The Disciple Newsletter
A Newsletter for the Serious Religious Christian
By H. Bruce Stokes, Ph.D.
Ministry Purposes of the DiscipleCenter
The DiscipleCenter as a congregation and community of faith has four distinct purposes. They are:
House of Prayer – The DiscipleCenter congregation gathers at a facility each week as a place of prayer and worship. The facility is patterned after a traditional synagogue with Biblical symbols representing the Torah and the Gospel. The worship style is liturgically based, borrowing from Judaism and Christian traditions, and follows a pattern that represents the Tabernacle structure found in the book of Exodus. This includes the Call to Worship as an entering of the gates of the Lord. The second section involves the Presentation of Ourselves and our vows and offerings to God. This is representative of the Courtyard and Alter. The third section of the service remembers the Holy Place as represented by a time of communal and individual prayer and thanksgiving. The Presence of God is symbolized in the synagogue style Ark and Eternal Flame. The final portion of the service is a teaching time that addresses the Biblical revelation and its application to obedience to God. In addition, the DiscipleCenter observes a liturgy form of the Biblical Holidays in both Torah and New Testament expressions.
House of Teaching – The DiscipleCenter uses its services to teach discipleship to believers. In addition, the midweek question and answer sessions provide an opportunity to frankly discuss the implications of Biblical Truth to everyday life and relationships. Discipleship materials, seminars and web site distribution brings the teaching ministry of the DiscipleCenter to believers and seekers who are not part of the DiscipleCenter congregation.
House of Fellowship – An important part of the DiscipleCenter ministry is the life to life relationships developed by the interaction of the congregation individuals, families and friends. Each week after worship, the members of the DiscipleCenter eat and fellowship at a local restaurant or home of one of the members. This is a time to catch up with each other and participate in each other's lives. It is a time to reinforce relationships so that we are able to do the Biblical "one-anotherings". In addition, members have access to a web site that allows them to communicate and contact one or all of the members with prayer requests, concerns, and activities.
House of Judgement – The DiscipleCenter is more than a fellowship; it is a community. Members belong to one another and have responsibility toward each other. This is more than a typical church where membership is mostly utilitarian. The congregation is extended family and involves respect and accountability as part of the family group. Members have the benefit of belonging and being aided by the other members of the congregation. They also have the responsibility to assist, confront, and correct and comfort each other. This necessitates that the members know each other well, and that they trust each other well enough to participate in their discipleship maturity. When disputes arise, members defer to the group to assist in settling the issue according to Biblical values.
The DiscipleCenter is neither exclusive nor public. It is a relational community of believers who are as private as a family and home but are open to friends and extended family who share our faith and struggle under the Lordship of Jesus.