iFollow Discipleship Resource

About the iFollow Discipleship Resource

As the North American Division researched resource needs at the local church level, we were told, year after year, that the greatest need was for a discipleship resource that came specifically from the Adventist church. Churches attempting discipleship training were experiencing “pushback” from members on the content in off-the-shelf discipleship training materials from Christian suppliers, and were requesting products that reflected more completely the distinctive character of Adventism.

We didn’t want to be reactionary in approach or to produce a product that was merely copied from what others were doing, with an Adventist name on it. We wanted to respond with a quality product that would bring unique value to churches. So, we set out on the long journey to create one-a journey that included advisory groups, committees of pastors, writers and editors-and then a lot of work.

A Six-Year Process

Developing a comprehensive and representative discipleship resource was not something to be done quickly or haphazardly. We knew that a “better” resource wouldn’t just be one that threw in a few Adventist terms, here and there, but that was, indeed, more useful to pastors and other church leaders. The process of developing what has come to be known as iFollow was a long and arduous one. It took us a full six years to get a broadly-based set of discipleship training “lessons”—over one hundred of them—and to design the needed additional resource elements that would reflect both the needs and the values of Adventism, in a comprehensive manner.

Accomplishing all this demanded some great partners in development, which included several key groups. These included the Center for Creative Ministry, Mind Over Media, SermonView, the iFollow Taskforce, and our team here at the NAD Church Resource Center—widely known as Vervent.

The iFollow Pastor’s Edition

The first part of the new iFollow resource is called the “Pastor’s Edition.” It is delivered to churches as part of our well-known Pastor’s DVD distribution format and is also available on the web, here at this site. The content includes over 100 discipleship-training units, which come complete with discussion questions, PowerPoint slides, group activities, and many other resource elements.

The Pastor’s Edition content is accessible in unique ways, as well. Not only can you search for lessons you might want, but the software will help you find just what you need, based on the makeup of your congregation. For example, there is a survey your group can take-online or on the DVD-that enables the software to identify for you which of the curriculum items would be most helpful for your group.

The result is Adventist discipleship training that is both comprehensive and accessible.

The iFollow Book Series

In an effort to make discipleship content even more accessible to churches, iFollow adds to the DVD content a series of small-group books that have been titled to assist discipleship training and organized to make them distinctively helpful. Each book addresses a key discipleship theme, adding to the narrative an entire set of support tools in each chapter, including discussion questions and activities, a Bible study, Inspired Thoughts, from Ellen White, resources from other Adventist and Christian writers, media resources and web links-and so much more.

Even more, the iFollow series of book development is an open-ended process, with more books being added to the list of available titles all the time. This is being done to assure that if you begin discipleship training, there will be no lack of available resources you can use to keep the fire burning.

No matter what size of church you have, or how you want to organize your discipleship training effort, iFollow is flexible enough to make the process easy and effective. And, best of all, after this long developmental process, it’s here now and available to help your church members grow, spiritually, and become more engaged with the ministries you want to offer your community.

Keeping Your Trust

The new iFollow resource represents a long-term commitment by the North American Division. Not only are church leaders supporting the project, but they are also personally writing for it, promoting it, and helping to shape the process. We are using the resources you send up the pipeline to help ensure you’re getting back real value that contributes to your efforts, locally, to assure that your members are growing in Christ and sharing the good news in your community.

One key element that characterizes the Division’s support for iFollow is content that supports you in both your efforts to baptize new members and then to keep those new members in the church. Both accession and retention are vital for church life—as iFollow demonstrates—and for the future of the church.