Disciple making occurs in relational environments.  Our disciple making strategy is first and foremost about relationships, everyday, normal relationships.  Natural points of connection provide opportunities to know and be known and to share the good news of the gospel honouring the pace of God in other peoples lives.  At some point every one of us connected with a person who knew Jesus, who in turn introduced us to Him ourselves.  The first stage of discipleship is CONNECT.


Every disciple has a birth story i.e. how they were born again.  This is the event of their conversion to Christ.  This can occur instantaneously or over a long period of time.  No matter how it happened, a disciple is a convert from the Lordship of the world, to the Lordship of Christ.  Conversion refers to the mysterious work of God in a person’s life, illuminating their heart and mind to the reality of sin, and moving them towards a faith response.  By grace through faith in Christ’s finished work of death and resurrection a person comes into a never ending relationship with the Father.  To teach these truths at HBC we use such courses as “Understanding Christianity”, “Alpha” and “Christianity Explained”.


The end game of discipleship is to make disciples who make disciples.  Multiplication is our goal.  A disciple needs to understand the grand story of God as depicted in the bible to best communicate this truth with others.  We place a great importance on the biblical story and have found such resources as “Multiply” by Francis Chan and “The story of God” by Sean Gladding to be most useful.  We teach the overarching glory of God’s grace through creation, catastrophe, covenant, community (Exodus), Community (Sinai), Conquest, Crown, Conceit, Christ, Cross, Church, Consummation.  A responsibility of our church is to teach God’s story, to explain the overarching story of salvation as revealed in both the Old & New Testaments.


The purpose of discipleship is to develop every believer as an apprentice of the Master Himself, the Lord Jesus Christ.  More than just a gospel which gets us into heaven, we believe the gospel grants us entry into a life apprenticeship of grace, love, truth and power.  A progression towards Christlikeness.

This is the promise of the sermon on the mount and the charge given by Jesus to His disciples before His ascension; make disciples of all nations and teach them how to live the way I said they could live.  Jesus taught that the life of the Kingdom comes from the heart.  We believe that Christlike character is developed over time by grace fuelled effort, resting in grace given identity.  2 Peter 1 gives clear instruction regarding the place of effort in the shaping of our character.  We aim to teach disciples how to train for godliness by grace, rather than simply try to be godly in the moment.  Character development occurs in relational environments, marinated in grace and illuminated by the Word in the Spirit.


Each follower of Jesus is unique and has a contribution to the kingdom that only they can make.  Having come to faith in Christ and experienced the transformation of conversion, having gained an understanding of the overarching biblical story and begun the journey of character development in Christ – we aim to help each person understand God’s call on their life.

Discipleship involves an exciting path of self discovery.  How has God shaped me? What are my spiritual gifts? What is my ministry passion? What natural abilities do I have?  What is my personality type? What educational opportunities have I had?  What life experiences have made me the person I am – how can I best align my vocation with who I am in Christ?

We aim where possible to train and equip disciples for their best fit of ministry and mission.


Ultimately discipleship is about producing disciple making disciples.  We aim to coach people in Christ fellowship such that they are confident to do the same for others.  Discipleship happens best in relational environments.  Coaching occurs both formally and informally, in organised and organic situations.  The church moves forwards when leaders are empowered to lead, where each persons spiritual gifts are honoured and released in community, where accountability is embraced for the betterment of all.

We provide specific training in how to coach others to follow Christ and it is our aim that every member of our church would be competent to do so.