- Examine the calling of Jesus in the life of the disciples.
- Determine what following Christ should look like in our own lives.
- Deepen our understanding of who He is to better articulate why we have chosen to follow Him.
It has been said that the greatest threat to Christianity is not materialism, humanism, or post-modern thinking, but rather Christians themselves trying to sneak into heaven incognito, having neglected to live out what it means to be a disciple of Jesus Christ. The greatest need in the church today is to once again understand what it means to be a “Disciple of Jesus.” The word disciple according to the Greeks meant one who followed, learned, and imitated another. All three concepts are evident in the impact that Christ had on his disciples and are equally powerful in shaping our view of a modern day disciple.
Today the church is in desperate need of more men who are actually Disciples of Christ. The church needs men whose lives have been radically transformed. The church needs men who are passionate, not about leading, but men who are natural leaders because they are themselves lifelong followers. The church needs men who are so on fire for God and His ways that they commit their lives to modeling for other men what it looks like to follow Christ. Guys I’m telling you this is exciting stuff. So let’s get started.
“Leaders, if they will be persons of lasting and effective impact,
never view themselves as anything but followers.”
-Joseph M. Stowell, Following Christ
Day One – Memorizing God’s Word: Matthew 4:19-20
- Read Scripture Memory Secrets
- Memorize Matthew 4:19-20
- Complete the Bible Study on Luke 5:1-11
- Read chapters 5 & 6 from Following Christ by Joseph Stowell
This might be the first time you’ve ever attempted to memorize verses of God’s Word but I know you can do it. Get ready because you will see the Holy Spirit use this act of worship in your life to glorify the Father. God’s Word will become alive and active in you. How awesome is that?
Read through the “Scripture Memory Secrets” found at the end of the book on page 80. Begin by writing out Matthew 4: 19-20 in the space provided below. I would strongly encourage you to write your verses on a 3×5 cards so that as you continue to memorize God’s Word you will have them all in the same place for easy review.
When you begin to memorize scripture it is always helpful to get a sense of the context the verse is in. So read Matthew 4: 18-22 and Luke 5:1-11 to see what comes before and after the verses.
Begin to memorize the verses.
Day Two – Studying the Word: Luke 5:1-11
In order to get a better at the idea of what it means to be a disciple, let’s study Luke 5:1-11. Begin by reading the passage several times. Then ask God to speak to you and give you His wisdom as you reflect on His Word.
Day Three and Four – Read chapters 5 & 6 of Following Christ by Joseph Stowell.
- Write out your key observations from this passage.
- What is the relationship between following Christ and obeying Christ?
- What does Simon Peter’s response in verse 8 tell us about his view of Christ and his willingness to follow Christ?
- Jesus called Simon Peter, James, and John—and he calls us, as well—with a goal; what is it?
- After studying these two passages, what one word or phrase really spoke to you?
While you are reading, be sure to write the key principles and any observations you have of the material. Also note what challenged you most.
What were the Key Principles/Observations?
What challenged you the most during the reading?
What were your favorite quotes or verses?
Day Five - Reflection (Optional)
Take time to reflect on what you’ve learned so far. Use these questions as the inspiration to help you see how far you have come.
- How does the thought of being called by Christ to “Follow Him” rather than “Make a decision for Christ” give you a sense of significance and motivate you strongly for the work he has given you to do?
- How has following Christ put you on a collision course with our culture?
- The call to follow Jesus is a call to an exclusive attachment to Him. It is first and foremost about a relationship. What does it look like when you lose sight of this truth?
- In order to better follow Jesus, what “nets” do you need to drop?
Open in Prayer
Memory Verse Review
– Matthew 4:19-20
Whoever is in charge of the memory verse review should take time to quiz the group members on this weeks verse. Be encouraging with each other. This is easier for some people than others. Remember be creative in your review. Whatever you do, do not skip this!
Small Group Sharing, Accountability and Prayer
– 40 minutes
Large Group Discussion
- Share with the group one ‘Regret’ you have in your life.
- Where do you want to be held accountable this week?
- How can the group members pray for you this week?
– 40 minutes
- Using all the material you have studied this week, develop a working definition of a “Disciple of Jesus Christ.” You are encouraged to put your definition into words.
- How has being a follower of Jesus put you on a collision course with our culture? Is there any circumstance or relationship you have in your life right now where it is hard to maintain your identity as Jesus’ follower?
- Discuss Chapters 5 & 6 in Following Christ by Joseph Stowell.
- Have each person share one quote that was most helpful from the reading.
- How has following Christ altered your view of your career?
- If Christ is so compelling, why don’t we follow Him with full devotion?
- What specific principles in Chapter 6 challenged you to deepen your relationship with Christ?
- The Call of Christ is to a person, not a church, denomination, or specific leader.
- To follow Christ is to move into a deeper and deeper relationship with Him.
- Only lifelong followers become the disciple-making leaders others are compelled to follow.
- The Call of Jesus on our lives gives us a sense of significance, boldness, and mission.
As we end week three together, you should be starting to feel bolder in your faith. Christ is calling you into a deeper relationship with Himself. You should be starting to understand that following Christ is actually going to be a lifelong pursuit. It isn’t something you could ever accomplish at the end of these 8 weeks. It’s a lifelong journey following the Call of Christ. Next week we will continue together by asking the important question, “So what’s the cost of following Christ?”
“Come follow me,” Jesus said “and I will make you fishers of men.” At once they left their nets and followed him.