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Friday, December 11, 2015

Discipleship - From A Pastor's Perspective - Guest Writer Nate Pickowicz

One of the key challenges any pastor will face in ministering to the flock of God is how to disciple believers. As we were planting our church, our EFCA district supporters were encouraging us to think through how this might happen. It’s one thing to preach and teach from the pulpit, but how do you apply the truths of Scripture to the lives of people on an individual basis?
A few years earlier, I had read a blog post about theology reading groups. The concept was simple: take a group of guys, give them the challenging task of reading theology, and walk with them through the process. I was immediately excited about the prospect of teaching theology to a group of men, but I could almost hear the objections, “It’s not practical”, “They’ll never stick it out”, “It’s too academic”, etc. However, I felt convinced that this was the right thing.
I announced in church one Sunday that I wanted to start a men’s theology group and that we were going to tackle Wayne Grudem’s Systematic Theology. The first day, two men approached me. In my mind, that was a huge win. Two guys that would spend the next several months with me, studying the doctrines of the Bible. But then the interest grew. More and more guys started asking me about the group, and by the time we were ready to start, I had ten men who had committed. So we began.
At first, we inched our way in, working through the chapters and discussing the doctrines, as well as their respective Bible verses. Within a few months, a few more men started to show up. But more than the numbers, the interest began to grow; and then interest turned into desire.
Over the next 15 months, I would watch a dozen men—the majority of them had never opened a theology textbook before—become transformed and grow in their love for God, for His Word, and for each other. Each week, these men rose to the challenge, having done their assigned reading, and were ready to discuss meaty subjects.
These men weren’t scholars; they were landscapers, carpenters, servicemen, office workers, and lab technicians. They ranged in age from their early thirties to their late sixties. They had wives and kids. They had hobbies. They were just regular New England men who were growing in grace.
While I don’t personally agree lock-step with all of Grudem’s doctrine, studying together provided many opportunities for us to think through Scripture and theology as a group. And even as we approached controversial doctrines and viewpoints, it gave me the opportunity to teach through it. As a group, we were learning how to “do theology” in an honest, intentional way.

Since the end of the group, some men have moved on to other things, and some have stayed on for more theology. But not a single man has been the same. God has used His Word, combined with the earnestness and faithfulness of these ordinary men, to accomplish in them extraordinary works.

And for that, I am deeply thankful to the Lord Jesus Christ.  

Thank you to my guest blogger and online friend Pastor Nate Pickowicz for writing this post.
I would request Christians to pray for this Pastor and the church he is pastor of.

To learn more about Harvest Bible Church and find messages given by Pastor Nate:


You can also find his contributions to another blog of another online friend:

Entreating Favor

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