It’s often been said that the longest journey still begins with one step. Belonging at First Family means developing the heart and spirit of a fully devoted disciple of Jesus Christ. This inward conviction is expressed outwardly through believer’s baptism and church membership.
The next step in becoming a fully devoted disciple of Jesus Christ is to connect in community. Whether you are a 1st Grader, a Middle- or High School Student, or an adult, there are small groups for every age. Connecting in community is the next step in your journey of discipleship.
Studying and learning Scripture is hard work, but living the truth of Scripture, is the work of the Holy Spirit. Growing as a devoted disciple of Jesus Christ is an indescribable partnership between our own self-discipline and self-determination and the supernatural indwelling of the Holy Spirit.
Just as the Holy Spirit is at work in us to affect our own spiritual growth, He is also working through us to help equip the church for service. Every Christian has this same commission. Paul instructed his disciple, Timothy: “the things that you have heard from me among many witnesses, commit these to faithful men who will be able to teach others also” (2 Timothy 2:2).
The mission of the leadership within a local church is outlined by Paul in Ephesians 4:11: “And He Himself gave some to be apostles, some prophets, some evangelists, and some pastors and teachers, for the equipping of the saints for the work of ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ.” A disciple-making church consists of servant-leaders equipping the saints for the work of the ministry.
The pursuing true discipleship impacts every area of our ministry. From birth to senior adults, we want to teach and model what it means to be a disciple of Jesus Christ. We have identified 30 different characteristics of godly men, women, and children that are deeply rooted in a biblical description of a disciple. These characteristics are divided into three areas–Core Beliefs (doctrine), Core Practices (lifestyle), and Core Virtues (spiritual fruit). You can learn more about each of these areas below.
Through the teaching and equipping ministries of FFC, we seek to help prepare you as an individual, as a family, as a servant of Jesus Christ, and ultimately as a church to fulfill the Great Commandment and the Great Commission, which we believe is summarized by the word discipleship.
Don’t expect to fulfill your quest to become a true disciple of Jesus Christ in a day, a month, or even a year. Discipleship is a life-long journey that will carry you into your old age. Regardless of how old you are, you will always be growing and maturing in your Christian walk until you enter into God’s eternal rest.
The Bible clearly describes the type of biblical community we desire here at First Family in the second chapter of Acts. Biblical community is rooted in small groups and in large group worship. Through your small group, the weekend worship, and your own individual quiet time, you will see spiritual growth and fruit. Discipleship cannot be accomplished in isolation.
Spiritual growth is not the result of a program. Sermons, classes, books, and other teaching materials will help in the process, but true spiritual growth is only accomplished when the Holy Spirit works in coordination with God’s Word to produce fruit. While it is important to be disciplined and to study, your goal must be spiritual transformation, not simply the acquisition of knowledge or information.
Below are the overarching life objectives of a disciple. We believe each of these is a descriptive component of what we would call a godly man or woman. Each of the Core Beliefs, Core Practices, and Core Virtues contribute to these objectives.