Montana Bible College believes that discipleship is an intentional directed relationship leading to maturity in Christ. Discipleship is intentional because it seeks to meet individuals where they are and purposely stimulate them to move beyond (Mark 10:21, Luke 5:27-28, John 4:7-26). It is directed because it has a goal: to make mature followers of Jesus (Matthew 28:18-20; Colossians 1:28-29). Discipleship is relational in that it is always done person to person. The command to make disciples is given to people for people (Matthew 28:18-20). Good discipleship needs all three components: intention, direction, and relationship. Direction without intentional relationship is a program approach to discipleship that says, “Read this book. Take this class. Memorize these verses. Conversely, relationship without intentional direction results in a discipleship process that says, “Let’s just hang out together. Let’s meet over coffee to talk. Let’s encourage one another.” Montana Bible College believes that discipleship is a life-on-life relational process with direction and intention; an approach the apostles modeled for us.
But how does Montana Bible College translate directed relationship to actual practice? What actually happens? What does a student here experience?
Most people immediately equate going to Bible college with taking academic classes. MBC certainly believes in academic coursework. Classroom instruction provides a major component of the directional aspect of discipleship at MBC. But academics is not the whole picture. Relationship is necessary too! This is why MBC makes sure every student is connected in a relationship with a more mature believer who understands what discipleship is. Mature disciplers get involved in the lives of their disciples to lead them by example, to encourage, exhort and admonish, and to walk with them through the trials and triumphs of life – all of this and more to present each one mature in Christ (Colossians 1:28-29). Direction and relationship come together at MBC.
Each freshman student is placed in a small group led by a mature disciple-maker. Students begin to learn about discipleship by participating in the process!
Montana Bible College intends to create a movement of multiplication by raising up disciple-makers who will fulfill the Great Commission the way Paul expressed in 2 Timothy 2:2: The things which you have heard from me in the presence of many witnesses, entrust these to faithful men who will be able to teach others also.