NDI Core Principles
NDI promotes the following five Core Principles that are essential to the discipleship process:
- Fervent Prayer
- Compassionate Outreach
- Comprehensive Biblical Learning
- Intentional Mentoring and Equipping
- Authentic Relationships
These Core Principles, promoted and modelled on each region, field, district, and local church, will develop Christlike disciples of every age and in every culture.
Principle #1 of NDI: Fervent Prayer
Prayer is an essential part of discipleship. In its purest form, prayer is communicating with and responding to God. Prayer was expressly modeled by Jesus who taught His disciples to pray. Jesus’ disciples were then instructed to teach each following generation of disciples to pray. The Scriptures reveal that intentional and consistent prayer nurtures and develops our relationships with both God and others, enabling us to see and experience God’s activities through His prevenient, saving and sanctifying grace.
Prayer is the bedrock upon which all other ministry efforts are built. As we pray, God inspires us to be actively engaged in the world. Through prayer, we participate in the Holy Spirit’s transforming power, both for ourselves and for our neighbor.
Prayer guides us to spiritual success. By deepening our relationship with God through prayer, we experience the Holy Spirit’s guidance and find greater measures of spiritual growth and direction. Through intentional, specific, and consistent prayer, the body of Christ becomes the eyes, hands, and feet of the Savior.
Principle #2 of NDI: Compassionate Outreach
God’s compassionate and redemptive love is foundational to discipleship and the appropriate motivation for Christian outreach. Compassionate outreach reveals God’s love for humanity. God is continually reaching out to prepare people’s hearts to receive salvation. It is a disciple’s care for non-believers, both local and global, that places a face and hand to God’s grace and love. Therefore, a disciple’s authentic and loving relationship with non-believers is essential to communicating the beauty of God’s grace and salvation.
Outreach is every disciple’s calling. Every disciple, faithfully living and loving like Jesus, is to be engaged in nurturing genuine relationships with others. Through a disciple’s prayerful and compassionate action, God is reaching out and preparing hearts to receive salvation. When disciples are in relationship with non-believers, they are obeying Jesus’ command to go into all of creation to proclaim the Good News (Mark 16:15).
Principle #3 of NDI: Comprehensive Biblical Learning
Jesus placed a high priority on teaching his disciples from the Scriptures. It was the knowledge of the Scriptures combined with his instructions that shaped their knowledge of God and the work of the Holy Spirit.
Learning the Scriptures, through individual and group study, helps disciples to become more like Christ. When we study the Word of God, which is active and living, we uncover who God is, how God loves, and how we are to love others. In doing this, we allow God to speak to us, mold us, and sanctify us.
Knowing God’s Word is essential to Christlike discipleship. Being actively engaged in the systematic study and application of the Word of God is a catalyst for spiritual transformation and growth. As we grow and learn, we begin to fully understand and obey God’s mission for his disciples to go and reach out to unbelievers with God’s love. When we allow the Word of God to transform us, we are modeling to others the importance of learning God’s Word.
Principle #4 of NDI: Intentional Mentoring and Equipping
Jesus’ method of discipleship was through personal mentoring and equipping of a chosen group of individuals. It was these methods that helped Christianity grow and transform society.
Mentoring and equipping is a discipleship process that introduces new believers to Jesus and reveals how to follow Him personally and fully. Mentoring is a loving way to teach accountability and introduce non-believers to the full knowledge of Christ. All disciples are challenged and continue to grow and become Christlike when every disciple is providing and receiving mentoring.
To become all that God has created us to be as Christ’s disciples, we need to be willing to grow and to help others grow as Jesus did. Therefore, mentoring, and equipping others on the journey of discipleship is essential to Christian growth and maturity.
Principle #5 of NDI: Authentic Relationships
In the same way that Jesus gathered travelling companions around Himself, we as His disciples, are called to journey together as members of the Body of Christ. Everyone committed to the Great Commission should be engaged in relationships that honor God and edify the Body of Christ.
The core of our faith and life is to love God and love others. When we know we are unconditionally loved by God and unconditionally loved by one another, unity in the Body of Christ results. This unconditional love knows no cultural, generational, or structural bounds. This unconditional love is made possible only through the working of the Holy Spirit.
When we deeply care for one another, we discover just how rich our identity is in Christ, and spiritual growth results. Such loving relationships help us walk the path of holiness because we are receiving both encouragement and loving correction. These Spirit-enabled relationships are necessary as we support one another in living a fully surrendered and Spirit-filled life.