The BIG IDEA:
Getting started is one of the hardest parts about being a discipler. This study is designed to help your disciples jump into discipling others by walking them through their first lesson.
Many people are held back from making disciples by fear, anxiety, or lack of knowledge. It is easier to talk about discipling others than to actually do it. Sometimes getting started is the hardest part.
To begin investing in people’s lives by jumping in and setting up our first meeting with a potential disciple.
You can talk about running all you want but the best way to become a great runner is to start running. The same is true of discipling someone. We can talk a lot about wanting to build into someone someday, but never start. Don’t overthink or prepare too much for discipling someone. Just jump in and get started! You will learn much more by doing (even if you fail some) than you will by just talking about it.
The SIGNIFICANCE OF THE TOPIC:
Without the passing on of knowledge, the Christian faith would soon die out. We have been given the privilege of passing on Biblical truths to new or untaught believers in Jesus Christ. This is a serious and exciting challenge, a chance to leave a spiritual legacy not only as a student but for the rest of our lives. Learning how to disciple others and then actually doing it will guarantee an exciting and meaningful journey for both us and those we influence.
- What I want the group to know and understand: How to disciple others well enough to do it.
- What I want the group to experience: The satisfaction and joy of seeing others grow and mature in their faith.
- How I want the group to respond: By actually setting up a time and getting together with another student to go over the four follow-up lessons.
Watch the Francis Chan video – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bgQ2wiTefmQ
Leaders, question 2 below will touch on this video. it is a great intro to the topic so try to watch it if you can. You can also find it by searching on YouTube for “Francis Chan clean your room”
2. How do we sometimes treat the commands in these verses in the same way that Francis Chan’s daughter treated his command to “Clean your room?”
We treat this like it is a command for someone else, or not to be taken that seriously. We don’t act on it.
God calls every believer to “make disciples.” Today we are going to talk about how to do that.
In this study we use the words “disciple” and “discipleship” a lot. A disciple is a learner. When we talk about discipleship we mean spiritually building into someone (helping them grow and learn) through a one-on-one or small group setting.
3. This study is titled “JUST START” because in discipleship you don’t wait for the perfect time or situation to disciple someone. You won’t ever really be “ready” no matter how much you prepare. Learning to disciple will require you to just jump in and start. What does it mean to disciple someone?
Discipleship is walking alongside someone, challenging them to study and live out the Bible in their life, and to influence others with the gospel. It often involves meeting with people one-on-one but is also great in small groups.
“Discipleship is walking alongside someone; challenging them to study and live out the Bible in their life, and to influence others with the gospel.”
One barrier to discipling others is that many of us don’t know what to do with a disciple. The following are four important things to do with your disciple(s).
- COMMUNITY – Build a healthy relationship with your disciple and help them build healthy relationships with other Christians. Listen to your disciple, spend time with them, and take an interest in (care about) their life.
- BIBLE – Spend time reading the Bible together and help them learn to read it on their own.
- PRAYER – Talk to God and bring our requests and thanks to Him.
- EVANGELISM – Help your disciple learn to tell non-Christians about Jesus and disciple them.
4. Why is each of these important to include?
This may be a struggle for some of your students to come up with but it is an important step for them to talk through. If we tell them the “right steps” before they have a chance to wrestle with it themselves, it won’t become real for them. If they struggle with these, throw ideas out to them from this link [Link to ideas of how to do each of these]
5. What would happen without each of these parts in your discipleship relationship?
- COMMUNITY – Your disciple won’t feel known and loved and will likely stop coming.
- BIBLE – Your disciple won’t learn to know God and feed him/herself spiritually.
- PRAYER – Your disciple won’t learn to depend on God.
- EVANGELISM – Your disciple will be the “end of your chain.” They will not reproduce but will have a “me-focused” faith.
6. So, if these are the main things to do in a discipleship meeting, what would your first meeting look like?
Let them brainstorm what could happen in a first time meeting. What would they talk about? Help them put themselves in the other person’s shoes.
7. Below is a suggested schedule for your first meeting with a potential disciple. Talk through it as a group. What do you like about it? What would you do differently?
Walk through the schedule with your students and ask for their ideas as you go. Also refer to the “TIPS FOR YOUR FIRST DISCIPLESHIP MEETING” page on the back of the student notes.
- Sit Down – Get a drink or snack if you want.
- Get to know them – Ask questions to get to know them and find things you have in common.
- Share your story – Say, “Do you mind if I tell you a little bit about my faith story?”
- Ask for their story – Listen for hints about where they are spiritually.
- Share the gospel with them – Use the Connecting with God booklet, or the God Tools app. If they are already familiar with it, ask them what their favorite part about the gospel is. Their answers may help you know where they are in their faith.
- Pray together – Ask them for prayer requests, share some of your own, then pray for them.
- Talk about next week – If, when, and where you want to meet again. We suggest you take them through the STARTING WITH GOD series at www.thrivestudies.com.
8. On a piece of paper, write down something that is difficult to you about discipling someone else. Crumple your paper up and throw it at a friend. Throw the paper wads around for about 30 seconds (focus your aim at your leader). When you’re done, pick up one of the papers and, one by one, read them to the group. Ask the group for advice on how to work through that issue.
This is a great exercise to get them moving, thinking, and solving problems as a group. Be sure to bring some paper for everyone.
“Just Start” means you just jump into it even if you don’t feel quite ready. You’ll learn to disciple by while you do it. Your challenge is to find someone this week to set up a first discipleship appointment with. Who is someone you can meet with?
For many of your students this will be very challenging, but this is one of the most important questions in this study. Gently help your students step up to this challenge. Help them brainstorm 2-3 people who would be good to meet with. They could be younger students, new to your ministry, younger siblings, or friends of theirs. Do your best to help them be successful in this through the next few weeks. The goal is for them to do this first meeting with them, and then go through the STARTING WITH GOD series from www.thrivestudies.com.
10. If you were going to text your friend and ask him/her to meet up for this, what would you say? Write that text right now and send it.
Doing this right away gives you the confidence that your students are following through with this challenge and gives them all a chance to help each other in the wording of the text.
CHALLENGE: Have a first meeting with someone this week. You may need to ask 3-4 people before you find someone who can meet with you. That’s ok, just keep asking until you find someone who can meet.
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.