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  What is it about?
  Why Discipleship Training?

Discipleship training in its broad sense refers to the process of helping believers to become and live like Christ. The purpose of discipleship training is to ‘attain to the whole measure of the fullness of Christ’ (Ephesians 4:13).

In other words, the purpose of discipleship training is maturity. The Bible speaks of different stages in spiritual life -- the infant stage and the mature stage. Infants can only take in milk but grown ups can eat and digest solid food. (Hebrew 5:12-14) Spiritually mature refers to those who can distinguish good from evil. We are called to rise above the elementary stage and move on to maturity (Hebrews 6:1-2). Furthermore, we are commanded to grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ (2 Peter 3:18). One who is mature is compared to a tree in Colossians 2:7. “Rooted and built up in him, strengthened in the faith as you were taught, and overflowing with thankfulness.”

However, discipleship training in its narrow sense can be defined as an advanced course designed to raises spiritually healthy and strong lay leaders who can help and serve others.

In this regard, it is helpful to differentiate discipleship training from more elementary courses that are designed to help infants to grow as to be able to eat and digest solid food. Such elementary course can be referred to as ‘nurturing stage’. Such nurturing stage requires attentive and tender care that a mother would give to an infant. In this sense the purpose of nurturing stage is to help those who are new to the faith to reach balanced spiritual maturity. On the other hand, the purpose of discipleship training is to train those who have attained a degree of spiritual maturity and raise them as lay leaders.

Therefore, in order to carry out proper and effective discipleship training, it is important to understand discipleship training as differentiated from nurturing stage. Otherwise undesirable situations can develop in which those who need nurturing come into discipleship training or discipleship training becomes just another nurturing course. Nurturing is a necessary preparatory stage that a lay person must go through prior to receiving discipleship training. When discipleship training is carried out for those who have not received proper nurturing, discipleship training itself can fall apart.