Open Door Equipping Center
Discipleship or learning occurs in many ways. Certainly, God plays the major role in making disciples. He works in the hearts of each of us to draw us into a closer, more vibrant relationship with Him. He loves us, convicts us, encourages us, and much more because He desires to finish the work He began in us with our salvation.
God most often uses others to disciple us. Through the church, He uses corporate worship, the preaching and teaching of His Word, Bible Fellowship classes, books, and resources to help us grow in truth. However, these alone, generally, do not produce the type of disciple that Jesus described in the above verses. This is probably due to the fact that there is little accountability for learning in a large group environment, in Bible Fellowship, or in our own personal reading. Truth taught in the context of loving and accountable relationships often is necessary for real life-changing learning to take place. The Lord uses small group Bible studies, prayer groups, and accountability groups to grow us. When we follow the example of Jesus, we discover that the Lord uses mentors in a small group setting to grow us as disciples.
Discipleship is not all due to God’s role in our lives or the impact that others can make on us. God also expects us to fully cooperate with what He wants to do in our lives. Much of it is up to us. We are encouraged to follow the example of the Apostle Paul who wrote, “I press on in order that I may lay hold of that for which also I was laid hold of by Christ Jesus.”
Since a disciple is a learner and we never come to know everything, then we can conclude that every believer has opportunities to grow to be more like Christ. We all have a “next step” that we can take to continue to change.
Discipleship includes four categories of growth. We must grow with our:
- Hearts—KNOW (Passion—deep love of God, His Word, others, and the lost)
- Heads—GROW (Intellect—biblical knowledge)
- Hands—SHOW (Behavior—serving and discipling others)
- Feet—GO (Actions—sharing the gospel)
Open Door Equipping Center offers opportunities for growth in theses categories. Classes (lecture-based) and groups (2-12 in size and interactive) are available to expand the intellectual part of our discipleship. Groups (on-going and seasonal) are also available to change our hearts and make us emotionally and relationally healthy. The result of growth will always affect our “hands” through serving others in the church and our “feet” by going into our community and sharing the gospel with the lost.
The purpose of Open Door Equipping Center (ODEC) is to enable all of our members to grow as a disciple and learner of Jesus Christ. Salvation is the glorious beginning of what God wants for His people, not the conclusion. Jesus taught that God wants all of His children to grow more and more to become like Him.
A disciple, according to the Bible…
- intimately knows and submits to Christ, prays often to God, and is very fruitful in ministry (John 15:1-10).
- loves Christ much more than anyone or anything else (Luke 14:26-27, 33).
- denies himself and takes up his cross daily (Luke 9:23).
- after he is fully trained, will be like his teacher, Jesus (Luke 6:40).
- regularly shares the gospel with others (Matthew 4:19).
- deeply loves others (John 13:34-35).
- loves and learns God’s Word (John 8:31-32).
- obeys God (John 14:21).
- sacrificially serves others (Mark 10:42-45).
- gives generously (Luke 6:38).
Whenever people begin to attend a college or university, they are given direction as to which classes they should take. There are “core” classes that every student must take because they are foundational for all career disciplines. Then, there are other classes they complete that have to do with their primary field of study or discipline. Likewise, there are many wonderful classes and groups that are offered each trimester in ODEC. Since there are so many classes, we attempt to direct our people to start with “core” classes or groups that every disciple of Christ should take. It is our desire that all of our people (new converts to mature believers) systematically work through these classes and groups. These classes are also a great place for someone who has never taken an ODEC class to start.
Many of these recommended “core” classes will be taught by a pastor or ministry leader and will be offered periodically throughout the year of ODEC.
To view a list of current classes, view our course listings.
|Old Testament Survey||Foundation||Terry Macauley||13||Fall|
|New Testament Survey||Foundation||Dr. Bob Fisher||13||Winter|
|Theological Survey||Foundation||Steve DiFiore||13||Spring|
|Teacher Training||Ministry Training||Pastor Jonathan Stansel||13||Varies|
|“Reducing the Risk” Training||Ministry Training||Pastor Jonathan Stansel||1||Varies|