Christmas Schedule: Christmas Eve Service at 5 PM. No Sunday Service on Dec. 26.

Discipleship

Sojourn Church Discipleship Framework

WHAT IS A MATURE DISCIPLE?

In the Great Commission, Jesus tells his disciples to “make disciples,” and His followers are still on that mission (Matthew 28:19). To make disciples, we need to know how one looks. The beatitudes (Mt 5:2-12), fruit of the Spirit (Gal 5:19-24), one who loves (1 Cor 13:1-7), and marks of a Christian (Rom 12:9-21) are all great summaries of a mature disciple. At Sojourn, we describe a mature disciple as one who has been significantly transformed by the gospel in their mind, heart, and actions, and who is continuing to be transformed. 
MIND
To love your spouse well, you need to know about him/her. You need to know their character, likes, dislikes, and significant life events. In the same way, to love God, we must know about Him. Furthermore, when we become followers of Jesus, we experience an identity change. A mature disciple knows who God is, what He has done, and their own identity in Christ. 

(Eph. 4:17-18; Col. 3:1-3; Rom. 12:2)
HEART
A mature disciple has been deeply transformed at a heart level. They grieve when they may have previously rejoiced and vice versa. They experience emotions like peace and joy even during suffering, due to the indwelling Spirit and trusting God’s character. Jesus taught his disciples not only what they should know and do, but he prioritized motives and affections as well. A mature disciple has transformed emotions, affections, desires, and motives.

(Mt. 6:1-6, 16-18, 25-34; Rom. 12:9-12; 15-16; Gal. 5:16-24; Col. 3:15-17; Eph. 4:18, 31-32)
ACTIONS
We are after gospel transformation, not behavior modification. External conformity to religious expectations is not the goal. However, transformed minds and hearts will lead to transformed actions.  In the Great Commission, Jesus included “teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you” (Mt 28:20). He said, “If you love me, you will obey my commandments.” The scriptures teach us to “flee,” “put off,” or “put to death,” some behaviors and to “walk in” or “pursue” others. Several of the apostles’ letters start with theology about who God is and who we are and then transition to how we should live in light of the truth. A mature disciple puts to death sinful actions and pursues God-honoring actions.

(Mt. 28:20; John 14:15; Rom. 12:9-21; Gal. 5:16-24; Eph. 4:25-5:21; Col. 3:5-14)
HOW DO WE MAKE DISCIPLES AT SOJOURN?
MISSION & CORE VALUES
We champion our mission and core values. We believe our mission is biblical and our core values are core biblical values. Therefore, the more our people know and adopt our mission and core values as their own, the more mature they will be as disciples. We can summarize our mission as gospel transformation, and our core values are gospel centrality, authentic community, missional intentionality, and sacrificial love.
SUNDAY GATHERINGS
We prioritize gathering together to encourage one another, hear God’s word preached, sing, read the scriptures, practice the Lord's supper and baptism, and give. Gathering together is an act of maturity and obedience in itself, and it also shapes and forms us.
CULTURE
Much of discipleship is more caught than taught. Being part of a healthy church culture helps people sense how spiritual maturity feels and see how it looks. Church cultures are based on shared attitudes, beliefs, customs, assumptions, behaviors, and written and unwritten rules that have been developed over time and create a unique environment. Simply stated, culture is “the way we do things around here.” We pay close attention to our church culture, seeking to affirm and celebrate what is healthy and address and correct what is not.
IMITATION/EXAMPLE
People grow by watching and imitating. The Apostle Paul tells the Corinthians, “Be imitators of me, as I am of Christ” (1 Cor. 11:1). To Timothy he writes, “You, however, have followed my teaching, my conduct, my aim in life, my faith, my patience, my love, my steadfastness, my persecutions and sufferings…” (2 Tim. 3:10-11). The Apostle Peter teaches elders to shepherd by “being examples to the flock” (1 Pt. 5:3). So, we strive to appoint mature pastors worthy of imitation. However, imitation is not limited to pastors. In all our environments, we desire that people grow as they observe others living out the gospel.
COMMUNITY GROUPS
Authentic community as one of our core values. We are not meant to live life alone. Community groups are a means to the end of authentic community. A community group at Sojourn is any group that meets regularly with the hopes of growing in relationship with each other and with God. Click here for more info on community groups. 
EQUIP WORKSHOPS (2-3 times per year)
At Equip, we seek to address our minds, hearts, and actions. As we teach on topics like evangelism, prayer, counseling, gospel fluency, and studying the bible, our aim is to teach a mindset and give practical “how to” tools. A healthy mindset without a good toolset often leads to becoming a disillusioned learner, while a good toolset without a healthy mindset often leads to legalism.
ENCOUNTER PRAYER GATHERINGS (every other month)
The main purposes of this gathering are to learn about prayer and spiritual gifts and make space for praying together, musical worship, and practicing spiritual gifts for the building up of the church. We also take corporate communion during this gathering.
PASTORAL COUNSELING & AVAILABILITY
Our pastors seek to be available and approachable, and they regularly meet with members for counseling and care. We encourage members to utilize pastoral counseling as they desire or need it. Our pastors have a system of continuing education, with one of the emphasises being continual growth in counseling ability.  Please reach out anytime by emailing pastors@SojournChurch.net
LIFE-ON-LIFE DISCIPLESHIP OR MENTORSHIP
Timothy looked to the Apostle Paul for mentorship, and Paul intentionally poured into Timothy. Through community groups, serving in ministries together, and other church rhythms, we hope for, pray for, and encourage mentoring relationships to form at Sojourn.
SERVICE & MINISTRY OPPORTUNITIES
Serving, doing ministry, and using spiritual gifts are crucial to spiritual growth. We seek to intentionally create opportunities for service in our ministries, and we have local partnerships with Caring Solutions, ABBA House, and Out of Darkness. We encourage people to connect with and serve in our ministries and these organizations. We’ve also partnered with several Acts 29 churches in Colombia. We plan to begin taking regular trips to Colombia, and we have Colombian church leaders visit us for mutual service, mutual benefit, and true partnership. Click here for information on service opportunities. 
LEADERSHIP DEVELOPMENT STRATEGY
Leadership development and discipleship are not synonymous, but they are also not completely separate. One way we make disciples is to seek to develop healthy and effective leaders. A document called Leadership Development Framework will be posted soon to share our strategy for leadership development. 
SPECIFIC MINISTRIES
From time to time, we launch specific ministries to meet a specific discipleship need or to pursue a specific opportunity. For example, in 2020 we launched a financial coaching ministry with the vision of “financial freedom for gospel purposes.” We also have a Children's Ministry, Youth Ministry, Women's Events Ministry, and Men's Events Ministry. If you have a dream for a new ministry and desire to get it off the ground, let a pastor know or email us at pastors@sojournchurch.net.