To establish standards of conduct and a lifestyle wherein a couple will be illustrating to their students and others the value of striving for Christ-likeness. Thereby leadership will be, an example in whom others will see the value of following and submitting to for discipleship.
Ministering to peopleís lives, with a focus on discipleship requires a unique and committed individual. Being motivated by the Holy Spirit, this person is recognized as one who is a loving, caring, open individual, who is making application of Godís ways in his own life daily. These are necessary qualities for one to serve as a Group Leader (discipler) with Life Partners Christian Ministries. This person is also one who subscribes to the Statement of Faith and to the Operational Standards for Life Partners Christian Ministries. The Life Partners emphasis requires that this personís life be an illustration of Christlikeness. Christlikeness has been lived and applied in the life of this discipler and can be verbally validated by his wife and family.
Although this form primarily speaks to the husband, addressing the husband with regards to the role of leadership is not to be seen as excluding wives.
Each person, having become qualified to disciple others, should have a definite sense of Godís divine calling upon their life to disciple others. The Apostle Paulís writes Timothy: ďYou therefore, my son, be strong in the grace that is in Christ Jesus. (2) And the things that you have heard from me among many witnesses, commit these to faithful men who will be able to teach others also.Ē 2 Timothy 2:1-2
Policy I : Personal Spiritual Relationship With God
It is expected that each Group leader will choose to hold themselves to these standard as an illustration of their own commitment to a higher standard of personal Christ-likeness.
Some of these requirements are not policies being taught in the Christ-Quest Institute classes. These are not requirements for students. Students will not be held to these standards, leadership will. Leadership is expected to accept, for themselves the following scriptures: (Rom. 14:1-21) Life Partners ministers to many different denominations and we are willing to hold ourselves to a higher standard so as to eliminate unnecessary reactions to our leadership.
Concerning a Group Leaders/Group Facilitators personal spiritual relationship with God, the Group Leader/Group Facilitator: will have as his highest priority an ongoing, verifiable relationship with Jesus Christ illustrated by personal worship and obedience to the Word; will cultivate a lifestyle of prayer, with a worshipful heart towards the Lord Jesus Christ; must realize that he will be ineffective in seeking to do spiritual work with human power; is expected to be open to an ongoing accountability about the development of his character, and have an openness to revelation of his shortcomings; should have a testimony of how God brought him into brokenness; be concerned for the reputation of Christ in his and his wifeís testimony to the world; pursue holiness as a lifestyle: where speech, dress style, activities, etc. might be seen as questionable, he is willing to deny himself freedoms that others might willingly allow themselves;maintain a battle for moral purity, maintaining a line of communication and allowing questions to be posed for accountability about morality; make such a lifestyle the foundation for his ministry and testimony.
Policy II : Personal Relationship With Family
It is understood that an intimate relationship with Jesus Christ affects a persons character to the degree that he is able to more consistently imitate Godís character. As we focus on the worship of Jesus Christ it will reflect in our lives. Therefore, each discipler will recognize the necessity of a testimony that is validated by a healthy family relationship which is foundational for all other relationships and ministry.
Regarding the call to be a discipler, it is clear that the responsibilities to a family and the responsibilities to a ministry may require some flexibility on occasion. Sacrifice is implicit in any form of ministry to some degree. However, each discipler must remember not to sacrifice his family to the degree that his family feels crucified for the sake of the ministry (and they must have the freedom to express this concern if it is a concern). It is always a priority that a man builds his family relationships that the ministry of Life Partners might be validated.
There are various areas of service available within Life Partners Christian Ministries. However, Life Partners believes that the role of Group Leader (discipler) falls into the category articulated in first Timothy 3:1-13. Therefore, a discipler or staff member within Life Partners Christian Ministries must be a person who is not divorced and remarried (unless this divorce and remarriage is with the first spouse), nor a person with a previous spouse still living, and is not the spouse of a divorced person. Among other reasons, it is the belief of Life Partners Christian Ministries that it is impossible for a discipler to admonish another person about divorce not being an acceptable solution to marriage problems while the person admonishing is himself divorced or is a participant in a divorce by being the spouse of a divorced person. It is difficult to maintain credibility in the context of group leadership if he or his wife has been previously married and their former spouse is still living.
Disciplers who are single men have the same responsibility to cultivate healthy family relationships where possible, and to guard their romantic and sexual drives with a divine standard of purity. The type of accountability that is similar to those in a family setting are encouraged, within the context of a local church and/or the fellowship of other Life Partners disciplers.
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