July 11, 2018 4 min read 1 Comment

by Ben Kerns, North American Director

Jesus provided us with this example of disciple-making; we see throughout the book of Matthew that Jesus poured Himself into twelve men that, at the end of the book, He then called to go make more disciples. Today I see a renewed interested and desire across the country to return to this model of biblical discipleship.

Jesus’ Plan for Discipleship

Discipleship was Jesus’ vision and strategy to reach the world with the good news of the Gospel: That Jesus, the Son of God, came to earth to die for sins and then rose from the dead, having restored the relationship between a holy God and humanity. Because someone shared this glorious Gospel with me, I became a disciple of Christ. I now get to participate in God’s plan to continue making disciples!

Continuing the History of Discipleship

For over a year, the Lord has been leading the team at Emmaus International to consider this important concept of disciple-making and how it is a natural fit with what we currently do here. Emmaus International was founded 75 years ago to create tools and resources to not just give information but also to help inspire believers in local churches to be in active disciple-making. Over the past year, the Lord has led in creating another tool and resource to inspire and equip disciple-makers of Jesus Christ. We are calling it L.I.T. Discipleship (Life In Truth Discipleship).



Life In Truth Discipleship

LIT Discipleship is Emmaus International’s North American initiative. Our goal is to support local churches by igniting a passion for Jesus Christ to make His name great among the nations, to equip local church leaders in identifying and investing in future leaders to successfully pass the baton to the next generation, and to equip Christian young people to work within the context of their local churches for evangelism and disciple-making.

LIT Discipleship is designed to inspire and provide space to learn and consider how you and your local church can ignite disciple-makers.

We want to see local churches thriving with each believer using their unique gifting while working in unity.

Who is LIT Discipleship For?

The various events offered with LIT Discipleship are designed for young adults (18+), college/career individuals, youth leaders, youth pastors, elders, pastors, and church leaders. The events feature inspirational teaching as well as intentional times of worship, reflection, and action. All participants are given exclusive access to a three-month follow-up program that we are calling Oxygen to focus on biblical studies, practical application of biblical teaching, and intentional interaction with other LIT Discipleship participants.

We also want people to interact with the LIT Discipleship Team, which is made up of believers of different ages, experiences, and backgrounds. The Lord has blessed Emmaus International with incredible people to partner with in this initiative. Visit our website to see growing Emmaus International team.



Spark is an experience all about inspiring disciple-makers through inspirational teaching as well as intentional times of worship, reflection, and action. We desire to partner with interested believers and churches that would invite us to come to their area.

If you would like a Spark team to come visit your area, please contact us on the website!



Light is a 4-day event in Dubuque, Iowa. You may ask, “Why Dubuque?” Because the L.I.T. Discipleship team lives here and we want people to walk with us in our homes! Participants will stay with host families in the area. Each day of a Light event will be filled by putting our head, heart, and hands into action:

Head: Bible teaching with an overview of the entire Bible, discipleship training, evangelism, breakout sessions.

Heart: Designated times for worship, reflection, prayer, and rest.

Hands: Practice evangelism by doing it, create an action plan for discipleship, and service in local church context.



Blaze is a 3-week program over the summer in Dubuque, Iowa, with a mission trip attached to the program. Each week will be filled with walking in discipleship impacting the head, heart, and hands:

Head: Overview of the story of the Bible and how to reteach it, cross-cultural competence, systematic theology, apologetics, creation science, evangelism, discipleship principles, spiritual gifting assessment

Heart: Designated times for worship, reflection, prayer, and rest

Hands: Open-air evangelism, VBS in the park, life skills, blessing the community, service projects, developing an action plan for discipleship and service in local church context

The 2018 Blaze will culminate in a two-week mission trip to Peru with missionary Micah Tuttle.



One of the most important elements in creating a fire is continuously providing oxygen to the flame. Our 3-month follow-up program, Oxygen, will provide a bridge between Spark, Light, and Blaze events and the everyday life of the participant.

Oxygen is an online program for all L.I.T. participants. There will be a discussion board for people to follow-up and encourage each other after each event.

The main teaching content will be pulled from Emmaus courses as well as videos, blogs, and teaching.

The L.I.T. Discipleship team will continue to provide encouragement and interaction through the Oxygen follow-up program.



Passing the Fire

At the end of Blaze, we will invite all L.I.T. participants from the past year (Spark, Light, and Blaze) to join us in a two-day celebration of testimony of what God has done in the past year through discipleship and disciple-making in local churches.

We will also pray for and launch the next year’s locations and dates of L.I.T. discipleship events and how people can get involved.



1 Response

Rev. Paul Crone
Rev. Paul Crone

November 19, 2019

Ben, I am an Emmaus graduate from 1993, I think, being introduced through Asbury UMC in Oklahoma City, under the direction of our good friend and glorified saint, Rev. Gale Izzard. I am a graduate with MDiv from Asbury Seminary (Class of 82, woohoo!) and the Associate Pastor of Discipleship, Fairview Baptist Church, Edmond, OK. I am bi-vocational, with every intention of the Church to become full-time, when God opens that door.

I am beginning home fellowship huddles in our community. Our pastor, Paul Blair, former Chicago Bear, has led the likes of Bridgette Gabriel, Alex McFarland, Josh McDowell, Bill Federer, Warner Wallace, Dr. Thomas Sharp, and Ken Ham to come to our church of 400 to speak and teach, so our church ministry is heavily grounded in the Truth: Jesus and His Word.

The crisis in Christiandom is a not-so dedicated commitment to truth and formation of “community group anything goes fellowship” of the emerging church, which lacks depth, conviction, and living for others. I firmly believe that the Holy Spirit is doing a new work for really capturing what Koinonia is and how it can lead others to Christ and to the Truth. I am starting such groups in Edmond, Oklahoma, which after thorough study, begins with taking inventory of the gifts of our people, then to leadership development in a small group, moving to mentoring, and launching with well-grounded followers to introduce Jesus to their communities. I know that the Holy Spirit is doing this with many all over the country. Des Colores!

I am excited to Google “Discipleship of the Truth,” and see my old friends at Emmaus with this article. I would like more information, and possibly, to attend the four-day event. I invite all lovers of the True Faith, fellow biblical worldview Christians, to visit with me.

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