How can we be about disciples making and then multiplying disciples through the 21st century church?
- I want to provide a “stand-alone” series of cascading webpages for those with a desire to become multiplying disciples of Jesus.
- I believe in “layer learning,” presenting one layer at a time and providing enough time and space to become somewhat comfortable with this layer. Then build upon it. I believe Jesus trained this way through His three training tiers. Although I designed this for five weeks, it’s more important that you modify this for your unique needs.
- These free cascading web pages may be used as a self-guided personal study, although for best results gather a SmallGroup to learn with you. A healthy SmallGroup has most of the elements necessary for meaningful spiritual growth.
- This means each preps beforehand to stimulate personal discovery, as little as 5-10 minutes per day. Come together as both learners and mutual teachers for learning in an interactive learning community. This will maximize your learning and stir up life change for them. Win/Win.
What is “ZERO WEEK”
I believe my desire is the same as Jesus, to restore discipleship in the church through long obedience to walk in the footsteps of Jesus. Without this, it’s difficult for people to be excited about service. The commands of Jesus may be hard for those who resist Him, yet Jesus says they are light and easy for those who respond to Him by faith.
This “ZERO WEEK” provides an easy ramp to decide if this is for you at this time.
ZERO WEEK provides a brief zero prep, zero obligation, zero commitment introduction to a crucial topic for the initial meeting
ZERO WEEK provides space for each to “get their feet wet” with hands-on learning so they can make an informed decision whether this is for them at this time. It’s a seamless way to get a small taste of how we want to learn and to know the time commitment. At the end of this group time today, each will decide whether to continue.
A Suggested Plan for “ZERO WEEK”
For this introductory meeting (I call it “ZERO WEEK”), as we gather together there is no pre-preparation. However, Jesus came to make strong disciples that could live out of the same Source of life as He did, eternal life with the Father experienced now. Jesus is always after relationship. Disciples choose to follow the “main & plain” of the clear strategy He modeled.
How can we follow His strategy, though, unless we know it?
My desire is to recover Jesus’ simple, flexible strategy for making disciples, yet it’s neither simplistic nor without effort. Jesus is our Model, even in the 21st century with our competitive business models.
Let’s begin with how Jesus learned in the temple as a boy of twelve. Here’s the context (Luke 2:41-45). Jesus came to celebrate a feast in Jerusalem with His families and neighbors. When His parents returned home, they thought Jesus was hanging out with His friends on the way back. After three days, they had not found Jesus, so they returned to the temple. Let’s pick up this history here.
First, how did Jesus learn as a boy in the temple?
Two different people read this two-verse passage out loud. After reading, I will ask one question. “How do you see Jesus learning in the temple at 12-years old?” This is a fast-paced exercise. Each person only give one answer to provide space for others.
After three days they found [Jesus] in the temple courts, in the temple courts, sitting among the teachers, listening to them and asking them questions. Everyone who heard him was amazed at his understanding and his answers (Luke 2:46-47).
So, what are the actions and environment you see as Jesus learned? What is ONE observation about how Jesus learned?
Second, pull up John 1:35-51 in your Bible or on your device.
As we read this around out loud, ask yourself…
…”How many men are mentioned? How were people invited & included? In what way did the first inviters & includers naturally pointing others to Jesus? What was the level of commitment asked of these men at this time?”
Now What for Disciples?
If you decide to continue with us for five weeks,…
…we will move through these four bullet points below each week as guidelines for our time together. The group is designed to be highly interactive with a place for your questions so we can explore together.
- Starters. One thing this week you are grateful for. Review.
- Read the passage out loud in a circle, a few verses each.
- Debrief insights from the passage and from the free PDF article with each other as both a learner and a teacher.
- Share & Pray: a 15-30-second personal request, then our best 30-second prayer. At times, also pray for our city.
Let’s Be Specific
What we just finished I call “ZERO WEEK” because there is no preparation or commitment on your part. You came and now you decide if this is something for you at this time with these people. You are the gate keeper of your heart.
We will learn in community for the next five weeks by “flipping” the learning experience with pre-prep, then asking and answering questions interactively in group for understanding as both learners (disciples) and mutual teachers maximizes learning. First-hand exploring best leads to personal discovery.
So, I’m asking for active engagement for the next FIVE weeks together (your choice of the level of interaction). Dive in for at least a few minutes each day, like if you were putting out effort to begin a new friendship. This could take as little as 5 minutes most days. Then we will come back together again next week for 90-minutes together as both learners and mutual teachers as we interactively share discoveries about Jesus with each another.
I believe that Jesus is the most remarkable person who ever walked the earth, worth of investing long hours to experience the friendship in a culture of freedom that He offers through faith.
A big statement?! Certainly.
Does anyone have any questions before we close?
Now after “ZERO WEEK,” my hope is that you gather a SmallGroup together. Ideally, design this as an interactive group, rather than lecture, in order to maximize change and growth.
Take time the next couple days to reflect if this is for you. Let the group leader know your answer, one way or the other.
- “No thanks, this is not for me at this time.” This decision is fine and we can still stay in relationship. God designed you as the gatekeeper of your heart. Perhaps at another time.
- “Yes, I want to be part of this five week look at growing as a disciple of Jesus. Sign me up for these five weeks!”
If your answer is “yes, I want to continue,” ….
…then go to this cascading webpage (“Come & See Me” – Tier One Training) to prepare for our next week together. The group leader will verify the time and place for the five 90-minute group learning opportunities.
For the teacher of such a group of disciples,…
…click here for a free PDF for some of my ideas from the passages above. Freely add your own. “Draw out” the group’s thoughts with questions as much as possible since what others say has more impact on their lives than what we say. Teach key ideas with short “bursts of teaching” only as necessary.