This is part 3 in a series. Click here for part 1 and part 2.
When Southern Baptists hear the words “training union,” memories of the late nineteen sixties come to mind. During that time, “The normal Baptist formation tools were finding it difficult to succeed;” comments Molly T. Marshall, “Sunday School, Training Union and the missionary organizations were all scrambling for their existence and seeking new ways of forming disciples.”[i] The negatives of the training offset the positives by reducing discipleship to a class, a program, and a time slot. To this day, many training union participants have a misunderstanding of what discipleship really is.
These shortcomings birthed new approaches in the arena of discipleship. Two organizations emerged as frontrunners during the middle of the twentieth century: the Navigators and Campus Crusade for Christ, which was begun by Bill Bright.
Bill Bright envisioned a ministry reaching the lost through evangelistic events with the sole desire to disciple those responding to the message of Christ. Campus Crusade may have been the first to start, dating back to 1947. Early successes can be attributed to the partnerships with Dan Fuller and Billy Graham.2 The ministry was known as an “aggressively evangelistic movement, which places a strong, wholesome emphasis on the living Christ, the authority of the Scriptures, the importance of the Church, personal and group evangelism, the ministry of the Holy Spirit, and the adventure of Christian discipleship.”4 The impact of which is still seen on college campuses around the world today. Continue Reading…