As we close out this first week, take a moment to look back over your notes. One of the objectives of discipleship is to help a new believer become a self-feeder, where they learn skills and motivation to spend time studying God’s Word. We selected 1 John as a starting point because the book is only five chapters long, which feels more manageable to someone new to the Bible. We will take time and look up other scriptures along the way, but we will return to 1 John as an anchor point. We will assign readings through all five chapters and write out verses having to do with different themes each week. These themes are foundational to the Christian faith, and these lessons remain applicable throughout our lives as followers of Christ.
Ask: When is your birthday?
Let the learner answer.
Ask: How did you feel the day before your birthday? The day after? The day of?
Most people don’t feel any different on, before, or after their birthday, but the fact is on that date they turned a year older. Sometimes we rely too heavily on our emotions, and when we slip up we can go into a downward spiral of condemnation and wrong thinking. We want to rely on God’s Spirit to lead us into all truth and to learn to rely on the truths of God’s Word.
One simple and effective tool for connecting with others on spiritual matters is being prepared to share a quick version of your spiritual journey. Most people are open to sharing theirs as well, so this becomes a great bridge for meaningful conversation. Learning the background of the people God brings along our path is a respectful way to engage in a spiritual conversation and is helpful for making connections to the gospel should the opportunity arise. “In your hearts honor Christ the Lord as holy, always being prepared to make a defense to anyone who ask you for a reason for the hope that is in you; yet do it with gentleness and respect” (1 Peter 3:15).
Take turns and share about your spiritual journey. If you are in a small-group setting, set a timer and have each person share for two minutes. This will ensure everyone gets a turn. You’ll be able to connect the future lessons to aspects shared from this time.
In two minutes, try and hits these points in describing your spiritual journey:
· some background on church or spiritual upbringing
· when and how your faith became your own
· what difference it has made
Ask: What facts have you learned this week that are either new information or reminders you needed?
Let the learner answer, and share what stood out to you as well—discipleship is about sharing our lives and allowing God to knit our hearts together. As you share the lessons God teaches you, you model what it looks like to be a lifelong learner.
We will be focusing on very practical components of the Christian life in the next few weeks.
Before we meet next week, read through all of 1 John and write out all the verses having to do with eternal life.
This assignment will help focus the reading; the new believer is learning to read with intention rather than a superficial run-through. Encourage her to ask questions and to write down her questions as they come up.
Watch a captioned version of today's video here: https://vimeo.com/295462852/08f6ca8648