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This course is set up a bit differently than most discipleship courses now available. Many courses spoonfeed you all the information, but never teach you the skills that you need for true discipleship. The purpose of discipleship itself is for Christians to encourage each other to grow deep in Christ. I think Paul set forth the reason very well when he wrote to the Ephesians. In Ephesians 4:14 we read, “Then we will no longer be infants, tossed back and forth by the waves, and blown here and there by every wind of teaching and by the cunning and craftiness of men and their deceitful scheming.”

Requirements for Level 1:

(each of these are explained further below)

1. 50 Quiet Time DAILY Journal entries

2. 5 in-depth Bible Studies

3. 5 verses memorized (5 passages for a certificate of honor)

4. weekly meetings (number will depend on how long it takes you to finish the level)

Completion of Course and Certificates Awarded



Quiet Time

In this course, you will be required to follow certain disciplines. The first discipline is to have a daily time set aside to spend with God, which is often called a “quiet time.” This can occur at the beginning middle or end of the day, but many prefer the beginning to give them that morning boost to face their day. I suggest that you plan on at least 15 and preferably 30 minutes for this. In case you may not have heard of a quiet time, it is composed of three major factors: Bible reading, meditation on the reading and prayer. Let’s look at all three of these individually.

BIBLE READING. Lately I’ve seen a lot of trends towards reading through the Bible in a year. While this is an admirable thing to do, this should not take the place of a more focused reading and then the meditation that follows. If you are reading too much scripture in one day and not meditating on it, it will be as if you are reading a secular novel and there won’t be time for your spirit to absorb it and allow it to do its life-changing work in your soul, which is the ultimate goal of Bible reading. Another common trend I see in our Christian society today is to read one verse of scripture and then spend the rest of our reading time caught up in footnotes, commentaries, devotional readings, etc. A warrior who spent his time talking about fighting instead of doing it would soon be captured or killed by the enemy. I believe there is a happy medium between these two places, not too much and not too little.
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Now, I’m going to ask something rather odd. For the first 5 levels of the course, I ask that you not use any commentaries, study Bibles or devotional readings during this quiet time. (If all you have is a study Bible, please refrain from reading the margin notes.) The reason for this is because I think the Word of God is powerful enough to stand on its own and the first step in discipleship is to learn how to read and understand the Bible for yourself. I am not saying that commentaries and other helps are not valuable, but our primary focus is and should always be the pure, inspired Word of God. We need to remember that the men who wrote the above helps, although scholarly, are merely human and, as such, fallible. If you’ve been tied to these types of helps in the past, this might be a new experience for you and you might feel a little uncertain about trusting your own thoughts. Trust yourself and the Holy Spirit to reveal His truths to you in a personal way that no commentary or study Bible could ever do. In the last 5 levels of the course, these helps may be added, but by then, you will be familiar enough with the actual Word of God that you will be able to discern the authors that are trustworthy and those who aren’t.
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MEDITATION. Our course is set up with a specific passage of scripture for you to read each day and then two questions for you to write out the answers to. The first question to answer is what you find interesting about this verse. The second is to tell how this pertains specifically to you and your Christian life. The questions are very broad because the Holy Spirit will speak to each person taking this course in a different fashion. This portion is the meditation part of the quiet time. After reading the passage, think about it for a period of time. Think what it means, think about what kind of impact that has on the way you live your Christian life. After you have drawn a conclusion on this part, I encourage you to write down the insights you have been given. The reason for this is a basic principle in remembering things: if you write something down, you have a better chance of remembering it. Also, it gives you something to look back on and see how far the Lord has taken you in your learning. The first requirement of the course is that you have 50 written quiet time entries. You can take as long as you want to do these in order to receive the certificate of achievement, but those who complete this portion in 50 days will receive a certificate of distinction. If you want to do this portion on your own paper, you can print out THIS for you to use as a model. If you would like to have something a little more solid, I can provide you with a copy of the “Spiritual Warrior’s Daily Battle Plan” and you can see a copy of it from Chalkboard Productions. There is a MINIMUM of 50 days for the journal entries. You cannot complete this section in less than 50 days. Any completions sent in less than 50 days will not be accepted.
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PRAYER. Although this is listed last, please don’t assume it’s the least important. You should begin your quiet time with a prayer that opens yourself up to the leading of the Holy Spirit. Ask for your eyes to be open to the truth God wants you to know. Be willing to put aside your preconceived ideas of a passage and let God speak to you fresh and new. Let me put a little note here about doctrines you have been taught. If you have grown up in a church or have been working closely with a particular church since your conversion, I ask you to be open to what God has to show you about the doctrines held dear by that specific church. If you read a passage of scripture about a doctrine and God reveals to you that it contradicts what you’ve always believed, remember that we must always believe what the Bible says and not the doctrines men have established. During our weekly meeting, you can bring up any of these questions and we can talk about possible contradictions then.

After you have finished your Bible reading and meditation, a time of prayer should follow. As a little guide in what to pray, you might consider the following acronym that can help you remember the various aspects of prayer: ACTS. Adoration is a good way to start. Spend time acknowledging the God of the Universe, who He is and our relationship to Him. Confession is next. We need to agree with God that we are sinners and are saved only by His grace. Use this time to confess (agree with God about) your sins. Thanksgiving is the third thing to include in your prayer time. Many people spend a good portion of their time asking God to fill their shopping list, but we need to remember to be grateful children for all He has given us. Supplication is just a big word that means we can ask for things from our Heavenly Father, praying according to His will, and He will hear us. Remember that God is sovereign and will always answer our prayers, according to what He deems best for us. That may involve a yes answer, a no, or even a wait awhile answer. We need to be prepared to accept His sovereignty in what we pray. If you use our format, you will see room for 5 “power” praises (meaning, short and concise) and 5 “power” prayers. God knows the details and I think it’s more important to spend your time actually praying than writing things out.
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Bible Study


A second discipline is personal Bible study. Again, in levels 1-5, I ask that you do not use commentaries or study Bibles because of the reasons cited above. The only study help on this section that is necessary is a concordance. A concordance lists verses according to words that are found in it. Let’s say you wanted to do a word study on “grace”. You would look it up in your concordance, and it would give you a listing of every verse in the Bible that uses the word “grace”. By seeing the word in different verses and contexts, it’s like turning a three-dimensional object around to see all its sides. You will get a much clearer picture of what that word actually means. Which concordance to purchase will depend on your own preference and how much you want to spend. If you are going to be someone who enjoys the in-depth study and wants to get as much out of it as you can, you might look into a Strong’s Exhaustive Concordance (only available in King James Version), the NIV Exhaustive Concordance put out by Zondervan, Young’s Analytical Concordance (again, only KJV, but I prefer the format to the Strong’s, but it’s not as well known), or even a smaller one like the Cruden’s or Nave’s Topical. These can run anywhere from approximately $10 to $50. In this case, the larger the book, the better the chance of you finding the word or phrase you are looking for. There is software out there that can provide the same service, but the really good ones are kind of costly. If you don’t want to spend the money right now, there are also websites that have concordances on them. I will provide a list of a few of them. They are nice, but for me, if I turn my computer on, I have a tendency not to give my full attention to the study.


The Bible study section is given virtually no direction in our format and there is a reason for that. People study in various ways and the Holy Spirit leads in many different directions at times. You will be given a passage or a topic and asked to write up a study of that. We are not expecting it written in report paper form, but more like notes you take as you do your studying. If you use our format, you will have plenty of room for word pictures, charts, or anything else you need to write.

HOW DO YOU DO A STUDY? Again, that is where the leading of the Holy Spirit will be crucial. If you are given a passage, go through it, phrase by phrase, and write down if it directs you to (or makes you think of) other passages or if there are words that seem to be more prominent. Use your concordance to look up other passages that might help you better understand this one. Look at the passage from every angle you can, even maybe a few you’ve never tried before. If you are given a word, especially one that is in “church-ese”, make sure you understand the true meaning of the word and not just what everyone has always said it means. You might want to look up what our dictionary says the word means and compare it to what our culture or your church says it means. The important thing to remember is that during this time (approximately 30 minutes to one hour) you are going to scrutinize this passage or word carefully so that you become very familiar with it, rather like an entomologist studies a new species of insect. You want to know exactly what this passage says or what this word means and how it falls into place in the course of scripture.
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Scripture Memorization


Another discipline for this level of the course is scripture memorization. In the computer age we live in, memorization is becoming a thing of the past...unfortunately. When it comes to scripture, I hope we never let this discipline go by the wayside. Many people feel that it is more important to know where to find the subject than to know the subject itself. This isn’t always the case with the Bible. If you are talking to a friend of yours about salvation, you may or may not have a Bible handy. If you don’t and have no verses memorized, you will be at a loss to back up what you are saying with what God says. I think memorizing basic verses from the Bible will help you out in many areas including evangelism, resisting temptation, comfort, and basic faith strengthening and growth.

In Psalms 119:9, 11 we are told, “How can a young man keep his way pure? By living according to your word...I have hidden your word in my heart that I might not sin against you.” Memorizing, or learning by heart as it used to be called, is a very important aspect of resisting sin and helping us to live pure lives. Another vital function of memorized scripture is so that we can better meditate on it (think about it over and over) so we are more familiar with what it tells us to do. Joshua 1:8 says, “Do not let this Book of the Law depart from your mouth; meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do everything written in it. Then you will be prosperous and successful.” Reading a verse once cannot give you the same depth of understanding as running it over and over in your mind and it is much easier to do that at any time during the day if you have the verse memorized.

The last reason I want to point out is found in Philippians 4:8: “Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable -- if anything is excellent or praiseworthy -- think about such things.” We all know the old saying, “Garbage in, garbage out.” This is very true of our minds and I believe is the best way to ease a lot of the struggles we have from day to day and is part of the way Paul tells us in the following verse to have the God of peace with us.

HOW TO MEMORIZE. There are some of you right now who are probably saying, “I can’t memorize anything. I just can’t get it to stick in my head.” I want to encourage you to try. Memorization is a skill that can be learned if you will practice at it. If I asked you to lift 200 pounds, you might not be able to right now, but if you worked every day and lifted a little more each time, you would soon be able to lift your goal. The same is true of memorization. I am not asking you to memorize the entire book of Psalms, but only a few verses for each level. For those who are more adept at memorization, you can choose to memorize the 5 passages given in order to earn a certificate of honor.

A good method for memorizing is to begin by reading the verse slowly and out loud, concentrating on the meaning of it. Then, begin by saying the first phrase (phrases are easier to remember than separate words) two or three times and then looking away and saying it from memory. As soon as you can say it perfectly from memory, work on the second phrase the same way. When you can say that one, go back and add the first one to it and say both the first and second phrase together. If you can’t say them both, review the first phrase and start the process all over. Each time you feel confident that you have memorized the one phrase, add a new phrase and then go back to the beginning and put them all together again.

Another good method is to write the verse out in a similar manner to the above, and then check your answers. Yet another method that can be used is to set the verse to song. Did you know that all the Psalms were originally set to music? Many popular choruses today are also verses set to music. Something else that has been helpful to memorization is to make up a little card with the verse on it and then carry the cards around with you. Personally, I use a small ring that can be purchased at an office supply store, punch holes in the cards and using the ring to connect them.

Something else that can aid in your memorization is to assign each verse to a tangible object that you can hold onto while it helps you remember the verse. This is along the lines of a rosary, which, essentially, is a necklace where each bead represents a prayer. The only problem I really have with the usage of a rosary as it is used in today’s Catholic circles, is that all the prayers are oriented towards Mary although the purpose behind it is to focus on Jesus. I don’t think I can quite figure that one out. The concept of a rosary, however, has merit. It is well-known in the study of how our minds remember things that touching objects can help jog our memories. Because of this, I have devised a bracelet that has beads on it to correspond to each verse. (You can see it here.) If you prefer, you can make your own if you find this helpful. The reason I suggest all of these ideas on memory aides is because of the most important part of memorization:

REVIEW!!! Once you have the verse memorized, you will need to say it over and over again during the day in order to keep it fresh in your mind. How much you will need to do this will depend on how easy the verse is to recall each time. The easier it is, the less review you will need. After a couple of weeks, the verse will most likely be stored in your long term memory and will no longer need to be reviewed very often. For the first week, however, you will probably have to say the verse 5 or 6 times throughout the day in order to keep it fresh in your mind.

I’m a bit of a perfectionist myself and so when I learn scripture, I want to be careful to learn every word of it, but I have friends who think that it’s not that important to be so precise. My concern with this, though, is that we might accidentally take something out of context by slightly misquoting it. For instance, one verse I have heard misquoted often is I Cor 10:13. I have heard many people say that God won’t give you anything you can’t handle. But this is not what the verse says. The verse says, “He will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear.” There is a big difference between God not giving us anything we can’t handle and not giving us any temptations we can’t handle. For this reason, I think it is necessary to memorize scripture as it was written and try to produce it as perfectly as possible; after all, it’s not wise to put (or take away) words in God’s mouth.
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Weekly Meeting


The last discipline is that once a week you will need to get with other Christians and share what you have been learning. This can be done with a group at your church or in the OAM club chat room. The reason behind this is two-fold: accountability and to help cement these truths in your own life. In regards to accountability, many of these disciplines are things you probably always knew you should be doing anyway, but needed someone to prod you along the way. To help you out with this you need to find one or more accountability partners who will hold you to your commitment and not be afraid to ask you if you are doing what you told God you would do. Once a week, you need to meet with your accountability partner(s) to check on how they are doing and to keep them updated on your progress. It’s okay to admit you are behind or not keeping up with things as well as you want. This time is not for being chastised, but for encouraging one another to keep on when the going gets tough.

The second reason is to help the concepts you are learning stick in your mind better. When God has revealed some spiritual truth to you and you share it with others, that truth will have more of a tendency to stay with you than if you merely learn it yourself and never tell anyone. The key to this part is that you need to be sharing with others what you have learned. God will show you wonderful things and He’s depending on you to share those things with your brothers and sisters, be it in the OAM club or in your own home church. The Spiritual Warriors club room will be open for the discipleship people to stop in and share on Tuesday nights at 9 pm EST, but if that night is not convenient for you, you can stop in any night and talk to people. Sometimes too you might have a question that you haven’t found an answer for and might need to discuss it with others and this would be a good time. Of course, you are always welcome to e-mail myself or Parepidemos with your questions or for further help at oaim@oaim.org.
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Completion of Requirements


Once you have completed all the requirements listed above, have a friend verify your journal entries and verse memorization (this should be someone who can actually see your work and witness you quote the memorized verses/passages). As a disciple striving for the mind of Christ, we are certain you will be trustworthy in this and so this is all the verification you will need. Once you have been verified, you may submit your completed requirements by filling out the completion form and clicking once on “send”. When we receive your completed requirements, we will send you the information for level 2 of the Spiritual Warrior Discipleship Course.



Certificates Awarded


There are three certificates available upon completion. The first one is the certificate of achievement and is available to all who complete the above requirements in any length of time. For those who complete the above requirements in 50 days, they will receive a certificate of distinction, and a certificate of honor will be awarded to those who complete the course in 50 days and memorize the passages instead of just the verses. You CANNOT complete level 1 in less than 50 days!

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You can view the specifics of the course by clicking here.

If you are willing to commit yourself to the above outlined course of study, click here to begin.


© 1999 by Chalkboard Productions
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