Re:Train Final Project Proposal

Today I submitted this as my final project proposal for the graduate-level degree program I am going through at The Resurgence Training Center.  I'd love any input or feedback you'd like to give.  Of course if you already know of something like this then please let me know.  I don't want to recreate the wheel.  Let me know your thoughts!

Thesis:  As it is a call of mine to lead the local church in training and equipping men to train and equip men, my project will be a tool designed to facilitate the training and development of potential elders in the church.  

Paragraph Summary:  

My project will focus on developing a tool for training and discipling men in our church to be elders. The tool will seek to help men in four particular areas; who they are as a man of God, who they are as a man in the home; who they are as men in the church and who they are as men in the world. Each section will deal with the Biblical qualifications for eldership in that area, flesh out the gospel identities for the man and provide assessment and practice for the man in relationship to the specific area. A coaching component will also be included to create an external level of assessment and discipleship for the man in process to be an elder.  The tool will address the intellectual life, source beliefs and attitudes as well as practice and behavior.  




My Identity



My name is Jeremy.  If you and I were meeting for the first time you would expect this next sentence to contain a list of things that make me "me".  Usually this would include information about my job, my hobbies, maybe my family and kids, mostly it would declare what I love most.  Yet, unlike most identifying statements that you would find in an introductory meeting I have to tell you that I am not defined by those things.  My identity does not come from my:

  • job
  • marital status
  • income
  • hobbies
  • achievements
  • education
  • associations
  • kids

My identity is not wrapped up in what I put in my resumé. 

I have to declare, for the sake of my head and heart, that my identity is none of those things.  My identity is elsewhere.  It is true.  My identity is found in how Jesus defines me.  His Word uses terms like "beloved", "adopted", "justified", "brother", "friend", "forgiven", "accepted".  The gospel brings to bear some amazing things on my life.  God the Father looks at me in love and declares me to be His own. 

What is the basis of this?  It's not me to be sure.  In fact Jesus' Word tells me that I was once an enemy, a child of wrath, at enmity with God.  I hated God.  That doesn't sound anything like a beloved, justified son.  Yet the Son of God took on my shame, became my curse, died my death so that I could be identified and declared to be righteous.  He transferred me from death to life.  So who I am isn't wrapped up in what I do or do not do, my success or failures, my wealth or poverty.  My identity is wrapped up and kept in Jesus. 

No matter what happens in my life, today or this year or until the day, I die I will be defined by Jesus and who I am declared to be in Him.

I hope that helps you understand who I am a little better.  And for the sake of our introductory conversation, what is true of my identity can be true of yours as well.  Lay hold of Jesus, rest and trust in Him to give you a new identity in Him and not in your resumé.  Do you really want your degree posted on your tombstone?  I want mine to read "Beloved Child of God, Loved Much, Forgiven Much."  That is where my identity lies. 

Re:Thinking Discipleship

As many of you know I am in Seattle this week working on a graduate program with The Resurgence Training Center (Re:Train).  Each month for the next year I will be traveling to Seattle to take a different course through Re:Train with the outcome being a Masters of Missional Leadership degree.  

This weeks course is entitled "Leader as Disciple" and is taught by one of the Mars Hill campus pastors, Bill Clem.  After two days of class we have begun to plow through the question, "what is a disciple?"

In many ways it has been a great question to ask because it not only relates to my own personal life as a follower of Jesus and how that plays out, but it also gets right at the core of how churches engage in the mission of "making disciples of all nations" (Matthew 28:18-20).

I won't play out my thoughts on this question here in this post other than to say much of my "disciple-making method" is under assessment.  Pray for me as I marinate on two days worth of teaching/thinking/observing and learning.