The BIG IDEA
While God wants everyone to know him, some people in your life will make better disciples than others.
We often don’t know who to choose as a disciple or how to make that decision.
Carefully consider what to look for in a good disciple and find people with those qualities.
Why THIS MATTERS
Jesus knew his choice of disciples was so important that he prayed all night long about the decision (Luke 6:12). This decision is important for us too.
I WANT MY STUDENTS TO:
- KNOW: What kind of disciples to look for and understand why that decision is important.
- EXPERIENCE: The joy of choosing disciples wisely and seeing them pass on their faith to others.
- DO: Pray for God’s guidance, make a list of possible disciples, and get together with them.
The idea box is a place where you can find some creative ideas for leading this study. You might find videos, activities, or great illustrations that really bring the main point home. The ideas come from small group leaders like you, so if you have an idea that isn’t in there, click below to share it with the community!
*WHAT DO YOU THINK?
Would you rather…
- Have an apple OR a pear?
- Be rich and ugly OR poor and good looking?
- Find true love OR find 10 million dollars?
- Be trapped on a desert island with a chef OR an with an engineer?
- Hold a snake OR a mouse?
- Eat a worm OR swallow a goldfish?
We make a lot of choices in life. Today we will be talking about how to choose the best person to disciple. Before we start, answer these questions as a group…
- What qualities would you look for in a disciple?
- What qualities might cause you to rule someone out as a potential disciple?
WHAT DOES GOD SAY ABOUT THIS?
*Paul was a traveling Bible teacher. He would travel all over the world telling people about Jesus. One day he met a teenager named Timothy. As Timothy grew, Paul saw his love for Jesus and love for others and started bringing Timothy along with him as he traveled. Paul wanted to teach Timothy how to tell others about Jesus so he made Timothy his disciple. As they traveled, they would read the Bible together, pray together, and talk about how to share the gospel with others. When it was time for Timothy to begin looking for his own disciples, Paul gave him some good advice. Read 2 Timothy 2:2 and see what he said.
*Read 2 Timothy 2:2 together.
*1. Who was Timothy supposed to teach? Why?
Paul wanted Timothy to look for trustworthy people who would pass it on to others. Some people will make better disciples than others. If they aren’t trustworthy and can’t pass it on to others, they may still be great people, but have some growing to do before they are ready to disciple in this way.
2. Why didn’t Paul just say, “Everybody needs Jesus, just pick anybody!”
Paul wasn’t just wanting Timothy to reach one person. He was wanting him to start a discipleship chain that would go on and on and on and build the kingdom of God for generations to come. Timothy would also impact the lives of many others along the way, but he could only invest heavily into a few at a time.
3. Below is a discipleship chart like the one we talked about last week. Using 2 Timothy 2:2, fill it in with the people written in the passage starting with Paul.
Leaders, the chart is filled out for you but it is blank for your students. If they get stuck, help them fill it out so that they can better understand how this chart works.
HOW DO WE APPLY THIS TO OUR LIVES?
4. Why is choosing a disciple such an important step?
- Wouldn’t just anyone do?
Choosing who you will build into is an important decision. In every important area of life, we choose carefully: where we go to college, whom to marry, who to take to the prom, etc. How much more so in this area? You only have so much time to invest in someone.
*5. What kind of person should you look for?
Give your students an opportunity to talk about this question. In the next few questions we will be giving some answers but in this question, there is no wrong answer.
*Paul told Timothy to look for reliable men to disciple. One way to put this is to look for F.A.T. people.
FAITHFUL: Someone you can rely on. A faithful person will show up, keep their promises, and follow through with the things you are teaching them.
AVAILABLE: They have the time to be discipled. If they are too busy to meet with you and invest in their spiritual life, they are not available.
TEACHABLE: They are willing to be taught and are humble enough to be open to change.
6. While no one lives out all of these qualities perfectly, they are all important elements in a good disciple. Why is each of these qualities important in a disciple?
Allow the group to discuss. The answers are pretty much spelled out in the definitions above, but ask your students for examples of how they might identify these things in a disciple and why they are such important qualities. Help them bring this into a real life situation.
7. What are some other qualities to look for in a disciple?
Allow the students to discuss. We’re not looking for “right” answers here, just allow them to mention what is important to them. Some things we would suggest you mention are…
- Choose a disciple who is 1–2 years younger than you.
- Choose a disciple that you connect with and enjoy being with.
- Choose a disciple who has some influence on others.
*8. Who are some Faithful, Available, and Teachable people in your life that could be good disciples for you?
Brainstorm with your group. Write all the names on a sheet of paper; if you can use a whiteboard or chalkboard, even better. We are looking for a lot of names here so encourage them to keep thinking. For some people this will really open up their minds to the people in their lives that they could disciple. Stay clear of any evaluations of the potential disciples at this point, just generate a lot of names.
“Discipleship is walking alongside someone; challenging them to live out the Bible in their life, while influencing others with the gospel.”
9. Using the F.A.T. definitions as a standard, without mentioning names, what qualities might make a person or two on your list a stronger choice than the others?
Be very careful with this one, it could result in gossip or judging. We just want to help our students learn to evaluate why some people may be more F.A.T. than others and help them make wise choices.
- What does this tell us about how we should choose our disciples?
Allow the group to discuss. Jesus spent a lot of time praying before he picked his disciples and if he did, we should do the same. Encourage your students to spend some time praying about this decision. Take some time to pray for that around the table or in pairs. Ask the Holy Spirit to guide them in their choice of disciples.
*CHALLENGE: This week, set up an appointment for next week with your top choice for a disciple.
For further study on choosing disciples, check out this article.
Online Article: THE RIGHT PEOPLE FOR DISCIPLESHIP – https://www.cru.org/content/dam/cru/to legacy/2012/01/therightpeople.pdf
Book: Chapter 2 of THE MASTER PLAN OF EVANGELISM by Robert. E. Coleman
Our review cards are an excellent way to review your past lessons with your students before each study. Not every lesson has one yet but if we have them, you can find them on the PRINT page. Check them out and use them each week to help your students grab hold of the truths in these studies.
What ideas do you have that could improve this study? Are there creative things you do to bring this topic home to your students? Please share with the community clicking the FEEDBACK button or leaving a comment below.