The Oasis Discipleship & Conference Center’s Philosophy Statement
The Oasis Discipleship & Conference Center exists for the purpose of coming alongside inner-city churches, with limited resources, and assisting them in the discipleship and growth of their youth groups. We desire to see inner-city churches growing and being planted for God’s glory and as a result sending missionaries of different nations back to their countries to reach their people.
I. The Priority of the Church, Matt 16:18 & Acts 2
Christ came to build His church. The church is made up of those who believe upon Christ. As seen in Acts, those who believe upon Christ as their Savior are baptized by immersion and added to a local assembly of believers. We as believers should be members of local assemblies and faithfully attending for the building up of our spiritual lives and the lives of others.
II. The Purpose/Practice of the church, Matt 18, Acts 2, & Acts 9:31
Christ final command was for His followers to go into all the world and not only lead people to believe on Him, but also teach them how to follow Him. We then see Christ’s disciples going out and proclaiming the Gospel with boldness. After they proclaim the Gospel and there is an assembly of believers, the church continues in taking care of one another, in hearing the preaching of God’s Word, in Prayer, in communion, and in fellowship. We also see the churches in Judea Galilee and Samaria being built up, walking in fear of the Lord and multiplying. Churches therefore are to be following in the practices listed in Acts chapter 2 and multiplying.
III. The Reach of the Church, Matt 18, Romans 15
Christ commanded that His followers go into all the world. The church therefore must have a global vision of seeing people from every tribe and nation hear the Gospel. This mindset is seen in the apostle Paul as we see his desire being to, “preach where Christ has not yet been named.” The church must be careful to not lose this emphasis and decide how to best fulfill God’s command of reaching the whole world. We must also consider though, that it is not enough to simply preach the Gospel and then leave. The goal is to have churches established and the people of the new churches ministering to each other. As seen through scriptural principles and throughout history the churches planted should have their own government, support, and desire to see other churches planted. These are known as the “Three Selfs” of church planting. Here is an example: An African church should have an African pastor shepherding his people rather than an American due to cultural differences. An African church should be supporting itself for it shows commitment of the believers and an ownership to the financial responsibilities of the church. African churches should also be looking to spread the Gospel through the planting of other churches. The three selfs will sometimes have to be broken during the church plant but the goal of missionaries should always be to have the three selfs come into practice as soon as possible.
IV. The place for discipleship, The Gospels, 1 Cor 4
Throughout the Gospels we see Jesus, as He goes about teaching and performing miracles, teaching and guiding His disciples. He teaches them life lessons, spiritual lessons, and how to deal with people. There is not a program that he works through nor a classroom that He teaches from but rather He leads by example and through the everyday experiences that they ran into. Paul in the same way brought men into ministry alongside of him who he saw as sons in the faith. There is no doubt that he taught them along the way of his journeys. Paul was actually taught in the desert for 2 years before he started his ministry as well. We therefore not only see discipleship happening when the assembly is together as a whole but also among everyday life of the church.
V. The goals of discipleship, The Gospels, Eph 4
As Christ taught and saw His disciples grow, He sent them out on their own and then eventually left the earth leaving them to evangelize the world. Paul also discipled men and then sent them to churches on his behalf, letting them do the work on their own. This should be the goal of older Christians when discipling younger ones. We ought to teach them and lead by example so they can go out and reach others. Ephesians 4 lays out the goals of discipleship among believers. As believers interact they ought to be strive to have an attitude of humility, patience, gentleness, and love. The goal is to be equipping saints for ministry and the building up of the body of Christ. We should be unified in the knowledge of Christ and not waver in belief. We should all be pursuing Christlikeness together.