The First Steps workbook is designed to disciple a new believer in the basics of a relationship with Jesus Christ, helping them to continue growing to maturity. The 10 lessons are completed as the discipler meets with the new disciple one hour per week for 10-12 weeks. Some lessons may require more than one week to complete.
Each lesson has three parts: conversation (dialogue between a disciple and new disciple), consideration (three separate days of Bible study with questions for the new disciple to complete before the meeting) and content (the lesson outline). There is also a strong emphasis on the next natural step for a new believer – to disciple others. Discipling others keeps them growing as well.
After a lesson on assurance and how to overcome doubt and discouragement, a lesson on freedom and how to overcome temptation to sin, and a lesson on priorities and how a believer’s first priority is God’s kingdom, the workbook has a lesson on each of these 4 foundational principles (disciplines): Bible study, Prayer, Fellowship, Evangelism/Discipleship. Following that is a lesson on discovering God’s Will, a lesson on The Soon Return of Jesus, and a review lesson to finish out the workbook.
1. First Steps is intentional in remaining non-denominational in its approach, choosing to focus on the very basic parts of a believer’s transition from the kingdom of darkness to the kingdom of light. First Steps agrees with the theology of CMC on eternal security and entire sanctification.
2. Each lesson is based entirely on Scripture and is presented by outline only, so when they’re being taught, the discipler naturally injects his/her own theology as they teach. Additionally, the workbook does not have an answer key, so the “correct” answers to the Bible study questions will of course be influenced by the discipler’s perspective and theology. Because it is basic, most of the Anabaptist and CMC distinctives (like simplicity and non-resistance) are not addressed. First Steps will not make a new disciple a Mennonite, but nothing directly conflicts with CMC theology.
3. With some adaptation, the material can be used in preparing young people for baptism, for those who have been part of church growing up but have not ever read Scripture or been taught the basics, and for restoring believers who have been caught in or confessed sin and need to return to the basics.
1. While the material is useful for grounding believers in the principles of Christian growth, the discipling relationship should not be so structured and materials-driven that it crowds out the spontaneous teaching that Jesus modeled in his life and ministry.
First steps workbooks can be ordered online at disciplinganother.com