Discipleship Matters – Growing in Competence


Recently at church there was an unusual event unfolding. A Christmas backdrop with trees and presents were on the stage. Some people were dressed to look like Santa Claus. Little Minions were present and dressed up. The kids loved it. We had pictures. It felt like we were in the mall. The amazing thing was that people just loved it. All these people were getting pictures with their families, A different emotion was stirred. It was moving to see that there were so many people of different ethnic backgrounds that had never connected with others in the church before. The question was asked “Who is shepherding these people?”

This brought a memory of one the verses of Scripture in Matthew 9:35-39.

Matthew 9:35-39:

Jesus went through all the towns and villages, teaching in their synagogues, proclaiming the good news of the kingdom and healing every disease and sickness. 36 When he saw the crowds, he had compassion on them, because they were harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd. 37 Then he said to his disciples, “The harvest is plentiful, but the workers are few. 38 Ask the Lord of the harvest, therefore, to send out workers into his harvest field.”

1. What did Jesus see in the crowds he walked among?
2. What emotions do you see in Jesus’ heart?
3. What has been your experience of being with shepherd-less people?
4. What did Jesus ask the disciples to do?

5. How can we personally become involved in answering that prayer?
6. What steps can you take to become a laborer?

1 Peter 5:1-5:

To the elders among you, I appeal as a fellow elder and a witness of Christ’s sufferings who also will share in the glory to be revealed: 2 Be shepherds of God’s flock that is under your care, watching over them—not because you must, but because you are willing, as God wants you to be; not pursuing dishonest gain, but eager to serve; 3 not lording it over those entrusted to you, but being examples to the flock. 4 And when the Chief Shepherd appears, you will receive the crown of glory that will never fade away.

1. What is the responsibility of a shepherd?
2. What of these responsibilities do you feel competent in?
3. Which ones need work?

4. Which one would you like to work on first?
5. What would be a step you could take to grow in that area?
6. When do you want to get started?

1. What is the most important part of this lesson to you? Explain.
2. How do you see applying aspects of this lesson to your life?
3. When do you feel would be the best time to make that application?
4. What do you hear the Lord speaking to you about this right now?

For further information check out: https://coachthebible.com


The Lord Speaks…

Read: Isaiah 1-4
Marked: Isaiah 1:2, Hear, O heavens, and give ear, O earth! For the LORD has spoken: “I have nourished and brought up children, And they have rebelled against Me;

This vision of Isaiah has both a near and a far fulfillment. It is a warning against Israel to turn from her evil ways and the judgment the Lord is about to bring down on her.

Israel is an example to the world. God’s children, who should have known better, turned and rebelled against Him. They are called in verse 4, a sinful nation, a people laden with iniquity, children who are corrupters, who have forsaken the Lord, who provoked God to anger and have turned away backward.

The world has gone the same way. We have forsaken God and the judgment that came upon Israel will fall upon the world as well. This is the far fulfillment of this prophecy.

Isaiah contains many of the warnings and events we see in Revelation. But, there is a promise of restoration beginning at verse 24 to the end of the chapter. All God asks is that we reason with Him (V18) and have our sins forgiven. A sure and great promise if we are willing to hear and be obedient.

Discipleship Matters – Growing in Competence

What do you want to give your life to? What has helped you to develop a vision for multiplication?

At a conference in North Carolina a verse was shared about multiplying your life. We were urged to have a vision of multiplication. I remember being impacted by the vision of seeing my life count in the life of one man for the next years of life that God has given me. It has been 47 years since I wrote down that vision. I can recall many years of this time where God gave me a man to pour my life into. My vision was a generational vision. How do you go about building a generational vision into your life? Only God knows for sure where all these folks add in their multiplication. I am grateful to see how this vision and scripture has guided my life. How can you ensure that vision is in you and the people you disciple?

2 Timothy 2:2:

“You then, my son, be strong in the grace that is in Christ Jesus. 2 And the things you have heard me say in the presence of many witnesses entrust to reliable people who will also be qualified to teach others.”

1. What did you discover in these verses as the key to generational thinking?
2. How many generations do you see in this verse?
3. Who was it that God used to disciple the Apostle Paul?
4. Where does it fit for us to take seriously the things we have learned and give them away?
5. What kind of people are we looking for to give God’s word to?
6. What should be the responsibility of those who we teach?

7. How will you ensure that there is a disciple making conviction in the people you pass your teaching into?
8. What steps can you take to improve this generational thinking?
9. What will you pray for future generations?

1. What is the most important part of this lesson to you? Explain.
2. How do you see applying aspects of this lesson to your life?
3. When do you feel would be the best time to make that application?
4. What do you hear the Lord speaking to you about this right now?

For further information check out: https://coachthebible.com

The Corruption of Pride…

Read: 2 Kings 15; 2 Chronicles 26
Marked: 2 Chronicles 26:5, He sought God in the days of Zechariah, who had understanding in the visions of God; and as long as he sought the LORD, God made him prosper.

King Uzziah did what was right in the sight of the Lord (V4) and he received godly counsel and instruction from Zechariah. Because he did what was right and applied himself to seeking God, Uzziah prospered.

He was successful in war, built strongholds, and strengthened the army with devices invented by skillful men, and his fame spread far and wide.

But at some point Uzziah let his pride get the better of him. He entered the temple, something only priests were allowed to do, and offered incense on the altar. And God struck him with leprosy as punishment.

We must be careful not to let God’s blessing on us cause us to do ungodly things. God’s blessing on us is intended for us to bless others; not be consumed on ourselves.

If we forget that we can easily fall into sin and pride. Stay humble.

Discipleship Matters – Growing in Competence

What is the picture you have in your heart of a disciple? What have you found are the best ways to help others become a disciple?

“It will take 7 years for you to become a solid disciple maker,” clarified the disciple maker to his young protégé. The young disciple wanted it to happen faster. Jesus, the model disciple maker took three years to pour his life into his disciples. This resulted in these men becoming the foundation of the church. And even in that time some did not do well as disciple makers. From Acts 6:7 we can see that the disciples multiplied. The question to ask is to see where one is as a maker of disciples, a laborer, a shepherd of people in God’s family. How can one grow in this area? Let’s look at Jesus ‘s last words to his disciples.

Matthew 28:18-20:

Then Jesus came to them and said, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. 19 Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely, I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”

1. What are the key components of Jesus’ last words to his disciples?
2. What does it mean to have all authority?
3. How does that impact you?
4. What does it mean to make disciples of all the nations?
5. How do you see your part in this?
6. Where does baptizing and teaching fit into this imperative of making disciples?
7. How does Jesus’ continued presence make this imperative possible?

8. Of the key components, which one is strongest and in your thinking?
9. Which component is not a deeply imbedded in your heart and action?
10. What would be one step we could take to focus on that?
11. When will you want to start working on that?

Tools to help this process can be found in the Navigators 2-7 series.

1. What is the most important part of this lesson to you? Explain.
2. How do you see applying aspects of this lesson to your life?
3. When do you feel would be the best time to make that application?
4. What do you hear the Lord speaking to you about this right now?

For further information check out: https://coachthebible.com

What If?…

Read: Jonah 1-4
Marked: Jonah 3:4, And Jonah began to enter the city on the first day’s walk. Then he cried out and said, “Yet forty days, and Nineveh shall be overthrown!”

How many have played the game, “What would you do if you knew you only had one month to live”? It’s an intriguing question.

Some might want to tell others how much they love them. As a Christian I’d like to believe I’d be passionate about telling others about salvation through Christ.

The Ninevites had forty days. When they heard the message from Jonah they believed God and repented (V5) and the king proclaimed a fast and called his people to cry out to God and turn from evil and the violence that was in their land (V7-8).

The Word of God has gone out into the world for man to repent, turn from evil, and receive salvation through Jesus Christ. How many days do we have left? We don’t know. Are we willing to listen and consider the message?

Discipleship Matters – Growing in Competence

What have been your most meaningful relationships with those who have not decided to follow Jesus? What have been your prayers for that person?

As someone wants to grow in competence in spiritual parenting, a great example of this in the life of the Apostle Paul. He parented these Thessalonian believers like a mom and dad. At a conference on disciple making a workshop was made available. The training was for people to study the 2nd chapter of I Thessalonians and look for the qualities of a spiritual parent. This study lays the foundation of how a maturing believer can think about parenting new believers and more mature believers. Let’s look at this section of the Bible.

1 Thessalonians 2:1-11:

You know, brothers and sisters, that our visit to you was not without results. 2 We had previously suffered and been treated outrageously in Philippi, as you know, but with the help of our God we dared to tell you his gospel in the face of strong opposition. 3 For the appeal we make does not spring from error or impure motives, nor are we trying to trick you. 4 On the contrary, we speak as those approved by God to be entrusted with the gospel. We are not trying to please people but God, who tests our hearts. 5 You know we never used flattery, nor did we put on a mask to cover up greed— God is our witness. 6 We were not looking for praise from people, not from you or anyone else, even though as apostles of Christ we could have asserted our authority. 7 Instead, we were like young children among you. Just as a nursing mother cares for her children, 8 so we cared for you. Because we loved you so much, we were delighted to share with you not only the gospel of God but our lives as well. 9 Surely you remember, brothers and sisters, our toil and hardship; we worked night and day in order not to be a burden to anyone while we preached the gospel of God to you. 10 You are witnesses, and so is God, of how holy, righteous and blameless we were among you who believed.
11 For you know that we dealt with each of you as a father deals with his own children,
12 encouraging, comforting and urging you to live lives worthy of God, who calls you into his kingdom and glory.

1. What did you observe about the actions of the apostle Paul or the spiritual parent?
2. What did you see as his motivation?
3. What metaphor did he use in his writings?
4. What comes to your mind as you think of a nursing mother?
5. What comes to your mind as you think of a father…imploring and encouraging?
6. From Verse 8 what is at the core of spiritual parenting?
7. In Verse 8 how do we position ourselves with people who do not know Christ

8. What would be area that you would desire to grow in Spiritual parenting?
9. How would you take steps to make this growth?
10. What can you pray?
11. Who will start providing parenting for?
12. What would be your first step?

1. What is the most important part of this lesson to you? Explain.
2. How do you see applying aspects of this lesson to your life?
3. When do you feel would be the best time to make that application?
4. What do you hear the Lord speaking to you about this right now?

For further information check out: https://coachthebible.com

A Loyal Heart…

Read: 2 Kings 14; 2 Chronicles 25
Marked: 2 Chronicles 25:14, Now it was so, after Amaziah came from the slaughter of the Edomites, that he brought the gods of the people of Seir, set them up [to be] his gods, and bowed down before them and burned incense to them.

Verses 1 and 2 tell us that when Amaziah began to reign at age 25, he did what was right in the sight of God, but adds, “not with a loyal heart”. How I start is really not as important as how I finish. Amaziah may have started well but he allowed his heart to move him from the path of following God.

I can say I am a believer in Christ, but Jesus calls me to follow Him. I may follow for a time and then fall away. Or I may follow in word only but don’t truly live for Him. And such was Amaziah; his heart wasn’t loyal. The Hebrew word means to be at peace.

Through his actions we see Amaziah being restless, picking fights with others while being warned against it. Finally, his heart showed his true nature. He only obeyed God when it suited him. His heart wasn’t loyal to God.

Building Restoration…

Read: 2 Kings 12-13; 2 Chronicles 24
Marked: 2 Kings 12:6, Now it was so, by the twenty-third year of King Jehoash, [that] the priests had not repaired the damages of the temple.

The temple had fallen into disrepair due to the apostasy of the kings and the people. King Jehoash instructed that the temple be repaired (V5). But some time passed and little to no work had been done.

When our temple, our body (1 Corinthians 3:16), falls into disrepair due to sin, we might desire to give ourselves to being rebuilt by studying God’s Word.

But desire isn’t enough. We must apply ourselves to the project. We need to become familiar with God’s Word through daily reading and application before any transformation takes place.

Like a physical building restoration project, these things take time. But if never started, our spiritual structure will never be restored and will continue to deteriorate.

The Real Battle…

Read: 2 Kings 9-11
Marked: 2 Kings 10:29, However Jehu did not turn away from the sins of Jeroboam the son of Nebat, who had made Israel sin, [that is,] from the golden calves that [were] at Bethel and Dan.

Jehu was anointed with oil to become the king of Israel (C9:6), and an instrument of God’s judgment on the house of Ahab and the nation.

God uses the godly as well as the godless. While we may receive an anointing from God it is still our choice whether to follow Him at all.

Jehu, in spite of his anointing and opportunity, chose not to turn from the sin of Jeroboam and idolatry. The real battle isn’t against the world or any government, but against our own hearts.