The coronavirus has altered the plans of countless families and individuals across the world. We know it is easy to grow discouraged in the midst of canceled events, adjusted travel plans, and social distancing requirements. But what if, wrapped up in the midst of these challenges, God is giving us as believers an opportunity to go deeper than ever before in our relationship with Him?
With this in mind, IBLP offered a free, four-week online Rise Up discipleship course during the month of April. For the first time, Rise Up opened the course to not just singles, but whole families. The response to this special four-week course was amazing! Families and individuals from across the US and around the world signed up to participate in this discipleship opportunity.
The families and individuals in the course were divided up into small groups with assigned leaders. Through Skype, participants from the United States, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Romania, and the United Kingdom were able to meet together in small groups and encourage each other in their walk with Christ. During this time of isolation and social distancing, the weekly digital fellowship with other like-minded believers was encouraging and refreshing.
One of the family group leaders shared the following testimony: “It was such an encouragement to be in the Word together! The material in the Rise Up course is so helpful no matter where you are in your spiritual journey. We spent time really digging deep into John 15 and it was such a blessing to see the others in our group grab onto some new spiritual truths. I think we all benefited from the time we spent together. I would really encourage anyone to go through the entire Rise Up course.”
Each week, the course participants would watch powerful, engaging videos that encouraged them in their walk with God. One participant shared about his experience doing this Rise Up course: “Before I had done the Rise Up course, I knew I needed to know my Savior better and grow in my walk as a Christian, but I didn’t know exactly how. I read my Bible every day and I have gone through the Bible multiple times, but I still felt empty… I signed up for Rise Up’s four-week course. The teaching is truly amazing! My mindset on how to study God’s Word has changed dramatically! Lord willing, I plan on doing the 12-week course in the future. Thank you all so much! So many people need to know these things!”
Those doing the course would also read sections of the course workbook that was made available to them through online PDFs. These sections included thought-provoking study questions for them to answer. One participant shared the following about going through these workbook sections: “I loved the chapters and study questions because they were simple to read yet held deep spiritual Truth you could spend a lot of time reflecting on. The overall emphasis on meditation has helped bring my spiritual walk with God to the next level through practical ways to keep my focus on God’s Word throughout the day.”
Families and individuals also participated in the most important part of the Rise Up course: the Rise Up challenge. This included a daily Bible reading plan, Scripture meditation assignment, and prayer time. One family group leader shared the following about what he saw God doing in his group: “We’ve been having some great times of fellowship in the Lord together! We’ve heard several testimonies from long-time believers about how this is the first time they’ve really truly experienced an abiding relationship with Christ through meditating on His Word.”
Praise God for the work He did in and through this special Rise Up course! This four-week course was just a third of the normal 12-week Rise Up Discipleship course. Four full-length Rise Up courses are scheduled for this year:
- June 8–August 31
- July 20–October 12
- August 17–November 9
- September 21–December 14
For more information and to register, visit riseupdiscipleship.com.