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The Discipleship Project

Donations to The Discipleship Project can given by pressing on the PayPal button above. All donations are used for support of the houses (rent, mortgage, food, etc) - with nothing being allocated to salaries for the staff. The staff consists of men and women who have volunteered their time and skills.

The New Hope Discipleship Project has been developed to minister concrete help to men and women who are determined to turn their lives around. Twenty or thirty years ago, discipleship ministries like this one were not uncommon among Evangelical churches and boasted an outstanding "track-record" of proven effectiveness. Over the course of the last several years, however, the enthusiasm that once undergirded these kinds of efforts has abated - and many of the ministries have been discontinued. Here at New Hope we want to breathe life back into these kinds of ministries - this time, however, working more closely with government and other non-church agencies - most especially developing partnerships that will facilitate job training and job placement.

The centerpiece of the most effective discipleship programs has always been the discipleship house. Typically, an effective discipleship program consists of several houses - each of which is composed of three types of individuals: (1) the disciples themselves - meaning men and women from troubled backgrounds who are committed to changing the direction of their lives; (2) a "house leader" dedicated to living in the house and drawing up alongside the disciples to help them make good on their commitment; and (3) "missionaries," volunteers from various churches who also live in the house and work alongside the house leader to provide additional encouragement and concrete help for the disciples.

The New Hope Discipleship Project is designed around three important goals ...

  1. to provide a setting in which men and women from troubled backgrounds can ...
    1. find encouragement and support from mature Christian counselors, many of whom themselves come from troubled backgrounds and have overcome powerful addictions;
    2. insulate themselves from both the temptations of the "street" and the fear that too often plagues unsafe neighborhoods;
    3. find gainful employment - either through immediate job-placement or job training leading to job-placement;
    4. cultivate a relationship with Jesus Christ - who alone can transform their lives from the inside out;
    5. form enduring relationships among their peers - relationships that will both . . .
      1. support their efforts to cultivate new attitudes and habits to replace the destructive ones that have undermined their lives;
      2. provide a sense of "belonging" - without which men and women inevitably feel destitute and impoverished;
  2. to provide already committed and relatively mature Christians an opportunity to live in the houses alongside the disciples both as "missionaries" and "house leaders" - an opportunity . . .
    1. to work in a ministry that's designed to make a genuine difference in the lives of men and women from troubled backgrounds;
    2. to deepen their own personal walk with Christ;
    3. to ground themselves ever more deeply in the foundational truths of scripture;
    4. to identify, develop, and hone their spiritual gifts;
    5. to awaken the church as a whole to the sheer joy of serving God and walking in His presence.
  3. to establish a concrete "mission field" for ordinary believers in a typical church who, though they don't feel called to actually live in a discipleship house, would like to contribute toward its effectiveness; e.g., counseling, mentoring, prayer, hospitality, administration, fund-raising, etc.

Disciples, house leaders, and missionaries live together in the house for one full year - studying the Scriptures together, learning how to be built up with one another, learning how to live victoriously, engaged in outreach, acquiring job skills, and, finally, preparing themselves to resolutely hold firm to a Christian "world-view" that fosters a core of ethical absolutes - a core they will keep them from returning to "the street" and to self-destructive habits and attitudes.

This project is not a "stand-alone" program. It is administered in conjunction with . . .

  1. New Hope Christian Fellowship;
  2. The California Academic and Vocational Academy (CAVA); and
  3. other government and non-profit agencies dedicated to helping persons from troubled backgrounds recover their lives and become productive citizens.

Very briefly, each of the disciples is expected to ...

  1. Hold down . . .
    • a full-time job; or
    • a part-time job that will enable him to contriubte financially to the house while at the same time enrolling in a job-training and/or job placement program.
  2. Attend a Monday evening "house meeting" to take care of "house business."
  3. Attend a Tuesday evening class designed to help them overcome destructive attitudes and habits and lead a victorious Christian life. It's a class Pastor Doug Shearer personally teaches.
  4. Attend a Thursday evening class designed to ground them in the Word of God - a class overseen by teaching pastors who are either Bible school or seminary graduates - or both. The Thursday evening class is administerd by Pastor Jerry Helmen. Those who complete the full year of Bible Study will be awarded a diploma.
  5. Attend Sunday morning services and other events hosted by New Hope Christian Fellowship.
  6. Take an active role in up-grading the neighborhood in which their house is located.

Further training will be made available for "graduates" who wish to become missionaries themselves and eventually, perhaps, to head up a discipleship house of their own as a house leader. Donations to The Discipleship Project can given by pressing on the PayPal button above. All donations are used for support of the houses (rent, mortgage, food, etc) - with nothing being allocated to salaries for the staff. The staff consists of men and women who have volunteered their time and skills.

Additional informtion concerning the Discipleship Program is available on the brochure we've developed. A copy of that brochure can be found on this link.

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The Discipleship Houses
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