Discipleship involves a lot, but one of the most important things you can do with a new believer is read the Bible with them–teaching them how to read, understand, respond to, and apply God’s Word.
There are two men in their 20s who came to faith in Christ in recent weeks through the ministry of our church. I’m discipling these guys right now. I baptized them a few weeks ago. One of the core ways I’m discipling them is through weekly Bible reading meetings. This is how I do it:
- Every Wednesday night these guys come to my house to join in our Neighborhood Group with a bunch of other people from our church and neighborhood.
- I have the guys come 30 minutes early so that the three of us can read the Bible together.
- Each week we read one paragraph of Scripture together and talk about it. Right now we’re reading Philippians because it’s the book I’m preaching through, it’s the book all of our Neighborhood Groups are studying, and because I think Philippians is a pivotal book to master for new believers.
- Each week I ask the guys two questions about the text: 1) What did this text mean in its original 1st century context? 2) What does this text mean for our lives today? As we work through these two questions I connect our thoughts to Jesus and the bigger storyline of Scripture.
- From 30 minutes of Bible reading and these two questions we end up covering a ton of theological and practical ground. Last week’s study of Philippians 1:3-11 led to conversation about the Trinity, the second coming of Christ, how to pray, and God’s sovereignty and human responsibility.
Most believers have never been intentionally discipled and most believers have no clue how to go about discipling a new believer. The problem is that people don’t have a good understanding of what discipleship is. Here’s a definition for you: Discipleship is truth transferred through relationship.
It’s that simple. What I’m doing with these two men on Wednesday nights is transferring truth through relationship. I love these two men, and they know it. In relationship with them I’m teaching them the truth, and at the center of that process is teaching them how to read, rejoice in, and apply God’s Word.
What are you waiting for? Find two people you can start doing this with.
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When we trust Jesus, we displace rules from the center of our discipleship and replace it with his gospel
Bill Clem drew up a compass to help explain these aspects of discipleship.