Review of the Disciple course

Martin KempMartin Kemp is from Rossendale, he is a no-nonsense man who says his faith has been transformed by jounreying with Disciple

Is Disciple user friendly?

Overall the whole Disciple package is well put together. The workbook is well balanced and provides plenty of opportunity for personal reflection and research. It does however require some discipline as some days the amount of reading is significant. I found that putting aside about an hour a day usually enabled me to keep pace with the programme and have sufficient time to catch up if I missed a day.

The weekly group sessions are what really ignites Disciple and as the week's roll by it is clear that the process breaks down any early reticence to say what you are thinking. We had fun and enjoyed contextualizing many issues along the way. The 10 minute DVD slot is a useful summary of the week's study material delivered often by some very American accents. Our evening sessions usually lasted about 2.5 hours by which time the group was talked out! It is good material but does require a commitment from the aspiring disciple.

 

Faith into real life?

Ideally you do need some background knowledge of the Bible but Disciple helps pull everything you may have known into some form of logical pattern. There were numerous occasions where we could draw parallels between life then and life today. That said the historical context was constantly reinforced and explained by both our group leaders and the DVD input. There are challenges on both a personal and church level. I found myself reflecting on my behaviour and beliefs pretty much on a daily basis and sharing that with the group, in confidence, was a valuable learning experience.

So the process is quite demanding but very rewarding - you do become much more God aware in your daily round. The phrase "mind the gap" pops into my mind regularly, serving to remind me that sometimes it's the seemingly small things that can make a huge difference. I now feel far more able to share my faith in everyday settings and this alone tends to open up surprising discussions.

    

Value for Money?

The real cost is not financial it is in the time you are prepared to give to Disciple. Most of us in this country could afford the £22 course fee and for 32 weeks it's a bargain! The value for me comes in the rebalancing of my daily priorities to ensure I include a spiritual dimension, when so often over the years it has been missing. Disciple makes you reflect, respond and renew your relationship with God in a contemporary and enjoyable way. Looking back I would view Disciple as more of an investment than a cost.

What is it they say about investments - you should always reinvest the dividends and so it is with Disciple.

 

Has Disciple changed you in any way?

I'd like to think so but you are often the worst judge of yourself. Certainly, I know more than I did about the Bible, I share more than I did about my faith, I do more than I did for no material gain, I feel closer to God…… and so on. However, I don't pray nearly enough, I still mess up but I now recognize that I am "work in progress" as far as God is concerned and I know he will keep his part of the deal! 

Find out more about Disciple here

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