We use this word “disciple” a lot, but often we either do not define it well, don’t understand it’s fullness, or do not help people practically enough to be able to help actually disciple someone else.
The simple goal of Christian discipleship is to help someone follow Jesus better. A disciple is someone who learns, and follows the teachings of another. So to be a disciple of Jesus is to learn what Jesus believes and how He acts, and then attempt to help another person do that.
I Corinthians 11:1 says, “Be imitators of me, as I am of Christ.” The apostle Paul is telling the Corinthians not only learn what Jesus is about, but imitate how Jesus lived His life. As they learn of Jesus, they should also watch Paul’s life to see how Paul follows Jesus. As we disciple others, the goal should be that others should not look more like us, but like Jesus.
Let me give a couple quick tips on how you can do this with any of the gospels, but specifically the Book of John. I believe that all of Scripture is Jesus-centered . While we find Jesus throughout all Scripture, we see Him the clearest and in the best practical way in the gospels. This study is specifically geared toward the Gospel of John.
A great way to teach others is to have them study themselves first, and then discuss and learn together. The Book of John is 21 chapters. If you broke that into three chapters a week, you can do this in seven weeks. The person you are discipling can read the chapters, study and familiarize themselves with it first. Then you can guide them in the study of those chapters.
To keep people engaged, I believe that you shouldn’t get bogged down in the details either. Those are great Bible studies, but the point of the quick study is to be able to become familiar with text overall, while also taking a decent time to put into the study. Individual time could be about 15-20 minutes with each chapter. When the discipled and discipler get together, spend about 30-45 minutes sharpening each other weekly with the three chapters assigned each week.
While we want to be simple, we also want to be precise. If you are using this form of Bible study, let me encourage you to write down the verses where you observe the following six points.
Here are the six questions you could ask of each chapter.
- What did I see about God in this chapter?
- What did I see about Jesus in this chapter?
- What did I see about myself in this chapter?
- What did I see about the heart of Jesus in this chapter?
- How can I imitate the heart of Jesus in this chapter?
- What is a question that I might have about this chapter?
Thanks for taking time to read this Maddening Theology post. If you enjoyed this content you can find Pastor Tim’s sermons at www.cornerstoneforestcity.org. You can also join us at 520 Marion St. Browndale, PA 18421 on Sundays at 10:45 AM. To make following the blog easier you can also register. You can also join us on Facebook at Cornerstone Forest City. Also, don’t forget to download our APP on iTunes or Googleplay.