Slide through our photo gallery to see discipling in action!
Slide through our photo gallery to see discipling in action!
God has used our work in both expected and unexpected ways. We are seeing nominal Christians grow, blossom and gain the courage and ability to disciple others. We’ve also had the opportunity to help rescue marriages and encourage disheartened disciples to stick with the church. Here’s a small sample of some of the stories we’ve heard.
I have come to the realization that I’m a fairly unmotivated person. Not that I am lazy or that I don’t want to go after things that I want, or want to do, but that it takes some nudging for me to move to action.
From the very beginning of my walk with the Lord there has been someone there gently (and sometimes not-so-gently) pushing me in His direction. I specifically recall my aunt sending emails urging me “to taste that the Lord is sweet,” and His way is not a burdened lifestyle, but one of freedom. At the same time, two co-workers were evangelizing and talking tough to me when I needed it.
After accepting God’s free gift in his Son, I was moved by the Spirit to be at church and to be involved. And that was not always easy for a single new Christian guy in his late 20s! Then, God put the most wonderful, encouraging trainer in the world in my corner, my wife – Ashley. She has encouraged me to get involved in studies and to reach out to other men who might need discipling.
I learned about The Timothy Network and their emphasis on “making disciple makers” a few years ago. In conjunction with their work, Jeff McKeand and Paul Skidmore have been solid rocks in communicating, keeping up, and holding me and one another accountable. It’s this type of intentional discipleship that has led me to begin investing in three other guys at a Wednesday morning coffee study.
In the midst of a separation and divorce in 2013, I joined several weekly Bible studies. Four weekly women’s Bible studies, to be exact. I knew I had to hang on to Jesus and stay grounded in God’s Word to make it through the worst time in my life.
Of the four groups that I connected with during that hard time, the discipling relationships that I found in Timothy Network are ones that are still an impact on my life today. The women helped me grow spiritually, but they also helped navigate through a new way of life. Gloria Daniel was our discipler. Myself and two others “sat at her feet every week” as she poured Jesus into us.
My discipling circle provided hope and support. I thank Gloria and the other sisters who stuck with me on this wonderful journey of discipleship. In keeping with Timothy Network’s missional model, I am now “paying it forward” by disciplng others, I am loving the new relationships that are forming and a new level of learning that is coming out of our weekly meeting time.
To become more like Christ is the motivation. To show His love to people who may or may not know about Him is the goal. To make disciples is the command and I look forward to moving ahead in this work. Meeting with women involved in Timothy Network reminds me of this verse in James, “Draw near to God, and He will draw near to you.” (4:8a) These women continue to help me draw near to God.
Tim spent 18 months in an intentional discipling relationship with two disciplers and two other men who were also being discipled. He gives this feedback:
Our group of 6 has been meeting once a week for the past 9 months. The hour or so we are together each week has been a blessing to each of us. We have grown spiritually by studying God’s word and praying together. We are in the early stage of discussing muiltiplication. This could result in three new discipling circles and several more discipling relationships birthing from our current group.
Through involvement with The Timothy Network my faith has moved from simply knowing the word of God, to knowing the God of the word.
I grew up in an era whem attending church services and doing good works were emphasized. Neither of those things is necessarily wrong; however, the focus was not on building our relationship with God or allowing Jesus to truly be the Lord of our lives.
Through the Timothy Network and the accountability of a discipling circle, walking with Jesus is my daily focus. It’s not simply studying and knowing God’s word, but living it out and actively applying. It’s not about my “perfection”, but in allowing a perfect Savior to have my life and guide my steps.
Loving others enough to pass on the love of God will now be my life-long goal. Reviving the faith of believers who are merely showing up on Sunday mornings and sharing Jesus with those who don’t yet know him is what Timothy Network is about!
Many of my friends are blessed to live near their families. They get ample opportunities to shoot the breeze with a parent over a cup of coffee. When trying times arise, mom is just a short drive away and so are the comforting words and hugs she has to offer. Without trying to rally sympathy, I am not one of these blessed people – at least in the way I just described. I left home in Minnesota when I went to college in another state, and I have never lived in Minnesota with my family again.
With this being my reality, God has done amazing things for me through my circumstances. Jeff and I have grown closer as a couple, and we have been given amazing spiritual families. My experience in Tennessee has proven that spiritual connections can be as strong as biological ones if one is willing to be vulnerable and invest in another person. This is what being a part of a family is all about: growing closer through sharing a part of oneself. This is what Jesus did with his disciples, and as one who feels like an orphan sometimes, I am so glad I have a place to meet, grow and share around a table with spiritual family.
I now know what an impact being discipled and discipling others has on… absolutely everything!
Despite growing up in church and having been a youth minister, I never knew the value of discipling relationships. The Timothy Network has shown me that there’s real power in living in these relationships that Jesus invites us to be a part of. I used to believe that old quote that discipleship is, “one beggar showing another beggar where to find bread”. What a powerless and sad position. I live in relationship with men who aren’t hanging their heads hoping for the crust of bread but, because of Christ living in them, are secure and confident in their positions as sons of the living God! They live powerful and holy lives, not in their own power, but in full faith that Christ’s sacrifice cleansed them put them in a “here-and-now” relationship with their Father.
Having experienced the power of the Holy Spirit working in and through these men and myself, I can’t help but to be excited and share it with others (I used to do so out of obligation). It’s been amazing to experience how, in the economy of God’s Kingdom, you get to keep what you give away! Some huge mountains of worry, impurity, and discontent have been moved in my life as a result of being in relationship with Spirit-filled men who, because of their new Christ-nature, exhibit peace and holiness. What a game-changer it’s been being discipled by men who’ve been walking with the Lord and THEN doing the same for others!
It seems that the more we give away, we more we receive. …It makes sense after all; He is a good Father with lots of good gifts for his children! Discipleship IS one of those good gifts! I thank God for the way He is demonstrating His power through those committed to discipleship because of the Timothy Network!
I am a wife, a teacher, and most recently, a new mom. I have been so blessed by all of God’s goodness, but I still felt there had been something missing deep inside of me. I had become stagnant in the one relationship I needed the most, my walk with the Lord.
I started praying to God for an opportunity for transformation. Through this discipleship network, I have refocused on why I wear the name “Christian.” The intimate group setting has challenged me to dig deeper in the Bible. I am rediscovering the basic reasons God has called me to holy living and to be His disciple. Each week I am developing a better understanding of the God I serve and His purpose set before me.
Prior to becoming involved with The Timothy Network, I spent two to three months praying and looking for a ministry opportunity. I had created a list of possible areas of interest regarding work for the Lord.
My wife, Christina, was obviously very in tune with my desire to increase my level of ivolvement in the church. I was actively searching out the Lord’s will when she came home from work one day with a blessing. Christina informed me of a conversation she’d had with a friend regarding her husband’s ambition to begin a new discipling ministry. Not long after that, I contacted Mike. We had lunch to discuss the vision and plan for this ministry. I had found what I was looking for!
The Timothy Network was a direct answer from God to my prayers. Being a part of this work is an ongoing blessing for the men involved in weekly equipping studies. We are learning what it means to be a disciple of Jesus the way he defined it. It means less about us and more about Him, a difficult lesson to digest in today’s culture.
Glory be to God!
When I was invited to be part of a study that would cause me to intensely learn what it means to be a disciple of Christ, I accepted it readily. I had been feeling that I’d reached a point in my Christian walk that was traditional and ritualistic, feeling lost in the whole point of it all. I prayed about my feelings and asked God to open doors that would enrich my walk with him. I’d been asking God to help me learn what it means to be an authentic disciple, and how to share the gospel with others. I am pleased with what I’ve learned so far. My perspective has been broadened. I am excited about the transformation that will take place in my life as a follower of Christ.
I was not interested in another weak, watered-down study of the Bible that didn’t challenge me to live-out what I was reading. Time is precious, and if I was going to give myself to anything it would have to be something necessary. After talking with those who had participated in Timothy Network equipping studies, I realized this was for me. I now realize in a very clear way that discipleship is about walking out our lives entirely within the context of a kingdom-centered perspective.
I am so blessed to be a part of the Timothy Network, which has provided from the beginning a very nurturing environment for an understanding of the calling of discipleship. However, I have already seen the strong desire God has for us to not only continually develop discipleship within ourselves, but in turn mentoring others by truly loving people and guiding them in their walk with Christ. As an intern with the campus ministry at Middle Tennessee State, God has blessed me with friendships that allow me to see Him working in college girls’ lives and opportunities to mentor to them. I have learned that being a mentor means continually seeking God for strength and understanding, spending time praying for and with those I am mentoring, and guiding them not only through conversation about their life and walk, but through my actions and faith as we seek together the true Mentor, Jesus Christ.
God seems to be reminding me a lot lately that one of the greatest pictures for the Christian life is a “journey.” Through it all, God is faithful to walk with us, and He expects us to bring others along, too. This is disciple making. Making disciples involves investment into another life – a life whose impact could span generations. I find nothing more exhilarating than this: to be a part of something that can outlast my lifetime and reach others for The Kingdom! This discipleship journey is a road worth traveling, and I’m glad someone thought to bring me along.
Discipleship training with the Timothy Network has meant a lot in my life. I’ve learned that you have to be INTENTIONAL to be a disciple of Jesus and that you have to make a strong effort to be a part of someone else’s life, too. Making disciples means that we have to invest our time in people. We and have to be honest and transparent, letting people know that we also struggle with temptation like they do. I’ve learned that disciples should be constant learners. I should be praying with my eyes wide open, seeing who GOD puts in my path to disciple.
The discipleship studies I had in the Timothy Network completely reshaped my mindset as a Christian. Before this, I didn’t intentionally seek to share my faith with people (co-workers, family, friends, people at a grocery store, etc.) I did often express my beliefs, but not as a means to help other people have a closer, more meaningful relationship with God themselves. I’ve learned that my faith in God means nothing if I have no concern about my neighbor’s eternal well-being.
Something I took away from the Timothy Network’s equipping phase is that everyone is busy. There is always an excuse to duck out of responsibility. Ideally, Christ calls us to leave it all and follow. We can follow Christ’s example of and call to make other followers in our everyday busy lives. It will require some rearranging of how we choose to spend your time, but God is patiently waiting for us to make that choice.