As its name implies, NTE is a system of interconnected people and organizations that believe the Christian faith is proactively lived out. Jesus has never called us to be Christians. But He constantly invites us to be His disciples.
WHO WE ARE
While religion can be reduced to a passive acceptance of a set of dogmatic statements, discipleship is a lived reality that requires a robust, proactive engagement with Christ and the world into which He came. The Network exists to support individuals and organizations by providing resources to support disciples as they grow in their faith.
What We Do
The Network accomplishes its mission by engaging, equipping, and encouraging disciples.
Engagement is the intentional application of attention and effort to issues and challenges arising out of the faith commitments of people and organizations. We offer multiple opportunities and modes to do this.
To equip is to prepare a person or organization for a particular task or to enable them to operate in a specific environment. We provide information and educational content utilizing everything from short, quick videos and podcasts to classes for academic credit.
To encourage is to provide stimulation and support to motivate Christ followers as they make their spiritual journeys, individually and collectively. This involves connecting disciples with the people and resources they need to grow and mature spiritually.
WHAT IS A DISCIPLE?
The Network uses a very specific definition to describe what a disciple is. This definition guides our mission and is integrated into all our programs.
THE FOUR CHARACTERISTICS OF A DISCIPLE
A Christian disciple is a person who has chosen to follow Jesus and whose commitment to Him can be recognized by demonstrable evidence of four essential characteristics:
Disciples are first of all listeners. Listening is not only done with our ears, but with our eyes, our hearts, our minds, our experiences, our communications, and through our relationships with God and others. We hear and pay attention to God and each other in the myriad of ways in which He speaks. (Deuteronomy 6, “Hear, O Israel…)
This involves taking what is learned and examining it beyond its face value. Integrating a piece, or pieces, of knowledge into understanding a larger whole. It involves articulating the implications of our understanding in relation to our life choices. (Psalms, Wisdom Literature)
Learning, itself, is not a passive activity, and so neither is discipleship. It requires intentionality on the part of the disciple and establishes the expectation that what is learned will be put to use. (The Great Commission Matthew 28:19-20)
ATTITUDE OF GENEROSITY
Knowledge and skills are intended to be shared. Mature disciples evidence an attitude of openness and giving. Learners excited about what they learn cannot help but want to share it. For disciples, this generosity pervades every aspect of their lives, and they engage the world with an attitude of openness and giving. (I John 3:18, Dear children, let us not love with words or speech but with actions and in truth.)