Lesson for March 15th, 2014
Discipling Spiritual Leaders
Being chosen by God and validated by peers as a disciple is humbling. The honor is for those who are willing to live selfless lives and allow God to lead.
Twelve figurines (these can be inexpensive plastic toys), table, pencil, paper
Connecting with the Scripture Topic
- Line up the 12 figurines on a table. These will be the 12 “disciples” that you have chosen. You can even name them! Quietly write down a significant trait about each disciple that caused you to choose him or her. Now take turns picking up each figurine and sharing why you chose him or her and why you think this person will make a good disciple.
- Stage a mock nominating committee. Select one position in the church and discuss what kind of disciple would be best suited for the job. What traits do you look for? Why do you think those traits are important? Discuss.
Sharing and Receiving Scripture
- Just as Jesus called the 12 disciples, people today are asked to fill positions of authority. What traits do they need to properly fulfill their role?
- Thought Questions
Read Luke 6:12-16. Before choosing the 12 disciples, Jesus spent the night in prayer. How does this apply to us choosing leaders within the church?
- If Jesus had to spend the night in prayer, certainly we should pray before we choose our leaders.
- Choosing church leaders isn't as important as choosing the 12—such a drastic measure isn't needed.
- We should never choose leaders by relying only on our wisdom and without God's wisdom.
- Since Jesus chose all men, our leaders should be men.
- We don't need so many church leaders—Jesus only needed 12 for the whole world.
Read John 16:7-14. What role does the Holy Spirit play in our discipling?
- The Holy Spirit, through us, convicts people of sin—we don't do that on our own.
- We can't witness from personal experience alone—we must have knowledge.
- We won't be credible to people unless we know what truth is, and teach that truth.
- The Holy Spirit will tell us what to say; we must stay close to God so we can hear.
- The Holy Spirit glorifies God, not us; we have the privilege of having just a small part.
Read Luke 6:20-49. How do these words from Jesus prove that both personal experience and knowledge are needed to be good disciples?
- When life is tough, we can rejoice because those experiences are turning us into disciples.
- God is looking for disciples who have a perfect life, and tribulations bring perfection.
- We need to learn that if we only love those who love us, we're not true disciples.
- True disciples won't judge or condemn because they know they have their own issues.
- People will know if we're true disciples by looking at the kind of "fruit" we bear.
- When you become a disciple, your life is basically over—you can't focus on your own desires.
- You make yourself a slave to people by never saying the word "No."
- Being a disciple takes self-sacrifice, but we should take care of ourselves, too.
- A disciple can't be selfish: Jesus first, others second, myself last.
- A disciple can't be boastful of his/her success; the Holy Spirit is doing the actual work.
Applying the Message of Scripture
Gather in groups of two or three. Choose one of the following options and work on a solution. Report back to your group when your facilitator says time is up.
- Option 1: What events in your life have prepared you for discipleship? Has an illness prepared you to help others who are sick? Has surviving the unexpected helped you to encourage others who struggle with worry? Share with your group.
- Option 2: What kind of knowledge does a disciple need to have? Is it enough to know that Jesus loves you? Should the 28 Fundamental Beliefs be memorized?
- Option 3: Jesus said that producing "good fruit" will prove that we're good disciples. What kind of "fruit" has your church produced in your community? Discuss how you can reach out and share your ideas with your pastor.
Valuing Scripture in Your Life
- Have you been called by God to a discipling position? Don’t be afraid! If God has called you, God will give you what you need for the job. Starting this week, work where you feel God wants you to be.
- Do you have the knowledge needed to be a disciple? If you feel you’re lacking, make a commitment to study your Bible daily. You don’t have to know everything at first, but once you feel more confident, let God know that you’re ready!