A Discipleship Pathway
"Abide" is one of those old-timey King James words we don’t use in 2022 much at all.
And yet it's hard to think of another word that encapsulates so much. It speaks to the intimacy, the relationship, the empowering and fellowship that Jesus invites us into
“Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in me”
It’s being vitally connected to Jesus and He uses the branch and the vine as a metaphor. The literal life and abundance and relationship is when the branch is connected to the vine.
What is this ABIDE mentoring group experience?
So many devotions and discipleship programs are little more than information transfer; they teach the WHAT but not the HOW
In this 12-week group experience, you can actually learn the HOW
- HOW to hear from God
- HOW to grow in character & spiritual maturity
- HOW to abide in Christ
- HOW to be set free from the things that hold us back
Be warned though… this is not a passive discipleship experience where one can be half-engaged.
It requires a commitment of a daily reading (only a page long, but still…), scripture passages, spiritual “practicums” which may include things like journal entries, AND a weekly group debrief.
Q: Is it for the newbie-Christian or veteran Christian?
For example, even as an “old-timer” disciple and Pastor, I (Jonathan) had never really been taught the practices of how to actually HEAR from God (among other things).
I can’t help but think how formative that would have been at the beginning of my spiritual journey.
This will kick-start OR re-invigorate your spiritual growth journey.
Q: What do I need?
A Bible, a pen and journal, some dedicated time, and the materials we provide (if like many people, you would like a hard copy version as opposed to our digital pdf and app, these are available for 15$)
The ABIDE mentoring experience has a remarkable backstory.
Several years ago I (Jonathan) was made aware of a church in Steinbach Manitoba, led by Pastor Ray Duerksen that was experiencing what could only be described as revival.
It had grown from 150 to 4500 and not through any flashy means
It seemed to be through effective prayer and a discipleship pathway… a way of showing others how to ABIDE.
Along with that came things like the Hearing God Seminar and Set Free (Spiritual freedom encounters).
Pretty soon churches were knocking on their door trying to figure out what the “special sauce” was. They may have even been disappointed when they learned it wasn’t anything particularly innovative or new and certainly nothing that was a quick fix. You had to be in it for the long haul.
To change the culture of your church.
To create a critical mass of people who want to abide, hear God’s voice, practice submission to the Lord, and experience God authentically and powerfully.
Well, soon churches started adopting some of these practices… which aren’t new… they are old. Jeremiah calls them the "ancient paths."
Pastor Ray and Southland started mentoring other pastors over zoom and those pastors started mentoring pastors and this “movement’ that they’ve called CHURCH RENEWAL is all over Canada and the world.
In fact, every week over 1500 church leaders in 47 different countries meet together online to be mentored, not including the tens of thousands of congregation members across the world who have participated in Abide and the other seminars.
I’m currently in year 3 meeting with Pastors online who are coast to coast.
I have led our staff through a 12-week commitment called ABIDE
I have led our elders through this same commitment.
This is the process that CHURCH RENEWAL asks us to do.
Since then, behind the scenes, some of the staff led their small group through it. Some of our elders led THEIR small group through it.
Next year, Lord willing, there will be the next step in our discipleship pathway called "GROW CHARACTER" which requires the completion of ABIDE as a pre-requisite.