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
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.
August 12, 2018
The last book we as students finished was Touching Godliness by Dr. K.P. Yohannan, which talked about submission. Submission is like obedience, except that the difference is that obedience is merely the action of fulfilling an order, while submission is a heart issue. In the military, obedience is a must, because there will be consequences otherwise. In God’s army, He asks us not to just obey, but to submit; to give our hearts fully to Him. Giving up our will and plans to God is a difficult thing. It means that we’re not in control, but when it is done, it is a beautiful thing. Submitting to the Lord means that we trust Him.
When I was a little boy, I loved soldiers. My brothers and I pretended to be soldiers. I drew pictures of knights and castles. We amassed armies built out of Lego and had battles with them. Today, now that I’m older and more mature, I still like the military. I have thought about enlisting before, but it simply isn’t my calling from God. The main thing which I like about the military, is the order and how everything is structured.
I had one friend who I worked under who also liked the concept of being Christian soldiers. He eventually got the name of “Sarge” (short form of sergeant). Every time I would go ask him what he wanted me to work on next, I would snap to attention, salute and say, “Sarge! Reporting for duty Sir!” Other people watching might of thought it silly (except my brothers who did the same), but because we had that understanding of military authority and respect, it was my way of showing respect and honour to him as my leader.
When in a war, you need everything to function perfectly, if you want to win. This is why obedience is paramount in the military. When a superior officer gives you an order, you don’t question it; you obey! The officers at the top create strategies and plans to win, but they must be carried out exactly as ordered for them to work. They then give the plans to the next rank lower and so on, all the way to the privates, which is the lowest rank. When soldiers in any rank don’t obey their commanders, goodness knows what could go wrong. One little disobedience or slight mess-up can cause the whole plan to fail and many unnecessary losses.
Of course, there will always be times where there will be faults in the strategy given, and the top commanders will make mistakes. This, however does not give reason for soldiers to question their leaders’ commands. If one were to do so, even if the commanding officer made a mistake, it might happen again when there is no mistake in the order and the operation would fail. Thankfully, our top commander is one who never makes a mistake. He is all knowing, all wise, and all powerful. I think of how often I, myself have doubted God and been hesitant to obey His orders.
A spirit of submission is a spirit of love. In the army, unless the soldier is a believer, submission can never be perfected, because it must be ultimately for Jesus. A soldier can obey and serve well, but in human power, it is only so deep. When we obey out of our love for the Lord, it is true submission. When we do this, we can say as the apostle Paul did.