The 80’s were an interesting time. Not since the 1960’s has there been a defining era of fashion, hairstyle and music. Big hair, mullets and parachute pants may have been popular but they definitely weren’t as cool as we remember. I am also pretty sure that music has yet to recover. The 80’s did teach us, though, that sometimes things need to change to get better.
In this series we will discuss some changes in methodology and redefining our core values to be more effective at reaching people with the Gospel. Helping people take their next step towards a deeper relationship with Jesus is the priority of The Fountains. This series helps us realize how we can be more effective, while having some fun reminiscing of days gone by.
You and I can not walk with Jesus and stay the same. If we are walking with Jesus on a consistent basis, He is going to change thing in us, around us, and through us. This applies if you have been following Him for a week, or for 50 years.
I want to know Christ—yes, to know the power of his resurrection and participation in his sufferings, becoming like him in his death, and so, somehow, attaining to the resurrection from the dead. Not that I have already obtained all this, or have already arrived at my goal, but I press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me.
GOAL FOR THIS SESSION
In this session, we discover that discipleship is not a program but a process. As we walk through that process, Christ changes us to be more like Him.
Discipleship is not a program but a process.
You did not become who you are as a follower of Christ because of a particular program. Discipleship is not like microwave popcorn. When someone comes to Christ, we trust that the same Holy Spirit that brought them to Christ will continue to lead them in a relationship with Christ.
There are 7 disciplines that can help you change to become more like Christ.
If we practice these seven disciplines with the desire to become more like Jesus, we will be changed.
If we are honest, there are many things that we would like to change about ourselves. For the most part, our change is motivated by selfish reasons. We are changing because we want to benefit from the change. We focus on the benefit more then the desired result. Many followers of Christ practice the same principle in their walk with Christ. They do study after study trying to gain God’s approval, love, or blessing, not realizing God already has all those for them in endless supply. This leads to disappointment and discouragement because the focus is all wrong.
Discipleship means to follow one's teaching. As believers, the one we follow is Jesus. Too many people try to be good and do the right thing in order to go to, or gain access to, heaven. Heaven is our reward for accepting Christ as our savior. He took care of that on the cross. Jesus is our goal. Our goal then is not to gain anything, but to be forever changed to the image of Christ. As we pursue the character of Christ, He will change us.
Session 4: Growing People Change
Review the sermon, if needed.
Use the questions provided in each session to facilitate your group’s discussion and application of each topic.
- Who is the most famous person you have met? What difference in your life has that relationship made?
- Is it possible to have a relationship with some one you have met once?
- In order for a relationship to impact your life what needs to take place?
- Why is it strange for Paul to make the statement about knowing Christ? I mean, he is Paul. Didn’t he know Christ intimately?
- Did Paul, even though he had healed people and raised people from the dead, believe that he had arrived?
- Because Paul felt he had yet to arrive, what was he doing specifically?
- What are the by-products of pressing on, forgetting what is behind and straining forward?
- Pastor Bryan mentioned that sometimes we hold on to past experiences, even the good ones, that can hinder our growth. When is the last time you felt God do something significant to change you? Was it recent or has it all been in the past two five or even ten years?
- What was Paul’s ultimate goal?
Key Point: Discipleship is not a program but a process.
Let’s review the seven practical disciplines that can change us to be like Christ.
How do these Seven Principles affect God’s love for us?
1) Read The Bible
- Why do we read God’s word? (To hear God’s voice and to discover who God is.)
- What are some habits that keep us from reading God’s word?
- Do we read the bible to change our behavior? (No. We read God’s word to discover who God is.)
2) get baptized
- Why is baptism important? Is baptism something we should pray about before we do it?
- Does baptism save you?
- When should you be baptized?
- What does Baptism represent?
3) Attend Church Regularly
- Define regular Church attendance.
- What happens to a limb that is not attached to the body?
- Is this passage exclusive to Church attendance?
- Why do we need each other?
4) Confess and Repent
- According to the sermon, why does God not care about our behavior?
- How can we remove the idols from our hearts?
- According to Jesus, what is the number one competitor for our hearts?
- Why is being generous a reflection of God’s heart? (John 3:16)
- Pastor Bryan stated “If you haven’t learned to faithfully give to God , then you haven’t learned how to follow him faithfully.” How is this statement a true reflection of the heart?
6) Share Jesus
- Found People Find People, means what?
- How can sharing your faith give you understanding of what God has done in you?
- How can sharing your faith change your life?
- Can a person attend church regularly and still not be involved in the church?
- How, in this passage, did Jesus explain the path to greatness?
- Is every follower of Christ capable of serving? Why?
- Can a person grow and develop with out serving other?
Help your Group identify and take their next steps with Jesus. Pray with them and for them. Ask them about their next steps later this week.
- How are you actively pursuing the discipleship process to become more like Christ?
You may have realized today that you are living on past experiences of what God has done instead of seeking new ways for God to change you. Your next step may be to seek ways to press on, forget what is behind, and strive to become more like Christ. Work on applying the Seven Practical Disciplines to help you change and become more like Christ.
Maybe today you realized you are needing to grow stronger in some of the disciplines.
Your next step is to evaluate the steps you are taking to become more like Christ. Which ones are you missing? Begin strengthening the areas that you are lacking in.
Pray that God will spur our hearts on by His Spirit. Pray that we would always make Jesus our goal and continue the process of becoming more like Him.