Welcome to disciple making: (Karl Payne):
This series on disciple making is Booklet 1 – Essentials, which is part of the program Transferable Cross
Training (TCT) developed by Dr. Karl Payne. The purpose of TCT is to help equip men and women to be effective disciple
makers. The materials are field tested with various proof verses that can be memorized, and each lesson is focused on
transferability. It is our desire is for those who accept the challenge of discipleship that, with or without a Bible
and notes in hand, each individual who has taken the time to master the concepts and principles in this series will
have confidence to comfortably and biblically respond to common questions and comments from friends or enemies of Christ.
By God’s grace we can make a difference in eternity by being actively involved in the most important job assignment
entrusted to mankind. For more information about TCT or obtaining the booklet series, see
Please remember that the uniqueness of this discipleship series is its simple transferability. It is the expressed
desire of the author that students actually use these materials after completing each booklet, by sharing them with
others in a manner consistent with 2 Timothy 2:2.
It is sometimes difficult to live with trials, but even harder to grow in Christian maturity without them.
Here are several simple, biblical principles to remember before, during and after you find yourself facing a
trial or testing time from God.
1. God's Purpose:
God's purpose when we face any trial from Him is to give us endurance, to make our faith and character
"Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you
know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance. Perseverance must finish its work so that you may
be mature and complete, not lacking anything." (James 1:2-4)
Key words to contrast:
Consider / Count: The way we approach our trials is ultimately our own decision. "You"
are the key to determining whether your trials are viewed as stepping-stones or stumbling blocks.
Joy / Happiness: Joy refers to internal contentment regardless of external circumstances.
Happiness is an emotional response because of external circumstances. God commands us to consider trials as joy,
When / If: Trials are not optional, they are coming! Presenting trials as divine payback
for disobedience or something that can be avoided is simply wrong, even if the one attempting to make that case is
Various: Trials are used to complete and mature us, so that we can be used as an instrument
in God's hand to serve Him in a variety of circumstances. As such, our trials are as varied as the service and
circumstances God is preparing us to face. God does know what is around the corner, even if we do not.
Knowing / Hoping: There is a difference in knowing there is a light at the end of the
tunnel and only hoping that to be the case. God's promise that our trials will make us stronger and always work
for our good, regardless of the circumstances, should impact the way we approach life; mentally, emotionally,
physically and spiritually.
Endurance: God's ultimate purpose for allowing us to endure trials is to make us stronger.
Should trials, therefore, be considered positive or negative?
2. God's Promise:
God has promised that as He uses trials to make our faith and character stronger. He will also work the
circumstances for our good.
"And we know that He causes all things to work together for good to those who love God,
those who are called according to His purpose." (Romans 8:28)
Notice that the ultimate basis for knowing that God intends trials for our benefit is rooted
in the same promise He made for our salvation. Trials are not based on our human performance but on His promise.
3. God's Protection:
God has provided every needed protection for us as we face our trials.
"No temptation has overtaken you but such as is common to man; and God is faithful who
will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will provide the way of escape
also, that you may be able to endure it." (1 Corinthians 10:13)
4. God's Plan:
God has a plan prepared to allow our trials, successfully endured, to become a positive benefit, not only to
each of us individually, but also to others.
"Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and God
of all comfort; who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort
we ourselves have received from God." (2 Corinthians 1:3-4)
- Trials are allowed by God and designed for our strengthening and growth, not our destruction.
- Trials approve us as will as improve us. If we could not handle the situation God would not
allow it to touch us. He has promised to protect us, and always provide an honorable way of escape through
the testing process.
- Trials are under God's timing, direction and control. They prepare us for the privilege of sharing with
others the same comfort God has given to us. God is greater than our circumstances.
- Trials are an opportunity to respond supernaturally rather than react naturally.
Karl Payne's personal note: I grew up in a home
that would have been considered moral and ethical, but not religious. Both of my parents were teachers.
Dad was a Mathematics / Science specialist for the Sacramento City School District and my mom taught
grade school. My Dad would occasionally pray for our food, but we did not read the Bible or discuss
religious topics. I decided my first Sunday of seventh grade that I had no real interest in church or
Sunday school and informed my parents that I would no longer attend either. I assumed I was a Christian
because I had been baptized as a child at my mom's request, but my primary interests were baseball,
football and music.
On June 17th, 1970 I became a Christian while attending a youth retreat sponsored by Young Life,
a Christian ministry focused upon reaching high school students. The two biggest hurdles I faced
in that decision both related to honest assumptions. My first assumption related to what I had
understood it meant to be a Christian. I assumed that I was a Christian because I had been baptized.
Christians get baptized, I had been baptized, therefore, I was a Christian. I also thought that
heaven, if it was real, was attained by being a nice person. I reasoned that since on a moral and
ethical scale which had the Pope on one end and Hitler on the other, that my live style was closer
to the Pope's than Hitler's, thus making me a shoe in for heaven if God was fair.
The second assumption I had made related to education. In eighth grade my science teacher told our
class that "religious people were mental cripples who needed a crutch to get through life." I was
very impressed by this teacher and took to heart what he said. In the eleventh grade, my physiology
teacher told our class that "educated people believed in evolution." As I grew older my education
had become more important to me. As a result of several teacher's comments I assumed that it was
not possible to think deeply and still be a Christian. Religion in my mind was therefore something
for nice people who were not too concerned about an academic education. My first assumption was
to confuse churchianity with Christianity. Churchianity represents men and women making their best
efforts to reach up to God and receive His approval, based upon their individual efforts to be found
worthy in His eyes. Biblical Christianity is a message explaining how God has chosen to reach down
to mankind through the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus Christ, providing salvation by His
grace as a free gift to all who believe, in spite of our unworthiness. Religion is essentially a
message of man reaching up to God. Christianity is a message detailing how God has reached down to
man. Religion exalts man. Christianity exalts God. I had received just enough religious training
to confuse religion with Christianity and had rejected an honest consideration of Christianity in
the process. My second assumption was to confuse naturalism, dialectical materialism and the
suppositional baggage assumed to be true by both philosophical world views, with actual empirical
data and good science, which provides conclusions based upon testing, observation and repetition
rather than wishful thinking and naturalist / atheistic suppositional indoctrination.
On the 17th of June, 1970 at 8:00 P.M., I listened to a gentleman clearly explain that God's plan
is that I have eternal life (John 3:16, John 10:10, Romans 5:1), but that my problem with sin (to miss
the mark in word, thought or deed) had separated me from Him (Romans 3:23, Romans 6:23). This sounded
more like bad news to me than good news. He went on to say that God had provided a remedy for my sin
by sending His only son Jesus Christ to die on a cross as a payment for my penalty (2 Corinthians 5:21,
Philippians 2:4-10, 1 Timothy 2:5, Romans 5:8, John 14:6, Ephesians 2:8-9), but that it was absolutely
necessary for me to respond to His remedy for the remedy to be effective (John 1:12, Romans 10:9-10,
Revelation 3:20). I bowed my head in that room and quietly asked Jesus Christ to become my Savior
and Lord. Jesus came into my life and has made me a new person, from the inside out (2 Corinthians
5:17). That was nearly thirty-one years ago. Knowing Jesus is more than religious activism or academic
curiosity. It is a real relationship. Spiritual maturity is a process (1 John 2:12-14) that should
continue to develop and grow as long as we are alive.
God used a Campus Crusade for Christ high school ministry to teach me that aggressive, reproductive
Christianity (2 Timothy 2:2) should be considered normal Christianity. Sincerity is necessary for
Christian living, but it is not sufficient for impacting our world for Christ (Matthew 28:18-20,
2 Corinthians 5:17-21, 2 Timothy 2:15, 1 Peter 3:15). He has used several godly men, seminary and
nearly twenty-five years of serving in church ministry to teach me that making disciples means far
more than leading people to Christ and asking them to pray and read their Bibles. It is impossible
to give what you do not have or share what you do not know. When people tell me that their Christian
faith is boring, what they are really telling me is that they do not pray, they do not study and they
do not give away what they have been given. The Christian life is an adventure that is exciting to
live and share. To judge Christianity by people who sit on their hands, criticize others and turn a
living faith into dead religion is to misrepresent Biblical Christianity. Christianity was never meant
to be lived as a passive spectator sport.
Dr. Karl Payne, at heart, is an apologist who loves to train and
equip Christians for spiritual service and warfare (Eph.4:11-16). He enjoys preaching, writing and
retreat / conference / seminar speaking. He derives his greatest pleasure tackling the challenge of teaching
Christian workers, interns and budding preachers / teachers at both the Bible College and Seminary levels.
In addition, he has co-authored two books: A just Defense and Cross Training through
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