The key to growth in the Christian life is a proper
discipleship program. The principle for discipleship comes from II Timothy
The things which you have heard from me in the presence of many witnesses, entrust these to faithful men who will be able to teach others also.
When you learn about what it means to follow Jesus, the best method of learning is to have a good teacher. After you are firmly grounded in the word, then you can become a teacher also, and pass along what you have learned to others. Paul, the author of II Timothy, taught Timothy how to live the Christian life, and Timothy then could turn around and teach others what he had learned, and they in turn would teach others.
If you are not involved in a discipleship program, I urge you to find one to participate in. Contact your pastor or older Christian, and ask them about discipleship training. If your church does not have a program, seek other avenues, such as para-church organizations such as the Navigators, Campus Crusade for Christ, Youth for Christ, or seek out a good, Bible-believing church.
The tools below are meant to enrich your Christian learning. They are not an exhaustive list...be active in looking for other ways to learn.
There are many methods one can use to learn about how to be a follower of Christ. The items listed below should be considered a "minimum." This minimum is what is known as the Wheel Illustration, which was devised by Dawson Trotman, the founder of The Navigators. The center of the wheel is Christ, just as Christ should be the center of the Christian's life. Coming out from the center are the four spokes, essentials for a successful Christian life. The spokes are Prayer, Fellowship, The Word, and Witnessing. When the Christian has the four items balanced, his "Christian Wheel" will roll perfectly, demonstrating his Christian "walk" in action. Below is a separate explanation of each of the four spokes. The Navigators also produced a six cassette message set on The Wheel. You can listen to these messages below.
Regular intake of the Word, on a daily basis, is critical to a successful Christian walk. There are three critical programs that a young Christian needs to be involved in.
Daily Devotional -- The Christian should be meeting God in his Word daily. There are many excellent devotional programs available. Your local Christian bookstore has a plethora of devotional aids. If you want to have it delivered to your computer on a daily basis, we recommend the Navigators daily devotional email.
Scripture Memory -- Scripture memory should be a part of every Christian's life. I cannot state the importance of Scripture Memory enough...every Christian, without exception, should be memorizing Scripture. Hiding the Word of God in your heart is the best way to guard against sin and temptation, and it will make you a more effective witness. For more on this critical facet of the Christian life, click here.
Bible Study -- Be involved in a Bible study. New Christians need to be firmly planted in the word, and the best way to do this is through an introductory study. The best study for new Christians is the Design for Discipleship series. This six-booklet set is designed for the new Christian, and covers all the essentials. Others are available as well. Visit your local Christian bookstore for more.
We must speak to God daily in order to grow spiritually. How much time you
spend in prayer is up to you. The methods you use is also up to you, but we
suggest you use the A.C.T.S. method of prayer.
A - Adoration
T - Thanksgiving
S - Supplication
Prayer is not merely asking for what you want. We should praise God through our prayer (adoration), confess our sins to God, give thanks to God for what He has done in our lives, and finally, ask for specific prayer requests (supplication).
The best way to track your prayer life is to keep a journal. You can do this on paper, or even on your computer if you like.
Hal Lee Ministries - Computer-based Prayer Journal
It is essential that you be around other Christians. If you are not in a local church, seek one out. There are also para-church organizations, such as Campus Crusade for Christ, the Navigators, and others that also provide fellowship opportunities. Proverbs 27:17 says "Iron sharpens iron, so one man sharpens another." You have to be around other Christians in order to grow spiritually.
The fourth spoke of our wheel is Witnessing. All Christians, not just
pastors, should be active in trying to reach others with the Gospel. Start
by developing your testimony...a short five minute story of how you came to
Next, ensure that you are memorizing Scripture. Having verses that are essential to God's plan of salvation memorized will help you present the Gospel.
The best way to share the Gospel is through an illustration. Keep it simple. The best we have found is the Bridge Illustration, used by the Navigators. It can be shared with a pen and paper, or in a restaurant, on a napkin! Be sure you memorize the verses that go along with it.
Other illustrations can be used, such as the Romans Road, or the Four Spiritual Laws. Choose one that works best for you.
These classic Navigator messages from the 1970's and earlier have helped thousands in their walk with Christ. These messages are brought to you courtesy of DiscipleshipLibrary.com.
The Wheel Illustration is described above. This six cassette series was sold by the Navigators in 1980, but is no longer available. Click below to listen.
Rod Sargent, 38 minutes
Skip Gray, 48 minutes
George Sanchez, 49 minutes
Jerry Bridges, 40 minutes
Fred Funches, 31 minutes
Leroy Eims, 51 minutes
The Word Hand is an illustration used by the Navigators that demonstrates effective methods of learning from God's Word. This six cassette series was sold by the Navigators in the 1970s, but is no longer available. Click below to listen.
Dave Johnson, 53 minutes
Bob Lewis, 36 minutes
Ron Oertli, 45 minutes
Warren Myers, 31 minutes
Jack Mayhall, 39 minutes
Jim Downing, 53 minutes
Single messages, not marketed in a set.
Leroy Eims, 44 minutes
Leroy Eims, 29 minutes
Elven & Joyce Smith, 57 minutes
Dawson was the founder of the Navigators. Dawson became a Christian in the 1920s, and saw a great need to train up men with a firm foundation. He began by training military men in discipleship training, and branched out into college campuses and other avenues of ministry. He died in 1956, while saving another from drowning.
Today, the Navigators ministry exists in many countries around the globe, teaching people through discipleship programs in many nations. They are firmly rooted in the principle of II Timothy 2:2.
Dawson was famous for his rousing speeches, encouraging disciples to train others. His most famous speech, titled Born to Reproduce, tells how all Christians should seek spiritual reproduction. Another famous speech, Need of the Hour, is still relevant today more than 50 years after it was recorded. Please take the time to listen to them from the links below.
All Dawson Trotman Audio courtesy of DiscipleshipLibrary.com
Scripture Memory (51 Minutes)
Personal Testimony (51 Minutes)