Chapter 1: The Inevitability of Influence
- God does not change, humans do. How do humans change for good or bad?
- Everyone has the natural ability to influence others and to be influenced by others. How will you leverage your influence?
- Gospel influence can come through your strengths and your weaknesses. According to 2 Corinthians 12:9, why does God do this?
- When you step out of the hallway of this life into the room of eternity, what will you have left behind in the lives of others?
- According to the Bible, a disciple of Christ disciples others by helping them to follow Christ. Is that how you are exercising your influence?
Chapter 2: Oriented Toward Others
- How does Jesus serve as the perfect example of serving others? Are you following his example of service?
- What are some practical ways that you can live a life that is others oriented? How are you laboring for the sake of others?
- What can we learn about discipleship from Jesus? How did Paul follow Jesus’ example of discipleship? Are you following their example?
- List some people in your life that you would like to see mature in Christ. How are you working to help them mature? Pray for them
Chapter 3: The Work of Discipling
- Discipling is, at its core, the work of Kingdom building. By investing in 2-3 intentional disciples, who then invest in 2-3 disciples, we can see exponential Kingdom Growth in relatively short times. How does this reality – discipleship as Kingdom building – change your view of discipleship? Do you view your work in discipling as having an eternal impact by Kingdom building? Are you building the Kingdom now through discipleship?
- How does Heb. 13:7, 1 Cor. 11:1, and 1 Peter 2:21 shape the way you think about discipleship? (Modeling, teaching, and correcting) How can we as imperfect people, lead by example? How has someone asking you for forgiveness, or repenting of sins, impacted your relationship with them and your relationship with Christ?
- What is the best way or program to disciple? What are some of the challenges in opening your life and home to others?
- Re-read the Spurgeon quote on page 44. Do you see yourself as a “Tour Guide to Heaven”?
- Are you ready for the work of discipleship? Who are you actively discipling? Who do you need to initiate a discipleship relationship with – as disciple or discipler?
Chapter 4: Objections to Discipling
- Discipling is helping others follow Jesus by doing deliberate spiritual good in their lives. While it is easy to agree that discipling is important, we are often hesitant to enter into discipling relationships. What are your objections when it comes to discipling?
- We are great at making excuses and objections so we do not have to do what God is calling us to do. How do you need to confront your objections to discipling with Gospel truth?
- As Christians, if we are faithfully following Christ, we are commanded to disciple others. Why is it dangerous to not disciple younger Christians? What impact does it bear on the future of the church? If you have discipled others, what has been your experience? If you are not discipling others, who is someone you can disciple?
- Why is it dangerous to not be discipled by a more mature Christian? Do you have someone who is discipling you? If you are being discipled, how have you seen yourself grow in your relationship with Christ?
Chapter 5: The Local Church
- If the local church is the “natural environment for discipling”, how is that cultivated? What are some specific ways you see that fleshed out at Ashland Church? How are you participating in that mission?
- Read Hebrews 10:24-25. What does “stirring up others” look like for you? (i.e Are you going through a book? The Bible?, How often?) How does your discipleship of others prepare them to make disciples?
- In what ways does Ashland Church (the congregation as a whole) have authority over its members (individuals)? Do you see any context or circumstance where someone can be discipled apart from the local church? If so, how does that fit into the Great Commission?
- When Jesus gave the disciples the Great Commission he told them to “teach them all that he had commanded”, he was talking to a group of men to take the gospel to the ends of the earth. What must a group of believers do in order to be considered a church? What teaching must we teach? How does teaching disciple others?
- In what ways could our church be better at discipling?
Chapter 6: Pastors and Members
- How does authority and accountability work in the pastor/congregation relationship?
- What makes a church “work” (pg. 63)? Why is this?
- Why is it important to follow the example of the leaders in your specific congregation, as opposed to any leader or pastor “out there” (online sermons/ministries, bloggers, podcasts, etc.)?
- How are members responsible for one another? In what ways are you helping others grow in Christ? How does understanding this responsibility change the way you see your relationships in the church? Who are you responsible for? Name them.
- How does a “discipleship culture” work? How are you contributing to the discipleship culture in our church?
- Knowing that you are responsible for the work of discipleship (along with the pastors), what will you do? Who will you influence? Think of one person to engage in a discipleship relationship. What’s your first step in moving in a direction towards Jesus, together?
Chapter 7: Choose Someone
- What does it mean to disciple someone biblically and what does it look like to be discipled at Ashland?
- When/if you have decided o disciple people in the past did you consider the factors the authors mentions in this chapter? Why or why not? What factors did you consider?
- Do you agree with list given by the author? Are there any factors that seem to lack biblical basis? Do you agree with the order of importance the author assigns them. Are any particularly important to your discipline decisions in the past?
- Have you failed to consider some of these factors in the past. What was the outcome of that?
- Given this list of factors who are some people that god seems to be providing you with the opportunity of discipling or being discipled by?
Chapter 8: Have Clear Aims
- When was the last time you modeled the gospel while teaching it to someone in such a way that they were able to apply it to his/her own life?
- The author mentions outlining a book of the Bible as a possible teaching strategy. As a group give three examples of other ways to teach God’s word and sound doctrine during discipleship.
- How can you invite people into your everyday life to disciple them by having natural yet, meaningful spiritual conversations?
- Think of the person who is/will be your potential/current disciple, what questions can you ask to gauge their spiritual maturity and provide insight into their struggles and needs?
- The author asks “Can we share our struggles and still honor each other”? If you answered yes explain why we can share struggles and still grow as Christians? If no then what is preventing spiritual growth and honor in that situation?
Chapter 9: Pay the Cost
- In what ways will discipleship cost you something? Which “cost” is your heart clinging to most?
- Are you using time throughout your week for discipleship that is both deliberate and intentional? If not, what are some practical ways to get started?
- Why is it important for us to love God with our minds in discipleship?
- What questions can we ask to help people think through what they pray about?
- How does the gospel of Christ inform the way we receive criticism in discipleship?
- How are you living out what you hear from God’s word in your relationships?
Chapter 10: Raising Up Leaders
- Older men/In what ways are you taking on the role as an elder in our church? Younger men, How are you seeking sanctification, which tends to preparedness to be a church elder/leader? If no, then how can you begin? (1Tim.3 1-7)
- What are your thoughts on Devers’ exhortation for pastors to be “always looking” for young men who can be future church leaders?
- In part 4 of this chapter, Dever urges church leaders to “advance trust.” In light of this. How does this chapter reshape your view of the roles in which you serve in our church?
- “Congregations, for their part, need to be patient with young men in leadership as they make young-man mistakes. I often tell churches not to be afraid of nominating a young lion cub. He may scratch the floors or damage some furniture, but if you’re patient with him, you’ll have a lion who loves you for life.” From page 98
- Our church has an intern program, where young men are being trained in gospel ministry. How can we show gospel love to these young men, as they sacrifice, learn and make mistakes?
- “Leaders in the church must know how to be unusually clear on doctrine and in teaching the truth generally.” From page 103 This is something I am thankful for in our church. How have you seen this trait in our church leadership and why is it important?