3 Simple Steps to Discipleship: Step 2
So you’ve asked someone to be in your discipleship group, or hopefully a few someones.
That was step one that I covered in the last post. What’s next?
Next you need to figure out what you will do during your group time. So again, with the goal of simplicity, here’s the focus of your group time.
Step 2: Pick a book of the Bible.
As you can see, your time together will be and should be centered around the Word.
But what curriculum or studies or books should we use?
While there are tons of great resources out there for discipleship and spiritual growth, I have found that they are not necessary for discipleship. In fact, in my experience using a resource can sometimes take away from focus on the Word.
I have tried over the years many different programs, studies, strategies, and tools. Some of them were good, some of them weren’t. Some of them were filled with scripture and totally scripture-based, some of them weren't. But at the end of the day, I’ve found it easiest to just use the plain text of the Bible.
Here's 4 reasons why:
1. The Bible is the inspired Word of God.
This may be obvious to you, but if it’s true, then the words in your Bible are significantly more important and valuable than the words written by someone in a devotional or study.
That doesn’t make devotionals and studies bad! Those certainly have their place, and I use them myself. But when it comes to discipleship, I want my group to see the supremacy of scripture for their spiritual formation. I want them to see the elevated status that the Bible should have in their daily pursuit of Christ. I want them to see devotionals and books as supplemental and the Bible as essential.
2. The Bible is free and easily accessible.
Most people already have a Bible or they can access it on their phone for free. This is much simpler and cheaper than requiring your group to order and buy a specific resource. It also removes an unnecessary stumbling block from someone joining your group. It's nice to tell someone, "Just bring your Bible!"
3. The Bible is reproducible.
If the goal of discipleship is multiplication, then using the same material and the same pattern is important. When you teach your group to disciple using the Word of God, then they will be equipped to do the same. Often times, resources and books are designed to be used in particular settings and grow out of style over time. Sometimes they even go out of print and can be hard to find.
You won't have this problem with the Bible. When you walk your group through the Gospel of John, they can turn right around and do the same with their own group. And that group can do the same with their own group. And so on and so forth.
4. The Bible lasts forever.
At the end of the day, I don't want the guys in my discipleship group to remember the things I said or the things they read in a book. I want them to remember the Word of God. People change, resources change, opinions change, but the Word of God lasts forever.
Once our dGroup ends, my guys will continue through life. Lord willing, they will continue to pursue Christ and make their own disciples. They will likely change jobs, homes, and life stages. And I want to give them something that will transcend all those things.
That's why I disciple using the Bible.
"But where should my group start?"
That's a great question. I recommend starting with one of the Gospels (Matthew, Mark, Luke, or John) or with one of the shorter letters in the New Testament (Philippians, 1 John, James, Colossians, etc.). Then I try and alternate back and forth between Old and New Testament books.
There's one more step to this series. I'll cover that in the next post.