Essentials of Discipleship Trainees / Testimonials

Me (Ron):  I am indebted to a number of mentors such as:  Randy Pope (Perimeter Church – Atlanta); Jim Hurley (RTS); Sid Macaulay & Hal Habecker (CMDA); Pastors Don Patterson, Jim Baird, Fred Marsh, Brister Ware & Ed Norton while we were in Jackson, MS; Skip Gray, Jim Remeur & Chuck Singletary (Navigators); Will Austin (BUV); Dave Kinsey (loyal personal friend); Gary Brittain (long- time friend/advisor/mentor, business partner & coach with Harvestline & Kynect) and Johnny Clark (loyal friend and advisor in Franklin).  I am greatly indebted to Andrew Boswell, a life coach / mentor in Franklin who gave me the opportunity to “embrace and build on the past” to get me moving forward again.  Andrew helped me discern my best skills and gain a sharper focus for the future.  Lastly, these trainees below are now trained mentors with whom I continue to learn and grow in our ongoing relationships. Biblical Mentoring is working as we “make disciple-making disciples” (Matthew 28:19-20).


1.  Lily Xiang (2019):
“I have learned so much through the discipleship training sessions taught by Pastor Ron Lively.  I was a new Christian having been baptized just prior to this discipleship & training.  The first two verses I was asked to memorize was Philippians 4:6-7 – ‘do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation pray to God…’ This was one of my life turning points.  I would like to recommend anyone start these training sessions with Pastor Lively and to transform yourself into a new life by learning about the love and life of Jesus!  Thanks to God for His amazing grace.  Amen.”

2. Dean Hall (2019):
“Ron’s encouragement for me to get involved in his discipleship mentoring program using Francis Cosgrove’s book – Essential of Discipleship, has been a game changer for me.  Using a gridiron descriptive may seem hyped, but I’ve come to a much clearer realization after being a believer for thirty-five plus years that my spiritual walk and intimacy with Christ (or lack thereof) is so utterly dependent upon my determination to discipline myself to take advantage of all the means of grace, with the tenacity of an athlete on the playing field.

While we are called to feed ourselves upon God’s Word, clearly left to ourselves, we can grow weary.  Being mentored regularly for twelve impactful weeks has been key to me forming an enduring life habit like none other in my many years of group bible studies, theological training and Sunday School classes.  Cosgrove is thorough covering the essentials of Lordship, Purity, Prayer, the Bible, Evangelism, the Church, Christian fellowship, being a servant and giver, as well as the fruits of the Spirit.

Reading and studying on your own in itself of course has value.  But the human exercise of meeting one-to-one each week with structure from a wise leader is invaluable.  Accountability is powerful since even the most sincere of us over time tend to wane and flounder.  And even the most devoted congregant can blend in with the crowd.  I’m convinced as I ever have been that the key ingredient to building the Church is not merely highly trained pastors or dynamic new programs, but simply Christ’s call to all believers to ‘go and make disciples’, the one-on-one transparent, authentic relationship of disciples making (training) other disciples to advance the Kingdom of God.  

Being discipled by someone like Ron who is so consistently passionate (knowing him for over 25 years) about living out his faith and being used by God to encourage the Body of Christ has been one of the best decisions I’ve ever made.  I strongly commend Ron’s mentoring program, but also his natural gift to personally disciple anyone in your church or community.”

2.1.  Alan Fleming (2019):

3.  Ingram Howard (2019:
“In addition to the fellowship and exchange of ideas from this study, I was reminded of how important the Scriptures are and how I am called to help others develop a deeper relationship with Christ.  This discipleship study provides all of the guidelines to do this.  I highly recommend it!”

4.  Frederick Hill (2019):
“I was introduced to this one-on-one discipleship program a little over a year ago. After training by Ron Lively, I have been working with my college aged daughter who is studying away from home.  It is providing us a fantastic opportunity for ongoing instruction and regular in-depth communication on both a spiritual and social level.  We talk about many of the challenges she faces day-to-day.  I encourage and challenge her without it being awkward.  She has agreed to disciple her friends.  I believe this Biblical Mentoring will help her grow both as a person and as a leader.  It is such a wonderful tool and a great blessing!” 

4.1.  ILse Hill (2019 – 2020)

5.  Russell Lindsey (2019-2020):
“This discipleship training program provides the opportunity to learn or relearn the meaning of following Christ as my Lord and the Christian lifestyle.  Studying  the application of Scripture and memorizing Scripture leads to a sharper focus on the personal growth of my faith journey”.