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Essentials of Discipleship: Seminar 16 - Disciplemaking

Dear church,

This past Sunday, we had the last session in the Essentials of Discipleship series. This was a summary session on the entire EOD and on the New City Catechism ("NCC").

We learnt that Scripture attests to a body of authoritative instruction that Christians should learn, a standard of teaching from which Christians should learn how to live (Romans 6:17-18, 2 Timothy 1:13, Acts 2:41-42).

Scripture teaches us that it benefits us to learn from this body of instruction. There will be times in our life, especially times of grief, stress or depression, when we will find it difficult to hold to God's Word or will call into question what we believe about God. Sometimes, we are also tempted to twist or distort God's Word to suit our own impulses. We have to make sure we are well grounded in God's Word, to make sure that we are able to teach God's Word to others, and to use God's Word to care for others and to rebuke them, if necessary.

Catechisms, like the NCC, are instructional tools designed to facilitate learning from teaching. There are several key benefits to using catechisms:

1. Catechisms allow the church to encourage the unity of essential beliefs among God's children.
2. Catechisms promote a faster and deeper understanding of God's Word.
3. Catechisms stimulate and motivate learning.

Throughout the course of the Essentials of Discipleship series, various teachers have sought to encourage you to use the NCC as a tool for your own devotionals and to disciple others. The NCC is written in simple and modern English, is based on the best Protestant catechisms from the Reformation, and can be used by both adults and children. We can integrate this into our family devotions and, in particular, to model learning God's Word to our children. The NCC can also be used for personal Bible study, or for small group studies (especially for younger Christians or for non-believers curious to know more about the Christian faith).

Hence, we encourage you to use the NCC. It can be accessed at http://www.newcitycatechism.com/home.php and can also be downloaded as a free app for use on both iOS and Android.

Another modern Protestant catechism is The Baptist Catechism, first put forth in 1689, and adapted into a modern version by John Piper, which is accessible here: http://www.desiringgod.org/articles/a-baptist-catechism.

This will be the last DS session of the year. We will look forward to seeing you next year in 2016 when we will be conducting two DS sessions each Sunday. One will be the Essentials of Discipleship series (known as DS Year 1), similar to that taught in the second half of 2015, while the other will be DS Year 2, which will be brand-new material that has not been taught before in DS.

If you are interested in signing up for DS Year 1, please email us at discipleshipseminars@gmail.com, any of the DS Committee members or speak to us in church.

As DS sessions will be in recess during December, we encourage you to use the time after service to fellowship with and minister to others in our church. We hope that you will have a blessed Christmas, sharing the most wonderful gift that came to us in the person of Jesus Christ. We look forward to seeing you at the DS seminars next year.

Faithfully,
The DS Committee