In the past couple of years, I have been blessed by a monthly discipleship group at Torch Church, called Joshua’s Army. I know I’ve mentioned it before, but it is a class that not only prepare people to be better followers of Christ, but it focuses a lot on prepping people for leadership. During each of our meetings, we eat a meal prepped by one of the members and slowly begin our discussion between bites, kind of like a family would at the dinner table. This portion of the evening is the only part that never really changes. It is a great way to ease into the discussions and get our bellies filled at the same time.
As that initial relaxed discussion over our meal winds down and people start heading toward dessert, we dive in to the main course of our purpose for the evening.
Each month we’ve been responsible for reading a different book in order to prepare for hearty discussion. Some of the books of note have been:
- Bait of Satan: By John Bevere
- Good to Great by Jim Collins
- Visioneering by Andy Stanley
- Getting Things Done by David Allen
- The Final Quest by Rick Joyner
- Great by Choice by Jim Collins and Morten Hansen
- Secrets of the Secret Place by Bob Sorge
- Leading from the Second Chair by Mike Bonem and Roger Patterson
- The 5 Levels of Leadership by John Maxwell
We also were responsible for memorizing scripture each month. We would memorize 2-4 scriptures each month, depending on what year of the program you were in. As the months went on, it wouldn’t be different scriptures to memorize, but additional. By the end of the long year, you would have memorized 24-48 scriptures to use in warfare against the enemies attacks.
We also each spent time developing a personal vision for our lives as I mentioned in, “You are in Demand: So Let it Be Written” We share them with the group and receive feedback on those plans. It was a great experience just to simply go that deep into who I am and how God wired me.
During such an intensive group study such as this, there is a bond that develops between members. I would almost liken it to the sense of camaraderie that develops between those in armed services together. We go into one another’s lives. We share each others burdens, we pray mightily for one another, we ARE an army, but we really become a family. In the two years that I’ve been apart of Joshua’s Army, J.A. as we more commonly call it, I’ve made some great relationships, read some great books, that I never would’ve read on my own, strengthened my faith, and have become a better leader and a more solid follower of Christ.
One of the hardest parts of this was length. The 12-month journey gets tiring and many do not complete. Well, this past Sunday was the ultimate completion of the Joshua’s Army season. The program is coming to an end as we know it. Joshua’s Army is being overhauled and will be replaced my a hopefully more improved system of identifying, building, and maintaing good leaders to serve our church body.
I write this for two reasons.
Memory: Some of the blog posts that I write are initially inspired simply by the impact that a moment, event, or season has had on my life. This blog becomes a great opportunity for me to chronicle that. My time in Joshua’s Army has been a great long season and a trying journey, that has already and will surely continue to produce fruit in my life.
Share and Inspire: My secondary hope with sharing impactful scenes is to hopefully inspire my readers. Some of you reading this, might now or in the future find yourself with an opportunity to develop a program or some other system for developing leaders. Let this be an example of one way that it has been done. It was not a perfect system, but an example of an option that is a great way to start building a culture of discipline in an organization like our church.