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Book 1

Welcome to the Back to the WORD! Ministries!

This booklet is your introduction to an experience of biblical and holistic discipleship. We
assure you that our approach to discipleship has your best interest in mind in terms of what
we hope is your earnest desire to 1. Know Jesus Christ better thank you do now; 2. To learn
God’s Word better than you do now and lastly; 3. To understand God’s will better than you
do now.

You see, that you are reading through this booklet now tells us that you do already know
something about Jesus Christ. In fact, it’s possible that you know Him more than any of your
friends do which is great. Nonetheless, you are sincere enough to admit that that there’s
more to Jesus that you might need to know which is even greater. It’s our earnest prayer
that this booklet and the “journey” you will take with us henceforth will be God’s way to
help you discover more about the LORD Jesus Christ.

Likewise, there is a yearning in your heart and mind to learn God’s Word, what it really
says and how it can apply in your daily life. You sense a compelling desire to learn how God’s
Word is relevant to your own life’s situations and circumstances. You want to live a life
pleasing to the LORD and you’ve always wondered what God’s Word has to say about it.
Again, that’s an excellent query! King David once asked,

“How can a young person live a pure life?” (Psalms 119: 9)

Are you seeking to live a pure life? Are you wondering how? Guess what, King David offered
the answer to his own question by saying,

“By obeying your word.

10 I try with all my heart to serve you.
Help me obey your commands.
11 I study your teachings very carefully
so that I will not sin against you.” (vv. 9b-11)

Back to the WORD! Ministries is a ministry that’s passionate to teach and mentor rooted
on God’s WORD. You will discover this as you continue on with your journey with us.

Lastly, you are reading through this booklet now because someone shared with you that
our courses are useful to help those who call themselves “Christians” understand God’s will
better. The Apostle Paul speaks of

“God’s will for you, which is good and pleasing and perfect” (Romans 12: 2).
What exactly is that? How does that look like? Perhaps, you’re asking that question which
is a valid question to ask. We are glad that you are interested to probe such matters because
it is our conviction that God the Holy Spirit is the source of these kinds of queries in the
human heart. So, we praise God for that. And indeed, may the LORD be gracious to use our
ministry to help you find answers.

Our prayer is for the LORD to bless these steps you’ve embarked to take towards your
growth in your life as a believer and follower of Jesus Christ. Well, truth is, as you continue
on with these steps, you will know for sure if indeed you’ve decided to become a believer
and follower of Jesus Christ – a true Christian, that is. Your mentor will do his or her best to
assist you in this journey.

May the sustaining and affirming grace of the LORD Jesus Christ be with you!

Glenn M. De Guzman
Founder and National Director
What is Holistic Discipleship?
What every potential Mentor must keep in heart and mind

The foundational thesis of Back to the WORD! Ministries in our approach to biblical and
holistic discipleship is that, while we can think of it as a “program”, that it really shouldn’t be
approached that way to begin with by anyone who would be a discipler or mentor to a
disciple or mentee. Instead, on the onset, we prescribe that the discipler or mentor MUST
prepare for the “journey” with a sincere, heartfelt desire to care, to nurture and to inspire
the disciple or mentee towards an alternate form of lifestyle from what’s, in Christianese
talk, is a worldly lifestyle towards a way of living that is consistent with the life principles
revealed in God’s Word as well as a lifestyle that’s intentionally cognizant of Jesus’
commands. John 14: 15; 1 John 2: 15.

Once such approach is settled in the mind of the discipler/mentor, he then MUST realize
that the lessons he’s preparing himself or herself to teach can or may take a lifetime to be
learned by his disciple or mentee, hence a journey rather than a destination. In our
paradigm of biblical and holistic discipleship, nobody arrives at completely learning all there
is to learn in discipleship but that such learning curve can or may continue on with the
disciple/mentee as he/she goes through the multiple phases of this thing we call life. Biblical
and holistic discipleship, in this sense, is integral to the totality of a person’s daily existence;
it is experiential as oppose to being methodical. It is not and will never be a legalistic
program or curriculum. Learning to be a disciple, a believer and follower of Jesus Christ,
cannot, strictly speaking, be a 3-month course of How To’s and Must Be’s.

Further, we approach this paradigm with a perspective that each individual, believer and
otherwise, is unique and is a composite of distinct peculiarities and idiosyncrasies built into
the person throughout the years of infancy to adulthood.

A person who has become a believer and a follower of Jesus Christ and is developing into
a disciple was once a child. Every child is born and grows into a uniquely different family,
cultures, habits and norms. No two children are ever the same even if they came from the
same parents. If a child is “lucky” to survive childhood unscathed, he or she then enters
puberty. Granting the child is born into a “Christian family”, the child goes through this
phase of his or her life with a set of religious orientation according to the religious affiliation
of the parents. Intentionally or otherwise, the child experiences a form of discipleship from
the parents whether they are able to do it properly or otherwise. The child at this stage
learns to see the “Christian life” from the lens that his/her parents, along with the church
community they are in, give him/her to put on, so to speak.

Once that same child enters puberty, he will face an entirely new set of challenges to his
life experiences. He will discover that puberty brings new kinds of feelings, persuasions, and
desires. He will realize, if he will realize, that whatever he’s learned as a child does not
sufficiently meet the new demands of managing his puberty. In our view, pubescent age is
probably the most critical phase when a dedicated, informed, sincere, biblical and holistic
discipleship in all of the phases of discipleship becomes really necessary. Such person,
caught in the “wonder years” of being a child and transitioning to the “wonder years” of
becoming an adult in this stage of personal growth, whom we assume has made a
confession of faith in Jesus Christ, needs to be provided solid, committed biblical and holistic
discipleship to help him cope and navigate through this phase as a believer and follower of
Jesus Christ.

As “insane” as puberty phase is, the “man-child” or “woman-child” will soon transition
to the adult world. Hopefully, he or she will become an accomplished young professional,
that is, someone who has completed an academic pursuit and has eventually become a
productive young adult (ergo, someone who was able to survive puberty without excess
baggage yet!). He will recognize that nobody prepared him for this stage of his spiritual
journey. He will realize that the workplace is an entirely strange new world. He will be
confronted with the fact that not everyone is like brother and sister so and so. Depending
on the culture of the church where a child is raised, he will soon discover that “the world” is
either worst or better than everything that he’s been told thus far. He will be challenged
whether what he’s heard or been told thus far are truths or lies as matters of fact. He will be
forced to make critical choices in his life, choices that will impact the rest of his earthly life
until he departs. Apparently, a person at this phase will need continuing and consistently
sound, biblical holistic discipleship.

Just when a person who enters the working age thinks that he’s known it all, he will soon
face adulthood, the phase where the person becomes a spouse and raises children of his
own. He will be in for lots and lots of surprises! He will soon come to grips that living with
another stranger in the house every day may not be as fun as they seem to be in the
romantic telenovelas on primetime. He will experience his concept of ‘freedom’ dissipating
gradually into the vast thin air. It will be the season of learning what the biblical meaning of
love is. And the learning of lessons about love, sacrifice and devotion is on-demand, real-life
and instantaneous. It will be daily for the rest of his life on earth. Again, adulthood requires
solid and Scripture-based holistic discipleship on the many fronts of human existence. A
young professional who enters this phase unprepared is likely to become inadequate, worst
even as an incompetent husband, wife and parent.

The scenarios and pictures I painted above help provide the context within which the
Back to the WORD! Ministries approaches the subject of biblical, holistic discipleship. We
accept the challenge to develop a leadership of committed believers and followers of Jesus
Christ who will desire to disciple others through an investment of their own changed and
changing lives. Such leadership will be a community of ‘disciplers/mentors’ that will see
people as human beings with real needs and issues and not as ‘trophies’ to be won.

Moreover, the challenge includes the commitment to influence a generation of

contemporary thoughtful disciplers/mentors to see obedience to the Great Commission
beyond ecclesiastical and denominational walls and paradigms. We see the real challenge is
to move a band of these thoughtful modern-day disciplers/mentors towards modeling their
discipleship more along the lines of inter-personal relational levels of interactions within the
communities where they have been planted by the LORD.

In a nutshell, we’d like to raise a community of disciplers/mentors in whose hearts and

minds, in whose core of being, the Scriptures reign supremely above all as a rule of life, faith
and practice. We therefore simply want to lead people Back to the WORD!
Your Thoughts

1. Why do you think it’s necessary for Christian discipleship to be holistic? Give at least
three reasons.
2. Share your thoughts about what holistic discipleship can and should look like?
3. Are you currently involve in a discipleship program either as a leader or as a student? Or,
perhaps you once participated in a discipleship class. Based on your personal experience,
what would you recommend may be are areas that the program you were in can
4. How would you describe a “Christian” in four words? Explain your answers.
5. What do you think is the role of parents in the discipleship of their children?
6. When is the best time in the life of an individual does holistic discipleship is most
7. “We accept the challenge to develop a leadership of committed believers and followers of
Jesus Christ who will desire to disciple others through an investment of their own changed
and changing lives.” Comment on this statement.
8. Do you agree that the measure of the effectiveness of our Christian discipleship is best
seen in the disciple’s lifestyle within his/her family and his/her community? Why or why
9. Why must God’s Word be the sole basis and ground of our conduct, practice and
10. How would you describe your currently relationship with the Word of God?