REPORTS FROM OTHER PASTORS
I have used your manual in Barrington for the past five years and the results have been extremely positive. Some of the people that I have discipled are teaching in various ministries in the church, others are working in different ministries. At present I am working with four people who will be discipling four others and hopefully become discipleship leaders.
My work in Tanzania started in 2001 when I went to build a children's orphanage. While working on the orphanage, I was asked by local pastors if I would teach them some basics on pastoring. The first conference was held in 2003 and we have been teaching and growing since. This year I was asked if I would teach on discipleship and I was able to hold six sessions, which left the pastors asking for your book so they could use it to grow their churches.
I would like to share one session with you. I felt the Lord leading to present the section on the baptism of the Holy Spirit and I briefly covered the information. I asked if any one would like to receive the baptism or a fresh anointing and everyone in the hall (approximately 700 people) stood to their feet and began to cry out to God.
I feel that the THRIVE manual is an essential for anyone who is building a ministry or would like to strengthen their existing church.
Pastor John Sorice - Barrington NH
P.S. I also travel to Scotland were a few churches support my work and the pastor at the Fire Assembly of God has requested the THRIVE manual and should be contacting you shortly.
The first to complete discipling is a sixty-five year old man who had not been in church his entire adult life. Today he is a very faithful part of our congregation, is involved in the usher ministry, and has begun to disciple others.
One of those who is still completing the class is a young mother who was recently saved and is growing in her understanding of the Word and how to apply it to her life.
The last one to enter the class is a young man who was saved three weeks ago. He comes from a very difficult background and is very eager to learn more about the things of the Lord.
The THRIVE Handbook for New Christians has been an excellent tool to help us establish new believers in their walk with Christ. It not only guides the participant into their own personal Bible study, but also helps the discipler and disciplee to intereact with each other. The opportunity to build relationships with others through using this workbook has been the most rewarding of all. At Crossway Church, many people who have been discipled are now discipling others.
Gary Fishman, whom I personally discipled one-on-one, is now discipling others - and heads up the outreach ministries for our church. With Gary and with others, these lessons helped create the desire to share their faith with others. This has been a key to the lessons.
George Martinez, who was holding seances and involved in the occult, gave his heart to the Lord. After he was discipled with the THRIVE manual, today he is our youth minister and is discipling other young people in classroom settings, along with homework assignments. They in turn have begun to share their faith with others.
We have used the lessons in small group settings with up to 7 people, with follow-up phone calls and personal interaction for those who need more input on homework assignments. But most of all, we have been able to use it on a one-to-one basis, where people who have been trained were assigned to others who wanted to go through the Bible study lessons after their conversion.
Pastor Mark Gregori, Crossway Christian Center, Bronx