In 2009, we felt the call to embark on a practical, real-world school of ministry and discipleship. Starting with 5 students, most of whom were our staff, we felt God begin to take us deeper into the Word, servanthood, and discipleship. Over the last couple years we have done some trial and error runs with the structure, seeing what bears fruit and what does not. We have since landed on a blueprint that implements the right balance of design and simultaneous flexibility to the Holy Spirit.
For us, it seems that learning “on the job” has been a potent tool in the practicalities of ministering to people. When people are indeed the most important part of the “business” of ministry, spending a lot of time on the highways and bi-ways instills an accelerated learning process. We take the “students” who often are a part of the ministry already or are working towards it, and then give them the fastest track possible within our patented 3-phase approach.
1) FOUNDATIONS: Most brand-new folks coming into the Tribe of Judah or just getting saved, enter into the Foundations phase to learn the basics of devotion, prayer, fundamental doctrines, and primers on Christian living. We also refer to this as “New Believers” phase. We usual allow people to stay in this phase for an indefinite amount of time as life issues are being worked through and the Lord heals.
2) SERVANTHOOD: This phase is pretty self-explanatory. After teaching and applying basic Christian principles and growth ensues, we seek to call the willing students into a deeper walk of servanthood. This phase is laden with thick discipleship on how to become an efficient part of the Body, how to acertain spiritual gifts and how to use them, how to cultivate a lifestyle of worship, how to respond to authority, and much more. There is a stricter standard as well along the avenues of accountability and mentorship.
3) AMBASSADORS: Phase 3 is one of true grit. As a student arrives in this phase, expectations for them are much higher than at the beginning, As Phase 2 is probably the hardest and longest of the phases, Phase 3 is virtually open-ended. One word to describe a student in this phase would be “bondservant.” Another word would be SOLD OUT. After learning and walking and worshiping and serving, we seek the end “product” of this time in the Tribe of Judah School to result in a full-orbed minister of the Gospel of Christ, able to work into one or more of the many visions and ministries that the Tribe and our parent church Calvary Chapel have.
A note must be made, at this point, to say that this school is very “different.” We are not trying to get accredited or get people finished in two years like we had thought originally. The point is to fashion disciples and servants who never stop learning, serving, leading or worshiping God. This school ends wherever you want, but hopefully “never” in its fullest scope. The main idea is that Christianity is NOT something you DO, it is something you ARE–seven days a week, for the rest of your life.
As the Tribe of Judah School of Discipleship continues to morph and grow, we have offered these exciting classes and will offer these and more in the future semesters:
Genesis–Minor Prophets–Life of Peter–Enter the Worship Circle–The Tabernacle–Spiritual Gifts–Eschatology–Church History 101–John’s Epistles–Life of Paul/Paul’s Letters–Old Testament Worship Models–Discovering Hebrew Roots–The Feasts of Israel–Nehemiah–Romans–The Seven Letters of Revelation–Inductive Bible Study–The Gospel of Mark, Intro to Teaching a Bible Study–Evangelism–Joshua–and much more.