The Discipleship Philosophy of Rev. Chris Greenwood:
Historical, Biblical discipleship is, at its core, one follower of Christ pouring himself/herself into another follower of Christ with the end goal being that both would grow in: hearing the voice of the Holy Spirit through the Scriptures, believing in faith what they are being told from the Scriptures, and grounded in love, willingly obeying the counsel of the Spirit of God as revealed by the Scriptures. All of which, when combined together, will increasingly conform them both to the image of the invisible God, Jesus Christ.
Who is Mathetes 268 Ministries?
Mathetes 268 Ministries began as an idea in October of 2014, was founded in January 2015, and officially launched in September of 2015. It came about through the leading of the Lord to the heart of an ordained minister of the Gospel named Chris Greenwood. Rev. Greenwood is an ordained Teaching Elder with the Evangelical Presbyterian Church and is currently a part of the pastoral staff at Kempsville Presbyterian Church in Virginia Beach, VA. He is joyfully married to his bride, Sara, and together they are blessed to be the parents of four wonderful children. They are excited to serve the American church locally through Kempsville Presbyterian and globally through Mathetes 268 Ministries.
Rev. Greenwood became a Christian the summer of 1994 as a rising junior in high school. Despite joining a local church at the encouragement of a high school friend, he was never intentionally taught how to grow in his faith as a follower of Jesus. After high school, Rev. Greenwood asked the Lord to send someone into his life who would teach him how to become a follower of Christ. Two months later, the Lord answered that prayer when his dorm Resident Assistant began to disciple him his freshman year of college. Over the next eight years, Rev. Greenwood was almost continually discipled by Godly men. After college, Rev. Greenwood and his new wife taught for two years at a private Christian school before moving to NC where he attended Campbell University Divinity School and obtained a Masters of Divinity (MDiv) degree. In 2008, after graduating from Campbell, Rev. Greenwood and his wife accepted their first call as an Associate Pastor at an Evangelical Presbyterian Church (EPC) and moved to the Washington D.C. area. Once again, the Lord arranged for Godly men to disciple him via Skype, and at this point his wife also began being discipled for the first time since college. While at the church, Rev. Greenwood began to disciple men of all ages one-on-one and help move the church towards a discipleship based culture. At one point, he was discipling eleven men per week. Rev. Greenwood finds it amazing to say that he has been discipled for around 16 of his 21 years as a follower of Jesus.
Below are some summary ideas about: 1) What a healthy discipleship relationship focuses on 2) The key emphasis of a discipleship relationship and 3) The particular method that Rev. Greenwood uses.
What a healthy discipleship relationship focuses on:
Discipleship goals and roles must be clearly understood by both the discipler and the disciple. We believe the goals for any discipleship relationship are most clearly understood by three short statements (HBO) all grounded by and in the Scriptures.
- Learn to hear what our counselor, the Holy Spirit, is saying as revealed through the Scriptures.
- Learn to believe in faith that what is being revealed by the Holy Spirit from the Scriptures is Truth.
- While being grounded in love, learn to willingly obey the counsel of the Spirit of God as revealed by the Scriptures.
The discipler and the disciple understanding the same goals will eliminate confusion about who the primary teacher is supposed to be. A discipler’s goal is to teach a disciple how to hear the Good Shepherd’s voice, believe by faith the truth He speaks, and grounded in love, willingly obey what He says to do. This is all done through the careful and intentional daily discipline of studying the Scriptures.
The key emphasis of a discipleship relationship:
In this world, many voices scream at us. These voices demand our attention. The voices include (but are not limited to): kids, spouses, families, friends, bosses, culture, media, and the flesh. Every follower of Christ is to grow in his/her faith to the point of maturity where they can hear and discern the voice of the Lord even in the midst of all the other voices. This is not a judgment of whether the other voices are good or bad but rather a prioritizing of which voice is the most important and essential. Sadly, many Christians do not know and/or cannot hear the voice of the Lord.
The particular method Rev. Greenwood uses for 1 on 1 Discipleship:
There are undoubtedly many methods that can be used to help move people towards the goal of becoming mature in Christ. Rev. Greenwood calls the method he uses the “Read and Listen” method. It is based on reading the Scriptures and listening for the voice of the Holy Spirit as He teaches. The man who began this method, Joe Glenn Smith, calls it “The Pattern” because this method follows a pattern of working through the same four books of the Bible over the course of 6-12 months. Regardless of the title, the method is the same. The four books it begins with are:
- 1 John: Where we learn we must live as Jesus lived.
- 2 Peter: Where we learn we have the power to live as Jesus lived.
- 1 Peter: Where we learn how to live as Jesus lived.
- James: Where we learn the attitude Jesus wants us to have as we live for Him.
After completing these four books, the disciple has the option to choose another book of the Bible and continue to be discipled. Around the one-year mark, the discipler, if seeing the maturity of Christ taking shape, begins encouraging the disciple to prayerfully consider someone in their life to begin discipling. The relationship between the discipler and disciple may continue on a book by book basis at this point or may formally end to provide a chance for new disciples to be taught.