Session 4: Help Others Follow Jesus


Read this before your meet-up. It will give you some great background information to help make the most of your time together.

When Jesus called his first disciples, he wasn’t just inviting them to an event or religious experience; he was calling them to take part in his work to reach the lost. Jesus’ first words to his disciples was “Follow me, and I will make you fishers of men” (Matthew 4:19). Jesus calls every one of his disciples to be a disciple-maker.

In the introduction to this study, we shared some simple definitions for discipleship:
  • Disciple simply means a student or a follower. Every Christian is a disciple.
  • Discipleship is becoming more like Christ by knowing God more truthfully, loving God more sincerely, and obeying God more faithfully.
  • Discipling someone is helping them become more like Christ by knowing God more truthfully, loving God more sincerely, and obeying God more faithfully.
  • One-on-One Discipleship refers to formal meet-ups on a clearly-defined pathway with clearly-defined goals. This study is part of our discipleship pathway.

These definitions make clear that discipleship isn’t just hanging out — discipleship has a goal, for the disciple to become more like Jesus himself. This should be our goal for everyone we know; we should be working to help them become more like Jesus. This includes non-Christians (we want to make them disciples) and Christians (we want to help them grow as disciples). These definitions also make clear that discipleship doesn’t just take place in formal settings. You can disciple anyone, anytime you interact with them.

What does it look like to disciple non-Christians? The journey to becoming more like Jesus begins with saving faith. We don’t just want them to be conformed to Jesus on the outside; we want them to be born again and truly know God on the inside. It doesn’t matter if non-Christians clean their lives up and obey God a little bit more — they need to be saved, forgiven, and raised to new life in Christ. As we said in the last session, We are seeking to win souls, not arguments, so our message is, “Be reconciled to God” (1 Corinthians 5:20).

What does it look like to disciple Christians? We want to help our brothers and sisters continue becoming more like Jesus. 

The definitions above give three areas that every Christian needs to grow in Christlikeness:
  • Head — Knowing God more truthfully (Jesus knew the Father perfectly, Matthew 11:27)
  • Heart — Loving God more sincerely (Jesus loved the Father perfectly, John 14:31)
  • Hands — Obeying God more faithfully (Jesus obeyed the Father perfectly, John 15:10)

If every Christian is a disciple-maker, that means that you have a responsibility to help the other Christians in our church grow.

Here are some practical steps every Christian can take to help others grow:
  • Pray for people. Your brothers and sisters in Christ are battling against the world, the flesh, and the devil. They will stumble without God’s help. They need your prayers. When you pray for others, be as specific as possible, asking God to help them with particular sins and trials they are experiencing.
  • Ask people real questions. Move beyond the surface level in your conversations with others. Ask them what they have been reading in the Bible, what they have been praying for, what non-Christians they have been sharing with, and what sins they have been struggling with.
  • Share the Word generally. Human wisdom is useful sometimes, but God’s Word will never fail or fade away. Share with other people what you are learning from God’s Word.
  • Share the Word specifically. Every Christian is a counselor, but are you a biblical counselor? When someone shares about a situation in their life, speak truth from Scripture that could help them. That might be a promise to comfort them, a command to rebuke them, guidance to help them, or a biblical truth that they are forgetting. When someone tells you about a sin or trial in their lives, ask yourself what Scripture has to say about that issue.
Seeing the Kindness of God

The center of the Christian worldview is the kindness and mercy of God, which is seen supremely in the work of Christ (Exodus 34:6–7, 1 Corinthians 2:2), so every session will include a reminder of how this topic points us to God’s unfailing kindness.

In Matthew’s Gospel, Jesus’ ministry begins and ends with a call to make disciples (Matthew 4:19, quoted above; Matthew 28:18–20). In this final, climactic call to make disciples, Jesus encourages his hearers: “And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age” (Matthew 28:20). You are not alone as you seek to make disciples — Christ is with you. You don’t have to have it all together. If only perfect Christians could make disciples, then none of us would make disciples.

Reflection Questions
Answer these before your meet-up.
  1. What does it mean to be a disciple? Have you ever been discipled?
  2. Do you feel ready to disciple someone else in a formal setting? Why or why not?
  3. Can you think of a time that you spoke God’s Word to another Christian? What happened?
  4. What are some things that keep you from speaking God’s Word to other Christians more often?
  5. Who is one non-Christian that you can ask to read the Bible with you? (Or who are you currently reading with?)

Meet-Up Guide

review your action step
From your last meetup
  1. Were you able to pray every day for the non-Christian you listed?
  2. What did you learn as you prayed for the non-Christian you listed? How did God change you through this simple act of prayer?
  3. Did you have a chance to share with them? If not, when will you?
review the pre-reading
Answer these questions
  1. What is a disciple? What are other definitions you have heard about discipleship? How is this definition different from others you have heard?
  2. In discipleship, we aim to become more like Christ in three areas (heads, hearts, and hands). Which of these three comes easiest to you? Which comes most difficult to you?
  3. The reading shared four steps every Christian can take to help others grow. Which of these four things is a habit for you? Which of these four things do you want to work on doing more often?
1 Corinthians 12:1-11

1 Now concerning spiritual gifts, brothers, I do not want you to be uninformed. 2 You know that when you were pagans you were led astray to mute idols, however you were led. 3 Therefore I want you to understand that no one speaking in the Spirit of God ever says “Jesus is accursed!” and no one can say “Jesus is Lord” except in the Holy Spirit. 4 Now there are varieties of gifts, but the same Spirit; 5 and there are varieties of service, but the same Lord; 6 and there are varieties of activities, but it is the same God who empowers them all in everyone. 7 To each is given the manifestation of the Spirit for the common good. 8 For to one is given through the Spirit the utterance of wisdom, and to another the utterance of knowledge according to the same Spirit, 9 to another faith by the same Spirit, to another gifts of healing by the one Spirit, 10 to another the working of miracles, to another prophecy, to another the ability to distinguish between spirits, to another various kinds of tongues, to another the interpretation of tongues. 11 All these are empowered by one and the same Spirit, who apportions to each one individually as he wills.

study questions
Answer these questions in your meet-up
  • What words do you see repeated in this passage? What do they mean?
  • What gifts are listed in this text? Define each of these gifts.
  • Who has given the gifts mentioned in this passage?
  • Who has been given the gifts mentioned in this passage?
  • What purpose are the gifts given? (See verse 7)
  • How would you put verse seven in your own words?
application questions
Answer these questions in your meet-up
  • If you are a Christian, you HAVE been given gifts for the good of the church. What gifts do you have?
  • How can you use your gifts to help others fight sin?
  • How can you use your gifts to share Christ with non-Christians?
  • What has prevented you from sharing God’s Word with other Christians in the past? How could this passage help you have boldness in the future?
Create an action step
Create one together
action step:

In three conversations this week, share a truth from the Bible with another Christian.

Pray together
Pray together to close the meeting

Pray that God would help you to encourage one another.