home discipleship philosophy

Home Discipleship Philosophy for Homeschool Families

The home discipleship philosophy will be discussed a lot on this blog. Perhaps you’ve heard the term before. Maybe you’ve never heard the term. Regardless of where you stand, it’s my hope that this will help you understand what I mean when I talk about home discipleship.

So what is home discipleship? Simply put, home discipleship is the practice of making disciples at home. The home discipleship philosophy describes a way of looking at your home through the lens of discipleship. To break this down further, let’s look at three key aspects of the home discipleship philosophy.

1. Home Discipleship Philosophy is About Seeing the Home as a Learning Center, but not Necessarily About Homeschooling

The first thing that you must understand about home discipleship is that it’s not homeschooling. Homeschooling, at its most fundamental level, is about teaching your children what the government believes they should know. You’ve got to cover all the core subjects: science, math, social studies, English, and so forth. With homeschooling, you’re ensuring that your children are ready to progress to college or the real world if they so choose.

Home discipleship is different. It can be applied by homeschool families as well as families who choose to send their children to traditional schools. With a home discipleship philosophy, you are teaching your children how to become followers of Jesus.

In a homeschool environment, this task can be incorporated into their learning in various ways. As your children learn math, you can think about how wonderful it is that God gave us the ability to reason and number things in an orderly fashion. As your children learn science, you can marvel at God’s ingenuity in creating living organisms, our planet, and even the whole universe. In English and literature, you can talk about how God gave us the ability to be storytellers.

When your child goes to a traditional school, it can become harder to practice home discipleship. Traditional schools will be teaching your children to think, act, and analyze as though God doesn’t exist. This means that you will have to work harder to help your children understand that the best way to think, act, and analyze the world is to believe that God created it. Not only that, with your child gone for a large portion of the day at school, you’ll only have evenings and weekends to accomplish this.

2. Home Discipleship Philosophy Begins and Ends with God

The traditional school environment teaches subjects with the weight and authority of human experts. Home discipleship teaches with the weight and authority of God’s word. This is one reason that home discipleship can be harder for families who send their children to traditional schools. As your child learns more secular philosophy each day, you will have to undo the damage that the school has done.

Let’s look at how this works using a simple example: adultery.

According to the Bible, adultery is bad. In fact, adultery was one of the sins that were punishable by death in the Torah. In the home discipleship culture, God’s word is the only authority that is needed to establish adultery as immoral.

Modern culture says that adultery is ok if both spouses agree on it. You can find experts to back that opinion. In the world of traditional school, these secular experts are all that is needed to provide the moral high ground for adultery.

The traditional school environment ends with consensus. For some matters a simple public consensus is deemed sufficient. For other issues, you must find field experts who agree on your point of view. But the goal is to reach a consensus. When most experts agree on something, it becomes true.

Compare this to the home discipleship model, which ends with God. No matter what you are confronted with, only God’s authority is sufficient. The goal is to have complete faith in God and increase your understanding of Him. Therefore, if the public consensus disagrees with God, God is the answer. If the experts disagree with God, God is the only expert you need. Who better to judge what is moral or not than the One who created morality?

Of course, the danger of home discipleship is reading your own interpretation into God’s word. Which brings us to the next (and final) point:

3. Home Discipleship Philosophy Requires a Community

When Jesus came to earth, He didn’t pick only one person to spread His gospel throughout the earth. He commissioned twelve.

Those twelve served as a community among themselves. When major decisions had to be made in the early church, they would get together in a council and decide on the answers together. If one were out of line with the teaching of Jesus, another would correct him.

This same principle applies today. God did not create us to live in isolation. He made us to relate to other people. And in order to effectively disciple our children, we must teach them that. As iron sharpens iron, so one man sharpens another. As the author of Hebrews reminds us, we are not to forsake gathering together with brothers and sisters in Christ.

So these are what I see as the three key points that define home discipleship philosophy. If we spend time focusing on these points, we’ll see the results in our children and even in ourselves.

Christian Leaders Institute offers classes that can help you develop your home discipleship model. Click here to learn how to enroll and take classes.

homeschool mom with a vision

A Homeschool Mom With a Vision of Hope for Women Everywhere

Melisha Billups is a homeschool mom with a vision.

When she was growing up, Melisha experienced a difficult life that led her to hopelessness. She struggled with low self-esteem in childhood, but she found her identity in Jesus. Now this homeschool mom with a vision wants to share the hope that is in Jesus Christ with other women who have low self-esteem.

My name is Melisha Billups. I am a 35-year-old wife and mother of six children, four daughters and two sons. We live in Chattanooga, TN, USA.

Growing up my family did not attend church regularly. We didn’t even go to church on Easter or other holidays that a lot of families chose to visit church. When I was in the first grade I was baptized as a Catholic to qualify for a discount to attend a Catholic private school. We went to mass regularly during school, although my family and I didn’t attend mass outside of school hours. I never practiced or even understood Catholicism and have not attended a Catholic Church since leaving the private school.

I became a Christian at the age of 15, when my now husband (of 11 years), led me to Christ on my back porch. I received my first bible from him around that time and began to study the bible on my own. Still being young and without transportation to go to church or family members that were willing to go to church, I would watch sermons on television. The majority of the sermons I watched during my early years as a Christian were on television. As I got older I began visiting churches and joined a church where my boyfriend (now husband) was a pastors assistant.

We were young then and although we’re married now, I’m not proud of the fact that we had four of our six children before getting married, we had our first at the age of 18. Those were tough times for us, and during that time we were on and off as a couple, but we were married in 2003 and at that point God really blessed our union. And it’s at that time that God began to put on my heart the lives of young women, mothers and children that may be going through the experiences that I went though and since then I have wanted to start a ministry helping with the needs of these types of women.

I only give credit to God that my life has taken the turn that it has. My mother was a drug addict and I was raised by my grandmother. Growing up in that situation led me to low self-esteem and feeling withdrawn from society. My relationship with Christ helped me to see where my true identity lies and that I don’t have to make the same mistakes that my parents made. I believe that gaining a relationship with Christ is the only means of having a rewarding life and I want to be able to give that same hope to other women in my city and eventually women all around the world.

There are many churches in America and there are also many people that profess to know Christ, but live a life contrary to what is taught in the bible. That can be somewhat of a challenge because some people don’t know or understand what it means to be a Christian, therefore never really gaining a true relationship with Christ.

A scholarship at CLI will help me tremendously because as a wife and homeschooling, WAHM of six our resources are limited and we are still paying for school loans from previous schools. I will also have the flexibility to learn at my own pace and The classes seem to be laid out so that no matter your age you can firmly grasp the material. I am so excited to have found CLI and I don’t believe that it was happenstance that I came across this school. I have searched for years to find a seminary school that I could afford that would still allow me to stay home to raise and teach my children. CLI has already been an enormous blessing to me. My heart was filled with so much joy when I was able to begin studying with CLI. And I can’t wait to further my education and expand my knowledge of God and His word as well as grow spiritually in the process. I can’t thank CLI enough for providing the means of a quality seminary education.

I would like prayer for my family and I as we embark on this journey together. My family fully supports all of my efforts to grow and are standing beside me all the way. I could not do this without them.

Are you a homeschool mom with a vision? Do you need ministry training to fulfill a calling in your life? Click this link to see how to be enrolled at Christian Leaders Institute!

homeschooling mom

Homeschooling Mom of 6 Serves as Children’s Pastor

Sometimes a homeschooling mom finds that it takes all of her time just to homeschool her children. But Lauren Mitchell is a homeschooling mom who accepted God’s call to serve other children at her church. With 6 children of varying races and backgrounds, Lauren and her husband still find time to use their God-given talents to serve their local church. And they want to share God’s love with more children through adoption!

Somehow, through all that, Lauren felt that she needed to spend some time getting formal training in the Bible. But how could they pay for seminary? There was no way that she could pay for more schooling and continue to homeschool her children. It looked like ministry training might be something to be set aside till the future. But then she found Christian Leaders Institute.

Christian Leaders Institute has seminary level training available for anyone to take, no matter what their age or educational background. The classes are free to take, and she could study at her own pace. This made it a perfect fit for a homeschooling mom whose schedule needs to be flexible!

Here’s Lauren’s story in her own words:

My name is Lauren Mitchell. I’m 32 and have a Bachelor’s degree in University Studies.

I was raised in a non-Christian church, so I never understood the need for a savior. I had a turbulent upbringing in a family that argued constantly, a house that remained continually in a state of disorder, and parented by adults who demanded and modeled perfect, superficially cheerful behavior outside of our home.

I fell in love while still in high school, and married as soon as I graduated, relieved to put some distance between myself and my family. After I moved out, things seemed to spiral out of control with my parents. My husband and I had our first child three years after we got married, and two more children soon followed. When they were still small, my parents went through an ugly divorce, in which I was placed firmly in the middle. Somehow, in each of my parents’ battle to keep my youngest sister from going to the other spouse, I gained custody of her. She lived with us for five years. I began to feel overwhelmed by grief, anger, and depression. I had two other siblings who were at odds with the family. There was no unity, even though I kept trying and trying to fix everything. I wanted to be a better wife, mother, and sister. I knew that God could help, but it was a long time before I realized that it wasn’t going to happen in the church I had been attending my whole life.

We began to visit Christian churches, and eventually found one that spoke to our hearts. I quickly fell into a recovery program, to help me turn my grief and anger over to God and find healing. I realized that Jesus Christ, introduced to me at last as my Savior, was what I had been missing all these years of loving God and trying to hide my sin. I was baptized soon after I started attending the church. Finally, as I let go of my fearful and tight-fisted need to control, I felt God’s call on my life. He valued me, and at that moment, desired my obedience in loving and caring for orphans. My husband, grateful for the quiet joy that was slowly settling over my heart, was cautiously on board for whatever God asked of us. He reaffirmed his childhood commitment to Christ, and within a month of my conversion, we began our journey to foster and eventually adopt. During our three years as foster parents, my husband and I relied on God to lead our family through the depths of heartache, fear, and uncertainty, and to equip us to serve His children. We had five little ones become beloved members of our family for different lengths of time before they were reunited with their parents or relatives. Two years ago, two baby girls were brought to us within a few months of each other. Six weeks after the second baby girl arrived, an acquaintance of mine called me to ask if we would be willing to privately adopt a three-year-old boy whose grandmother could no longer raise him. The grandmother wanted us to take him immediately. God spoke clearly to both my husband and me. So, the next day we signed papers at an attorney’s office and walked out with our son. We finalized his adoption in August of 2014, and the adoptions of both little girls in March and August of 2015.

Since discovering and committing to Christ, my life has not become easier. Living by faith and trusting God to guide my life has led my family to an unusual and often criticized lifestyle. Due to some financial difficulties, my husband’s parents moved in with us. Now our six children of varied races and backgrounds are homeschooled in a multi-generational household. Two of our youngest children struggle with moderate medical, behavioral, and developmental disabilities. Every day is a new struggle, but through faith and reliance on God’s never-ending grace and provision, life is rich and rewarding.

Nearly two years ago, just before youngest son came into our family, my husband and I joined a small, brand-new church, founded by our favorite pastor. This little church needed help in a big way, and both of us felt compelled to fully invest in our new church family. He and I began to volunteer in the children’s ministry, first on alternate weeks, and then weekly as the church grew and needed more assistants. My family arrived early every week to help our pastor set up, and my husband offered to help with child registration and check-in.

Months later, the pastor asked me to officially join the staff as the elementary pastor. Then when the preschool pastor position opened up, the church merged preschool and elementary under one umbrella and made me the children’s pastor.

My dream for ministry is to guide my own children at home into a secure and strong relationship with God through Jesus Christ. Furthermore, I want to be an equipped and credible leader to better minister to the children, families, and volunteers at our church. I feel an urgent pull to learn more about God’s word and sound Christian doctrine. I want to strengthen my relationship with God and to serve Him more fully. We could not afford for me to continue homeschooling our children and pay for me to go through seminary, so a scholarship to Christian Leaders Institute is a wonderful blessing, for which we are deeply grateful.

My husband and I are currently starting the process of adopting a set of siblings waiting in foster care. We haven’t been matched to any children yet, and it could take years, but we would certainly appreciate prayer for the children God may one day bring to our family, and for the children and families in our church.

Whether you’re a homeschooling mom or just want to deepen your understanding of the Bible, Christian Leaders Institute can help you just like it helped Lauren! Click here to find out more and enroll in classes!


Missouri Mom Homeschooling Full Time for Her Disabled Son

Homeschooling full time isn’t easy. It takes a dedicated parent to devote the time and attention that is needed to bring up a child in this environment. Yet for this mother, homeschooling full time is a joy for her and her son – who has a disability. Here is her story in her own words:

Hello, My Name is Angel Cantu Smith, Single Parent Mother 34 years of age to a Wonderful Autism Asperger’s, child name: Chasen J. Smith, 8 years of age boy. I Christian Base Homeschool Chasen in the 2nd grade due to the fact of his disability full-time. Gives us time to study the word of the bible everyday with our homeschool lessons with the Christian curriculum. I do not work being a full time mother is a full time job that I enjoy every day.

I live in the United States of America, very small country town Cardwell, Missouri. I will be using my ministry training at CLI to further my teaching of youth at Trinity Community Church in Cardwell, MO to teach the children the word of GOD in the Holy BIBLE. I will be minatory the Sunday School children and with training new up an coming adult leaders in hopes to bring in more children to attend in Church and Vacation Bible School with the Holy Bible, Prayer, Scripture, Praise Music.

I am a Member at Southside Community Church (Baptist Church) where I became a member in August of 2015. A Trained Celebrate Recovery Leader in the Ministry to help with the fellowship with others and to celebrate God’s healing power in our lives through the program’s Eight Recovery Principles. This experience also those who work through the program to experience profound life change and freedom from their hurts, hang-ups and habits. By working and applying these Biblical principles.

On July 10, 2014 I found Christ and was a born again Christian through Baptism in Jesus Christ My Lord and Savor. I attend at this time in my life a church in North Little Rock, Arkansas called First Assembly North Little Rock (Assembly of God Church) where I attend the church for 4 years learning and studying the word of god only by volunteering my time in a single mom’s women group (Solo Moms Group) and Celebrate Recovery Program up in till I moved to another state and started to attending another church in the year of 2015.

The word I would identify with the most would be a Women Evangelist, Small Group Leader, and Youth Leader, would like one day to Plant my very own Church, or Help Plant a Church. My key experience in life prompted me to pursue ministry would be the Holy Spirit speaking to me while homeschooling my son. I grew stronger as a Christian and the growing seed in my heart for Jesus Christ words in the Holy Bible through the Grace of GOD.

There are challenges in my geographic area with be getting out and community and starting a mentoring group to educate the local community on the word of the Holy Bible and God word of Jesus Christ our Lord and Saver to Educate them and spread the word in this community.

Having a scholarship at Christian Leaders Institute will help me to achieve my goals by instill the ability with the education, and understanding of the biblical Holy Bible so, I can teach God’s Children the Holy Bible correct, That the Bible is the only way threw the Holy Sprit Jesus Christ our Lord and Saver. JOHN 3:16

And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose- Romans 8:28

Please Pray for the Teaching and Spreading the Word of GOD in the community to Raise Awareness of the Word Jesus Christ died on the Cross for Everyone SIN for One day Everyone will Hear the Word of GOD. -Amen

(John and the Angel)
The angel said to me, “These words are trust worthy and true. The Lord, the God who inspires the prophets, sent his angle to show his servants the things that must soon take place.”
Look, I Am Coming Soon! Blessed is the one who keeps the words of the prophecy written in this scrolls.” Revelation 22:6-7

Angel Smith is one of many moms who are homeschooling full time in the Christian community. It’s exciting to see her dedication to teaching young people about Jesus. And we hope and pray that her ministry training at Christian Leaders Institute will empower her to live out her calling and impact many for Christ.

Homeschool dad

A Homeschool Dad’s Vision to Teach Men to be Leaders

When it comes to homeschooling, you always hear about the homeschool mom. But what about the homeschool dad? Here’s a story of a homeschool dad who has a vision for making a difference in the church, and in the whole world!

My name is Justin Stewart. I live in Rock Springs, Wyoming with my wife and three children. I’m a homeschool dad. My wife is the amazing homeschool mother of two teenagers and a ten year old. I honestly don’t know how she does everything she does. I have been employed with the city of Rock Springs for a little more than six years. I was raised in the LDS church but not long after getting married I was pretty convinced that faith in any God was pointless. For some time I considered myself an atheist but I continued to go to an evangelical church with my wife. For years I sat in church every Sunday drawing, daydreaming, basically anything except paying attention. Then God broke me! I learned that left to my own devices I was going to destroy everything that was most important in my life. At just the right time God brought 2 Corinthians 5:17 to my mind and I realized I could be made a new creation in Jesus Christ!

My wife and I have been involved on a few different worship teams over the years as we have moved and gone to different churches. Even leading the worship team at our local church for almost two years. We have been able to get all three of our kids involved in our worship ministry. It’s been a wonderful blessing to teach our children to play instruments, sing and most importantly, to use those talents to worship the Lord. As God has grown me and expanded my ministry I have come to really love studying the Bible, getting together in small groups, and getting to know the Lord through His word. God’s word is nothing short of amazing!

The Lord has placed in me a desire to see men raised up to be the leaders God has called them to be, in their homes and in God’s church. There is a huge misconception, at least in America, of what being a “man” is. The culture says I have to be self made and self dependent. Work hard, play harder. Command the respect of your family because you work hard and they owe it to you. Anything more than a vague acknowledgment of God is just a sign of weakness. Wyoming is the “Cowboy State” and if there is a better icon to sum up what the world tells me a man should be I don’t know what it is. God has given me a strong desire to connect with men and help teach the things that the Lord says make a “man”; being reliant on Him, earning the respect of your family because you lay your life down for them, teaching them to love and honor the Lord, and getting involved in a ministry.
I have recently felt a call and am prayerfully seeking out what role in ministry the Lord has prepared for my future. I love to play worship music, lead small groups, and teach the word of God. I don’t know if full time ministry is in my future or if God will want me to continue to reach out to the lost world from my secular employment, but I know formal education and training will help move my role in ministry to the next level.

No matter what form my ministry takes on, raising up leaders is a vital part of what God has called me to do. When I began my Christian basics class and saw the emphasis on raising up leaders in the Church I was so encouraged and eager to dig into the training that CLI has to offer. Having a scholarship is so crucial to completing my goals! Did I mention I have three kids? Two teenagers and one that isn’t far behind. Quitting my job and working part time to get through a formal seminary is just not possible at this time in my life. Being able to get free quality ministry training is the key for me to get the education I so strongly desire.

I am praying for God to open doors and plug me into a place where I can continue my education and use the talents and tools He has given me to advance His kingdom. I would be sincerely grateful if you would be willing to pray with me that I would be diligent in my studies, frugal with my time and that the Holy Spirit would always be the light that guides me.

God is using homeschool dads to accomplish His work all over the world. We’re thankful to see a homeschool dad like Justin making a difference in his homes and in his church.

To find out more about Christian Leaders Institute, or to sign up for classes, just click this link to get started right away.

Homeschool mom

Homeschool Mom Lets Her Light Shine in Sin City

In a world where the media likes to tear down every homeschool mom they can find a story against, we need the counter-story. There are thousands of homeschool families out there who are doing positive things in their communities and in their churches. Here’s the inspiring story of one homeschool mom who’s fighting the good fight in Sin City itself!

Hello. My name is Diane Holton, but my nickname is Dia. I was born and raised in the United States. My family has a long history serving in the armed forces. I was raised in a pagan household because as children my parents were abused by the Catholic Church. They both lost hope that God would take care of it so they turned from him. They taught and showed me many things that allowed me to see that Witch Craft is real. When done properly people can bring demons into their home, but in the end they get stronger and witches cannot control them for long. As a child I already knew that I would not be spell casting and all the other things the adults were doing in the house.

I eventually married a man who was in the US Navy and when he was done serving 20 years he retired. We have now been married for 16 years. We have children who are now all above the age of 18. I was lucky enough to have married a man who demanded that I stay at home to raise our children. We also decided to homeschool our children using Christian Paces. The Paces gave them the knowledge they needed to make it in this world and tempered the information with the word of God. Now our children are all kind and generous adults and are pursuing their dreams. Now that I’m not longer a homeschool mom I am free to pursue my career as a servant to god.

I have known since childhood that I would be involved in ministry at some point in my lifetime. I wanted to be able to counter act what my parents and their friends were doing. There was never a quiet night while I was growing up. On top of the constant knocking on the walls, having invisible things burning us, sexual abuse, etc, I was plagued by nightmares. I had to put my dream on hold when I was a young woman because I had extreme anxiety and was diagnosed with Agoraphobia and Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. I suffered greatly but I ended up meeting a really nice guy who helped me to get through it completely un-medicated. His weapon to get me on the right path was the word of God and that word broke all the chains that bound me. I am now free from all the things that once plagued me. I am very grateful to my husband every day. I am also very thankful to God for curing me.

I am going to use the training I receive at Christian Leaders Institute to begin a women’s ministry. God gave me the idea to work with women of all ages but especially with fallen women. I am going to trust in the Lord and do as he commands. He has given me some very strong ideas about this task and I know that with his daily guidance I will accomplish this for him.

I believe that having a scholarship with CLI will help me to achieve what God has set out before me. I know that this training will give me all the knowledge that I need to be able to create a ministry to help women to remember who we are in Gods eyes, to help all generations to see our value as daughters of God, and to reclaim our ability to save ourselves for marriage.

I live in Las Vegas which is the self-proclaimed Sin City. The unique challenges I face are getting women to realize that just because we are forced into jobs that we would never see ourselves doing that it is still okay to stay chaste even when the world is convincing you otherwise. I believe that sometimes when we lose hope we can often convince ourselves to do the wrong thing and when we do we always regret it. I want to be able to have a safe place where when we are feeling helpless or hopeless that before we do something we will regret we can call on our sisters day or night for prayer on the phone or in person.

Please pray that this ministry becomes a reality. That the women of this city will not fall prey to the devil’s that walk among us day and night. That the goodness of this city will rise up and keep us afloat with continuous generous donations. That I do not fall prey to greed and that every donation accepted will be used purely for the ministry.

And Diane’s training at CLI just became more relevant. In February Christian Leaders Institute launched a women’s ministry ordination that touches on many of the challenges and difficulty Diane and others like her will face in women’s ministry.

I’m excited to see a homeschool mom making a difference for Jesus in the heart of one of the great strongholds of the enemy. And I can’t wait to see what God will do through Diane in Las Vegas.

If you’re interested in enrolling in Christian Leaders Institute, you can click here to apply and create an account today!