book a continual reference. You can recapture the essence of how Jesus trained for success. The apostle Paul said, “Follow me as I follow Christ.” It is a simple principle, but if followed, it will set your world on fire.
A Real Barn Burner
Have you ever thought something was one way only to have your notion proven otherwise? I have, many times. One such time was when I studied a martial art in New Mexico. I thought I would learn all these cool moves and kicks, but the first year most of the training was push-ups, sit-ups, and how to be a punching bag. I remember a time when my instructor was hitting me so hard that he lifted me off the ground. As he landed a right jab, a thought struck me: this was not what I had signed up for. Thoughts of quitting overwhelmed me. Physically and mentally, I was spent. However, not one to give up easily, I stayed in the training and trusted my instructor. My persistence paid off. A year later, we started to learn more moves. Still, most of the class time was spent on physical training.
My instructor had a plan. He knew what he was doing in training me. This became very clear one Saturday morning when we had a visitor to class. My instructor arranged a sparring match for me without my knowledge or consent. I was not ready to go into the ring with someone and was filled with fear. I was tall and just starting to fill out, but this guy was taller and bigger than I was. What was my instructor thinking?
This guy was good. He was connecting with his punches. I felt like Rocky Balboa, a human punching bag. My opponent had very fast feet and nailed me in the head with a kick. I went woozy, my knees buckled, and all the color left my vision. However, instead of giving up, my training kicked in. All of the times my instructor had hit me taught me to cover and breathe when a devastating blow came, which gave me a chance to recuperate. I did just that, and my vision returned in full, living color.
My opponent dropped his guard, partially from fatigue and partially from disbelief, as I had taken his best shots and was still standing. In fact, I was coming for him. I got inside his defense and hit him in the gut with an uppercut. I was in control and properly balanced, so I could use all of my core body strength. The punch dropped him like a giant in a chokehold. He couldn’t get up, or maybe he refused to get up. In any case, it was a TKO.
I realized I had been thinking all wrong. It was not all the fancy moves that made the fighter. Yes, they had benefit, but it was the attitude of the warrior that mattered most. My instructor was right all along. He would say to avoid the fight, but if you have to fight, know that the one who can take a hit is the one who is going to win. It had always been my goal not to get hit but to do the hitting. That is not a bad goal, but it would not win many fights. If you are in a fight, you are going to get hit. If you cannot take a hit, you will lose the fight no matter how good your moves are. Now, I am not advocating fighting. The point is that my only goal was to learn the moves when I should have been focused more on the physical training and controlling my fear. I was neglecting a key part of the martial arts. Mental stamina was not something I thought about or valued. However, it was key in my victory because I had been trained that way.
Scott Thom has mentored men for the ministry for more than three decades and has helped plant dozens of churches. Scott is founder and pastor of Cross Christian Fellowship. He resides in Albuquerque, New Mexico, with his wife and children. Find more information about Scott and his ministry go to CrossFellowship.org.