Following Jesus

Following Jesus

Discussion Questions

Week 1 – August 8th – Following Jesus – Outreach

  1. Make a list of the top 5 most frighting things for you to do and list them in order. Share your list with the group.
  2. Have someone read Matthew 4:18-20
  1. What stands out to you in this passage?
  2. How do you think Peter and Andrew responded to the concept of being fishers of men? What do you think it meant to them at that moment? We read this phrase now with the full knowledge of the cross and the message of the gospel. Consider Peter and Andrew’s perspective. What do you think went through their minds as they tried to comprehend this invitation?
  3. This encounter with Jesus was not the first time Peter and Andrew met Jesus. Though it’s difficult to piece together the chronology, it seems the record of their first encounter is found in John 1.
  4. Have someone read John 1:35-40.
  5. It seems Andrew met Jesus first. He may be the example of the first gospel witness. Notice the first thing Andrew did was go to Peter (called Simon here).
  6. What principles about discipleship/evangelism do we draw from this story?
  7. Many studies show that most Christians do not share their faith. Why do you think Christians are hesitant to be a witness? Discuss several reasons.
  8. Do you think Jesus still calls us today to be “fishers of men?”
  9. Read Acts 1:4-8
  10. Do you think this mandate (to be Christ’s witnesses” applies to Christians today? Do you know of any other Bible verses that tell us to be a witness? Discuss the suggested verses. Make sure these are included in the discussion: Matthew 28:19-20; Matthew 5:16; 1 Peter 3:15; Mark 16:15.
  11. Have someone Read Romans 1:16. What would it take for believers to adopt Paul’s passion about sharing the gospel?
  12. We can share our faith by sharing scripture about how to be saved or by offering a tract (think Romans Road to Salvation). What are some good Bible verses to share?
  13. We can also share by telling someone our personal faith story (testimony). A testimony consists of three parts: life before becoming a Christian; how you became a Christian; life now as a follower of Jesus. We should have a short version and a longer version. Have group members volunteer to share short versions of their faith story.
  14. Close in prayer for specific people your group members know who are unbelievers. Also pray that your group will be a bold witness for Jesus.

Week 2 – Following Jesus – Serving

  1. Today, Pastor Tim began the sermon by asking what drives our What do you think drives most people today?
  2. Do you agree with the Gareth Icenogle quote? “Discipleship always moves toward ministry and mission.”
  3. Read Romans 12:1-6a
  4. What is meant by a living sacrifice and how is a Christian a living sacrifice?
  5. Holy means to be set apart for God’s purpose. How does being a holy sacrifice affect our decisions and actions?
  6. What is the typical definition of worship? How can acting and living like a holy sacrifice be worship?
  7. What is involved with renewing our minds? What are some key steps that would work best for you as you seek to have a renewed mind?
  8. Why is a renewed mind so important to being a living sacrifice serving the Lord?
  9. Read Philippians 4:8-9 and discuss how to live out the truth of this passage.
  10. How do the first two verses about being a living sacrifice and being transformed relate to the last verses that tell us to use our gifts to serve?
  11. How would living in the power of the Holy Spirit every day change how we serve?
  12. Read Romans 12:6-13. What gifts are listed? What gifts are represented in your group?

Week 3 – August 22 – Discipleship

  1. Pastor Tim said everyone follows something or someone. Read the quote from Joseph Stowell: “Actually, since we were designed to follow, we spend our entire lives following—it’s just that no one wants to admit it. Sin strives for independence. The agony of sin is that the more we reach for autonomy, the more we become enslaved as followers…Perhaps the greatest self-deceit is to tell ourselves that we can be self-sufficient.” Do you agree with Stowell’s statement (the more we reach for autonomy, the more we become enslaved as followers)?
  2. Read Matthew 28:19-20 Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit, 20 teaching them to observe all that I commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.”
  3. Discuss the meaning of the word disciple
  4. Read the main text for today’s sermon: Ephesians 4:11-16 And He gave some as apostles, and some asprophets, and some as evangelists, and some as pastors and teachers, 12 for the equipping of the saints for the work of service, to the building up of the body of Christ; 13 until we all attain to the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to a mature man, to the measure of the stature which belongs to the fullness of Christ. 14 As a result, we are no longer to be children, tossed here and there by waves and carried about by every wind of doctrine, by the trickery of men, by craftiness in deceitful scheming; 15 but speaking the truth in love, we are to grow up in all aspects into Him who is the head, even Christ, 16 from whom the whole body, being fitted and held together by what every joint supplies, according to the proper working of each individual part, causes the growth of the body for the building up of itself in love.
  5. What part of this text focuses on a disciple’s love relationship with Jesus? How does the word knowledge underscore a love relationship?
  6. Pastor Tim said a disciple has a love relationship with Jesus, yet many Christians focus on themselves instead of Jesus. This seems to be one of the great challenges of humanity. The goal of a biblically functioning church is to help people know God. What is your reaction to the quote, “Does going to church make us want to know God more or use God more?”
  7. Does God really expect us to imitate Jesus? What are some specific ways that would change how we live every day?
  8. Read Ephesians 4:13 and discuss the meaning of the phrase, “to the measure of the stature which belongs to the fullness of Christ.”
  9. Read Romans 8:29 “For those whom He foreknew, He also predestined to become conformed to the image of His Son…”
  10. What did God predestine and what does this mean?
  11. The word disciple also means learner. What are some things you do to learn as a disciple of Christ?
  12. Read Matthew 28:19-20 Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit, 20 teaching them to observe all that I commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.”
  13. What is the main command of that verse? (make disciples). Discuss the responsibility of teaching new converts, new disciples, all of Christ’s commands. Talk about the role of the Holy Spirit in helping us with this task (John 14:23-26)
  14. Discuss the 21-Day Journey book: Following Jesus. Encourage your group to get a copy and participate.
  15. Pastor Tim said the call to discipleship is a call to submit. He quoted Joseph Stowell’s comments about being in Christ – being planted in Jesus. Stowell said, “This obviously involves self-surrender. Not merely the surrender of our sins, our bad habits, our wrong thinking, and our wrong motives, but the very self behind all these. All of these are symptoms; the unsurrendered self is the disease.” What is your reaction to this quote?
  16. Being disciples includes the privilege to serve. Have group members share ways they are serving in the church or in the community and what it means to them.

Week 4 – August 29 – Worship

  1. What is the connection between Following Jesus and worship?
  2. Discuss the connection made in Sunday’s sermon about worship, love, and discipleship.
  3. Read Psalm 96:1-9
  4. What do you think God meant when He inspired the Psalmist to command us to sing a new song to the Lord?
  5. There are several imperatives or commands in this passage as it relates to worship. What are they (sing, proclaim, declare, ascribe, bring, worship, and tremble)? Discuss the meanings of these words and how we do each of those things in a public and a private worship experience.
  6. We are commanded to sing to the Lord and praise His name. What does praise mean? What is the difference between praise and thanksgiving? (Praise is declaring who God is – His character and nature; thanksgiving is acknowledging with gratitude what God has done.)
  7. Verses 4-6 explains why we are commanded to sing, praise God’s name, and declare His glory. Discuss the reasons why God is worthy of our worship.
  8. What are the greatest barriers to authentic worship?
  9. What role does pride play in hindering worship? What are some things we can do to humble ourselves before God and worship?
  10. Discuss the difference between gathering for fellowship or for a meeting and gathering to worship.
  11. Is it possible to meet together and look like a worship service but not be one? What is the difference?
  12. What steps could we take as a church to insure our next gathering for worship is a worship service and not simply a meeting? What steps could individual Christians take to make sure their worship is authentic?