Intentional Discipleship Tool
1) Personal Discovery Bible Study (3 Columns)
Turn a piece of paper on its side.
Then divide the paper into three columns.
Label the first ‘Scripture.’
Label the second ‘My Words’
Label the third ‘I Will.’
The length of the passage you chose affects how much time the study takes. Longer passages take longer to study. This isn’t a bad thing, but you need to keep it in mind. Generally, try to keep your passages between 10 and 15 verses.
In the ‘Scripture’ column, write the passage: word-for-word. This takes time but you control how much time by choosing smaller chunks of Scripture. Break larger passages into several sections, spread out over several days.
What is most important, however, is this – when you copy a passage word-for-word you actually read it through several (about five to seven) times. It is a form a forced meditation for those of us who can’t sit and think about a passage without losing focus. This process also keeps us from skimming familiar passages. When you write it out you have to think about every word.
My Own Words
When you finish copying the passage, use the second column to write the passage in your own words. Write it out like you’re telling a friend about it over a cup of coffee. Don’t move on until you can write the passage in your own words. You see, you don’t really understand it if you can’t tell it to someone else in your own words.
And you can’t obey Scripture unless you understand it. It’s that simple. Sometimes, you might have to stop on a passage for a couple of days and talk it out with the Holy Spirit before you can finish putting it into your own words.
When you start this process, you will probably find there are several familiar passages that you can’t write in your own words. Sometimes we ‘know’ more than we truly understand.
In the third column we transition from knowing God’s Word to obeying God’s Word. Look at each part of the passage. Ask God to reveal things you need to add to your life, take away from your life, or change in your life to obey this passage.
Be specific. The passage may say that God created the Earth, but you have to decide what that means in your life. How does your life change because you believe God created the Earth? What do you need to do differently? What can you do in the next 24 hours to obey this passage? Every time we open God’s Word, He invites us into relationship.
We call His invitation ‘grace,’ because we can’t do anything to deserve it.
Obedience is how we accept His invitation. God lives with those who obey His Word. (John 14:23-24)
When we study God’s Word we have a choice: we choose to obey Him or we choose to disobey Him. It is really that simple.
This third column is your response to God’s invitation.
When you finish this study, you have two responsibilities.
First, you need to meet with other followers of Christ and discuss what you learned.
Tell them your ‘I Will’ statements. They can hold you accountable and figure out ways to help you obey God’s Word.
Second, look for opportunities to share what God said. Work the phrase, “God taught me something today.” or something similar, into conversations and wait for a response.
This creates discussion opportunities. If people care, they ask for more information.
If it isn’t the right time for them, they will ignore you. Don’t continue to share.
Please share your faith with those who are ready and interested, not those who are not ready.
Where to Start?
“Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only he who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. Many will say to me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and in your name drive out demons and perform many miracles?’ Then I will tell them plainly, ‘I never knew you. Away from me, you evildoers!’ “Therefore everyone who hears these words of mine and puts them into practice is like a wise man who built his house on the rock. The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house; yet it did not fall, because it had its foundation on the rock. But everyone who hears these words of mine and does not put them into practice is like a foolish man who built his house on sand. The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house, and it fell with a great crash.”
Then continue with the 7 signs of John to establish a reality that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God; and that believing ye might have life through his name. John 20:30-
1. Turning of water into wine John 2:1-12
2. Healing of the royal official’s son John 4:46-54
3. The healing of the lame man at the pool John 5:1-17
4. The feeding of the five thousand. John 6:1-14
5. The walking on water 6:15-25
6. The healing of the man born blind. 9:1-41
7. The raising of Lazarus 11:1-46
Read, obey, and share – that is the discipleship process in a nutshell!
Obedience and sharing must happen within the next 24 to 48 hours. If too much time passes between reading God’s Word and obeying it, people disobey God and establish a habit of negligent disobedience in their lives.
According to Scripture, if we read God’s Word and disobey it we either don’t love God (John 14:15-21) or we are a fool (James 1:22-25, Proverbs 10:8, 14:9, 14:16).
If we don’t share God’s Word, we don’t love others. (John 14, Matthew 22, 1John 3:13)
If we know what to do, but choose not to do it, we are disobedient. (James 4:17)
If we want to grow spiritually, we need to adopt a system that encourages behaviours that lead to spiritual growth. Discovery Bible Study is one process that encourages those behaviours.
2) Group Bible study
We encourage everybody to do the personal bible study using the 3 columns and the Scripture we are going to study together.
Who did you share last week’s passage and insights with?
How have you experienced God since the last time that we met?
Prayer: Thanks & Petition
Thanks: Have everyone share one thing they are thankful for.
Petition: Have everyone share one thing that is their greatest need
Facilitator give thanks first to set tone and length of thanksgiving and petition and by praying for person to left/right – keep it short (30 sec) and one thought)
* Have someone read Scripture out loud while everyone follows along in their Bible
* Have someone else read the same passage out loud again. This time have everyone listen to the reading.
* Ask for a volunteer to retell the facts of the passage in their own words.
* When they finish, ask the group to fill in any facts they feel were left out.
Study the passage. Your discussion must be question driven.
Questions facilitate the discovery process. Questions allow your group to wrestle with Scripture and grow spiritually.
Below are some sample questions to encourage interaction with Scripture:
(NB: Stick to the text- do not refer to any other text, sermon, DVD, program etc) Any idea or proposition must be evaluated in the light of the text)
1. Identify all the characters and elements in the passage.
2. Notice the interaction between them
3. What does this passage say about our relationship with God?
4. What does this passage say about our relationship with each other?
S. Does this passage reveal a Sin to be avoided?
P. Is there a Prayer, Praise, or Promise in the passage?
E. Does this passage contain an Example to be followed or avoided?
C. Does this passage have a Command to be obeyed?
K. Does this passage contain Knowledge about God, self, neighbour that God wants us to have?
6. What other questions do you have about this passage
Commitment: The answers to the following questions should assist in obeying this passage.
1. What am I needing to change in the way I think about…?
2. What must I look at / not look at?
3. What must I listen / not listen to?
4. What must I say/ stop saying?
5. How must I speak/ stop speaking
6. What must I do/ stop doing?
7. What must I change in my attitude?
How can my fellow Christ-followers help me obey this passage?
If applicable share how already obeying this passage and what needs to be done to increase obedience in this area of life.
Write down obedience statement. And share with group “In this week I will…
Pray for each other for God to accomplish His plan through them in this area.
Who will you be sharing this story and your obedience statement with?
Do you know anyone who needs help? (In or out of the group) What can this group do to help them?