Discipleship

At FBCE we believe the goal of the Christian life is spiritual transformation. 2 Corinthians 3:18 says we "are being transformed into the same image" (that of Jesus) "from glory to glory." This transformation, known as sanctification, takes place as we learn to interact with the Word of God. In John 17 Jesus prayed for his disciples. He stated that he had "given them Your Word" and then he prayed, "Sanctify them by the truth; Your Word is truth." That means the Word of God is crucial to our spiritual transformation process. As we study the NT we find that Jesus model for ministry was to Teach the Word to the crowds, explain it to his disciples, and then share deeply with the inner three (Peter, James, & John). With this in mind we have arrived at the following foundation belief:


Transformation happens through the Word of God (and is meant to happen) in community.

Our Discipleship process

As stated above, we believe transformation happens through the Word of God in community with other believers! With that in mind, we've structured everything we do to aid believers in this process. Think of it like an upside down pyramid with the bottom representing the deepest level of growth. Community is involved in each aspect and relationships get deeper in each step, however the number of people shrinks. For example: When we attend a worship service we do so with 100+ other people. We share in a surface level of community as we sing together and greet one another, but nothing ever gets too deep. As we take the next step and get involved in Bible study the numbers change and so does the depth of relationships. A bible study at FBCE could be a group of 10 or a group of 30. As we meet in these smaller groups we learn and discuss the Bible around tables and get to know one another on a deeper level than we can in a worship service.  This is where we begin to make friends and find people to do life with. The deepest level of transformation and growth comes through personal bible study and accountability. This involves personally studying, thinking about and discussing the Bible and life with a very small (3-5 people) group of believer that you know and trust.

Worship

Worship changes us! In the Old Testament God tells his children to worship Him alone, and He warns that those who worship idols become like them (Ps. 115:8). The principle is simple - We become like the things we worship! At FBCE we want all people to embrace the Bible's call to worship God in Spirit and in Truth (Jn. 4:24). We do that by making church attendance a priority (Heb. 10:24-25) and actively participating in the service.  So what does that look like?

1. Come regularly

2. Sing (It's ok if your not a great vocalist, the Bible tells us to make a joyful noise!)

3. Take notes (Active listening involves taking notes - we offer printed and digital interactive notes)

4. Talk about it (It's important to process and discuss what we learn about the Bible with others. FBCE includes discussion question as a part of our digital notes. Talk about them with your family at lunch or with someone you meet in service!)

Bible Study

Learning the Word of God is key to our spiritual growth and transformation. 2 Tim. 3:16-17 tells us that the Bible is helpful in teaching us about God (doctrine), in testing us and convicting us of sin, in restoring us, in training us and cultivating our soul, and teaching us what is acceptable and right according to God. For us to be transformed by the Word of God at this level we must move beyond large group teaching (worship) and start to dig into the Bible and have it explained in a smaller group format. At FBCE we have Bible study available for all ages at 6:30 pm on Wednesday nights (during the school year) and on Sunday mornings at 10 am.


Wednesday nights: We offer Bible studies for Kids, Youth, Men, & Women.

Sunday morning: We offer Bible studies for Kids, Youth, Empty Nester's (Men, Women, & Couples classes meet downstairs),  & a class for Parents with kids in the home (meets in the Upper Room).

Personal Bible Study

Personal commitment to studying, thinking about, and responding to the Word of God (Jos. 1:9) leads to deep spiritual growth! We believe this so much at FBCE that we put together a church-wide Bible reading plan every year. Our desire is that you will read 1 chapter a day, 5 days a week. As you read, we hope that you will take the time to work through one of our recommended Bible study methods (H.E.A.R., O.I.A., or S.P.E.C.K). Because deep growth is our goal, Scripture encourages us to invite a small group of people into our lives for encouragement and accountability. Gal. 6:2 (Carry one another's burdens), James 5:16 (Confess your sins to one another), and Prov. 27:17 (Iron sharpens iron as one man sharpens another) all carry with them the idea of a small intimate group. We refer to these small, accountability based groups as [d]Groups (a trusted group of 3-5 people of the same gender that meet weekly to discuss what God is teaching them through their daily Bible readings and personal devotion).

[d]Group FAQ's

How do I find a [d]Group?

If you would like to be in a [d]Group, consider asking 3 to 5 other people to join you. Anyone can facilitate a [d]Group. Often [d]groups form out of Life/Small Groups, Bible studies, or other organic relationships in the church.


How often do [d]Groups meet?

[d]Groups meet weekly for about an hour to an hour and a half. It is important to meet consistently. Meeting weekly builds accountability into your group. If someone shows up without reading or doing their H.E.A.R. Journal (or other Bible Study method) and everyone else has, they will miss out on opportunities for growth.


What size should a [d]Group be?

[d]Groups should be 3 to 5 people of the same gender. If there are just 2 people, it is easy for one person to dominate the conversation. When you have 3 to 5, if someone has to miss a session, you still have enough people to meet and have good discussion. Groups larger than 5 will find it difficult to fit everything in to the time constraint and some participants may be hesitant to share in a group this size or find it difficult “to get a word in.”


Where do [d]Groups meet?

[d]Groups can meet anywhere: restaurants, coffee shops, offices, homes, parks, etc. Really anywhere you can sit and talk. We encourage [d]groups to meet in a place that is convenient for them.


What if I’m having trouble finding or creating a [d]Group?

We realize in a church our size that it is hard for some people to get connected. If you need help finding or creating a [d]Group we are happy to try and point you in the right direction. Just contact us at office@fbcelgin.org.


What if i don't have a journal?

Couldn't get a journal, or just need more pages to write on? Here's a printable copy of our H.E.A.R. journal pages: HEAR_blank_pages.pdf

Don't love the H.E.A.R. Bible study method. Try one of these instead.


How to Facilitate a D-Group:

Wondering what a D-Group is supposed to look like? Here's a helpful outline with all the info you need for facilitating a D-Group: D-Groups_outline.pdf

D-Group Accountability Questions: Accountability_Questions.pdf

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