I’ve had the great opportunity to visit with hundreds of pastors around the world regarding spiritual growth. I share your passion in wanting to become more like Jesus. I also know what it feels like to experience spiritual “growth spurts.”
I’m just a guy who’s been saved by God’s incredible grace. I’ve experienced my share of ups and downs, but I can tell you that God really does love you and has a remarkable plan for you. The following photo is from Thanksgiving 2015. That’s me in the middle (blue shirt).
Let me share the backstory…
Back in 1988, my wife Suzie and I were members of Scottsdale Bible Church, Scottsdale, Arizona. Gary Smalley and John Trent led our Genesis 2 class – a group of about 120 people. Genesis was then broken down into even smaller life groups of 12-16 people who met in homes all over Phoenix. Both of these groups were made up of folks of about the same age, marital status, number of children, etc. And though Sunday’s big gathering followed by our large Sunday school and the home groups were incredible, nothing changed my life more deeply than this next experience. Two guys from our small group invited me to a once a week, 6:00am men’s fellowship. These guys became “older brothers” and helped plant the seed for what became CoreDiscipleship.com and the 3-Strand CORE Discipleship Process.
In 1989, we moved back to our roots in West Texas. There, in what we now look back and affectionately call our “wilderness years,” we were instructed by a spiritually mature couple and began serving in various aspects of ministry. That’s also when I knew God called me into helping others follow Christ. During that season, we were also introduced to and inspired by the personal teachings of Jack Hayford, Peter Lord, Bill and Delores Winder, and Sam Soleyn to name a few. Inspired to live a simple and devoted life in Christ, we developed a residential at-risk teen ministry in our home (we had absolutely no idea what we were doing, but we loved those kids anyway). We also began helping to the hungry, homeless, sick and people in prison. In 1994 and in partnership with life-long friend Steve Trafton, we created a discipleship tool for our teen ministry called the Disciple’s Journal. Other resources soon followed.
In 2001, Phillip Hearn, founding pastor of New River Fellowship, Weatherford, Texas listened to my vision about implementing a third strand of discipleship to our existing church educational process. He agreed and I launched what I called a Core Discipleship Group. After 18-months meeting with three other guys and watching these guys grow leaps and bounds, we took the process church-wide. We cast the vision to the church staff, realigned staff around the process, communicated the process to all church leadership (cell group leaders and ministry heads), and finally to the body in a 3-part sermon series entitled “The 4-12 Trilogy” (based on Ecclesiastes 4:12).
Within two years, I was overseeing 28 Core Groups, had developed and published the Core Discipleship manual, and once I believed the process soundly tested and evidenced into a second and third generation, I launched the CoreDiscipleship.com website. Phillip went on to write his doctoral dissertation for Regent University on the findings. You can read and even order the entire study here: “The Three-Strand Church: Understanding the Scriptural Values and Structural Venues of a Three-Strand Approach to Discipleship.”
In addition to overseeing CoreDiscipleship.com, I’ve been a marketing director for a lot of organizations since 1984. Most recently the marketing director for one of the leading children’s discipleship publishers. Both our grown daughters are married and discovering their faith in Christ outside our home – always an adventure, but always a blessing. Our son is in high school and my beautiful wife Suzie is an assistant manager of a Christian-based retail hobby store.
We give everything away for free.
You read that right. We don’t make a penny from any of our resources. We give it away because, well, in a world where there oftentimes isn’t much of a distinction between ministry and the world, we think we can make a difference.The Lord has apparently chosen to place His mantle of approval on what we do. Since 1994, we’ve provided more than 500,000 free eBooks to churches, ministries, individuals, schools and prison ministries around the world. We are honored to be a small part of helping people follow Jesus. You can read what others have said about us here.
I know people are looking for meaning. Been there. Somedays and in someways, still there. What I can say without a doubt is that life in Christ is so much more meaningful and richer and fulfilling than life without Him. I hope you discover that God truly loves you, that you spend time reading the Bible, and that you grow to become more like Him.
Doug Morrell, CoreDiscipleship.com
- The Bible is the inspired, inerrant Word of God.
- We acknowledge the Creator – God as our heavenly Father, infinitely perfect, and intimately acquainted with all our ways.
- We claim Jesus Christ as Lord – the very God who came in human flesh – the object of our worship and the subject of our praise.
- We recognize the Holy Spirit as the third member of the Godhead, unceasingly at work convicting, convincing, and comforting.
- That Adam’s fall into sin left humanity without the hope of heaven apart from a new birth, made possible by the Savior’s death and bodily resurrection.
- The offer of salvation is God’s love-gift to all. Those who accept it by faith, apart from works, become new creatures in Christ.
- That anyone who trusts in Christ by faith is a new creation in Him – clothed in His righteousness and fully loved and accepted by God.
- That God expects our lives to reflect that we belong to Him and that we are pursuing a holy life.
- That Satan, under the sovereign permission of God, tries to destroy the faith of believers and that drawing near to God is the only way to resist him.
- That as new creations in Christ we will continue to wrestle with our sin nature. We will, however, continue to grow in grace and become more like
- Jesus. Ultimate perfection and freedom from sin, however, will only come when we finally stand in the presence of the Lord.
- That, as believers in Jesus Christ, we are members of His universal church and that the local church is the place God has designed for His people to worship Him, observe the ordinances of baptism and the Lord’s Table, and love other Christians.
- That, having embraced Jesus Christ by faith, we are to make Him known to non-Christians in our sphere of influence.
- We anticipate our Lord’s promised return in power and glory.
- That all who have died will be brought back from beyond – believers to everlasting communion with God and unbelievers to everlasting separation from God.