Equipping and the Future of Discipleship

Nothing will ever take the place of one-on-one discipleship, and this article will not attempt to prove otherwise. Right now, I want you to just dream about what lies ahead for training in the future, the near future.

A number of years ago, I saw a cartoon where a preacher says to the congregation. “Now would you all key in … ” They all had laptops. I just laughed, but how far-fetched is that today? How many colleges don’t require them as standard equipment?

I have argued for years that the paper and ink book as we know it will begin fading away in my lifetime. Everyone then says to me that they do not like reading a book on a computer. Neither do I, but picture this: a handheld device that has a screen about the size of a book. It reads clearly. Beyond that you can change the font, its size and color, highlight the text, dog-ear the pages, and even make space to write in your own notes. Does this sound like science fiction? Well, I saw my first device like this in 1997! Today they are beginning to appear on the market. You don’t think this will take off for years? I was sitting on a ferry in Seattle a few weeks ago, and a woman in her forties was sitting across from me reading a book she downloaded from Amazon.

How does this affect discipleship? I am 57 and have used a computer since 1985, but I am not really what you would call a techno guy. However, I do know that times are changing – fast. The younger generation we want to reach knows nothing but computers, and they expect them to do everything.

Now, picture this for a Bible study. Your whole group has a device like I mentioned. They are doing the recently published study of Genesis, written by PCA pastor Will Hesterberg. There are many questions in the study that require students to write in their answers, and they can do it right on the screen – in class or at home.

CEP is working very closely with Logos Bible Software to begin producing such material in the near future. It will not only be student material. The package will contain video segments, PowerPoint presentations, notes for the students, and everything else needed to teach the course. But there will be one more feature for the teacher. Using Logos Bible Software, the teacher will be able to do research through their own, affordable library which may contain 300, 700, or more than 10,000 theological books. The teacher will not waste time trying to find things in several different books. All he or she will need to do is type in the reference (Bible text, word, or topic) and the software will search and open every source available in that library. You have got to see the power and ability of this system to believe it.

Am I promoting Logos Bible Software? You bet I am. Working with Logos, CEP will be able to expand its training and resources in incredible ways. You will begin to see more and more materials being produced by us in conjunction with them.

PS. In the future, don’t be surprised if you begin to get Equip to Disciple sent to you electronically with the capability of taking the articles and doing further research in Logos.

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Having spent the last eight years in Cape Town, South Africa, as academic dean of the Bible Institute of South Africa and serving there as a PCA missionary, Dennis and his wife Cindy, his son Dustin, daughter Bena, and son Innocent have returned to the states to rejoin the staff at Christian Education and Publications where he served for eleven years prior to going to South Africa.

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