One Year Discipleship Program.
The Founder of GFA World (Formerly: Gospel for Asia) and Metropolitan of Believers Eastern Church invites young Christians aged 18-27 to spend a year of monastic-inspired life marked by rhythms of prayer, sacrifice and service, within a community devoted to “Serving God & Humanity.”
A year in our Discipleship Program will teach you to live an ordered, Christ-centred life through spiritually formational practices giving you a firm foundation in your faith to live your life purposefully for the glory of God.
What will my year be like?
Tough and Transforming! Two words that describe what you can expect from this experience.
This is an opportunity to come away for a time and learn what it means to take up your cross daily and follow Jesus. A great saint once said that to follow Jesus means “to imitate the pattern of His life”.
You can expect your year to be tough, because dying to self and carrying crosses are always difficult. But you can also expect it to be life transforming as you learn to imitate the pattern of Jesus’ life, little by little, step by step, walking with others who have the same goal.
There's no going back after this radical transformation in your life through this intense year of discipleship.
Latest from the Students
April 9, 2019
Giving up may sound like a negative phrase, and it often can be. But when it comes to the season of Lent, giving up is one of the best things we can do.
Growing up, I was always used to people around me “giving up” something for the Lenten season. I never understood why, I just assumed that we became more spiritual by not eating chocolate, drinking coffee, etc.
Through what I have been learning in the Discipleship Program, and in seeing the lives of GFA staff, I have been realizing that there is more to Lent than this. I don’t want to participate and enter into Lent because someone told me to, or to look better than those around me. Rather, I do this because of my love for my Saviour. If there is anything hindering me in my walk with the Lord, or something that is not aiding me, I need to remove that from my life and replace it with a new practice that will draw me closer to Him. Lent is a time of mourning and repentance that helps me to remember my sin, the suffering and death that Christ went through to free me of it, and what it looks like to live in the power of the Holy Spirit. As I prepare my heart for Easter, for the great celebration of Christ’s resurrection; like He did, I first go through the pain and the suffering before the victory.
In Lent this year, I feel the Lord is really teaching me about my sin, specifically being judgmental of others. In the past, I have been very quick to quickly gloss over it or justify it, and to remind myself that Jesus has covered it all, and so I don’t need to think about it. It is most certainly true that Jesus’ blood has paid for my sin in full. But to live the free and victorious life that Christ has bought for me, I need to identify and confront the sin in my life, and in the power of Holy Spirit conquer and defeat it. This is somewhat like weeding a garden. The longer I leave sin in my life, the deeper it grows and the harder it is to pull it out by the roots. If I simply gloss over my sin and remove the visible signs, but leave the roots intact, it will quickly grow back, as I was often reminded by my mother when working pulling weeds in the garden. I also will not be able to pull out the weeds if I do not look carefully and identify them among the plants in the garden of my heart.
Each year I look forward to Lent and don’t at the same time. For me, going through Lent is a painful journey. It hurts to look at all the ugliness that remains in my life, and how often I do not surrender to Jesus. But it is a beautiful road too. It may not be easy to fast, to spend extended time in prayer, and to root out sin, but in the end, it is so, so worth it. I love to walk with my Saviour, to get to know Him more and more.
October 9, 2018
About two weeks ago, I was jumping on a trampoline with my younger brother, when I suddenly came down on my foot in the wrong way. My ankle sent a signal to my brain saying, “Ouch!” And I thought, “Oh dear… That can’t be good!” I limped away to sit down and examine the injury, discovering that I had quite badly sprained my ankle. My brother said it looked like I swallowed a potato and it went right by my stomach and all the way down to my ankle! I got it properly treated and some crutches to enable me to hobble around. As I struggled into my bed that night, I groaned thinking about this lasting bother.
As soon as my ankle was diagnosed I foresaw the problems it would cause and was not happy about it. I spent some time complaining to God, asking Him why He would allow it. There was a dull ache constantly distracting me for days, and the bother of having to put ice on it and keep it raised was a nuisance. The hardest thing for me to accept was that I knew, because I couldn’t walk, I would be left out of activities, and unable to work like I normally do. Being a very active person I like to do things and be involved. The problem is that you can’t really go much anywhere with only one good foot. I felt trapped and miserable, but I knew that this response to my dilemma was not pleasing to God.
It is quite interesting how sometimes physical crises can teach us moral lessons. Me spraining my ankle taught me a few.
The book we were studying while my ankle was healing was "Calvary Road" by Roy Hession. Through this book, we learned about revival and brokenness. These two things seem quite different from each other. One we like the sound of, and the other appears painful, but the two go hand in hand. Revival is often thought of as a time when great numbers of people come to Christ, but really it is when believers are refilled with the Holy Spirit. The root words are “re” and “vivere” which mean “again” and “to live.” So, the meaning is to make alive again. You could almost say that it is like spiritual CPR. Revival sounds great and all but the only way we can experience it is by first being broken. This does not mean physically being broken, but the sacrificing of our wills and cleansing of our hearts so that Jesus can pour His life into us.
Have you ever seen a horse or any kind of animal that is untamed? They are called wild. This is what I am before I allow God to break me; like a wild horse. Roy Hession gives the illustration of the Holy Spirit being like a dove, and how a dove will only come upon an animal that is gentle and calm. When Jesus was baptized, He was called the Lamb of God by John the Baptist, and then as he rose from the water, the Holy Spirit descended on Him in the form of a dove. So, for me too, I must become humble and broken, like a lamb, to receive the revival of the Holy Spirit in me.
September 26, 2018
Coming to the Discipleship Program, I didn’t know I would be learning so much. I’ve studied these three books and one audio assignment in the following order: Liturgy of the Ordinary, Core Values, Divine Energy, Jesus Style, and now I’m finishing Touching Godliness. Out of these books I believe Touching Godliness has impacted me the most so far. It speaks about how important it is to submit to our delegated authorities and when we do that we submit to God Himself and please Him. Our real authority is God and if we love Him we will want to submit to those He has placed over us.
“Therefore, submit yourselves to every ordinance of man for the Lord’s sake, whether to the king as supreme, or to governors, as to those who are sent by him for the punishment of evildoers and for the praise of those who do good.” (1 Peter 2:13-14)
I have failed many times in the past to submit to those over me, but my desire is to grow in this. Pain and submission go hand in hand, so if I choose the way of submission I may experience some pain but can have peace through it. The Bible has many great examples of people who were submissive and obedient to God and their delegated authorities. David, Joseph, and Paul are just a few examples for us to follow.
I especially like Joseph’s example of submission. Because of the position God had given Joseph, his entire family was permitted to live in Egypt, escaping starvation. God was able to use Joseph in this mighty way because he stayed submitted to his authority.
I’m grateful for this opportunity to be part of the Discipleship Program where I can continue to learn and grow in my walk with the Lord, alongside others who encourage me on the journey.