Discipleship

Jesus said in Matthew 28:19, "Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations."


But WHAT is a DISCIPLE? Here at Four Winds, we like to use a 3-fold definition:

  1. A disciple is someone who knows and is actively following Jesus Christ.
  2. A disciple is someone who is being transformed by Jesus Christ. 
  3. A disciple is someone who is committed to the mission of Jesus Christ.

Here at Four Winds, we are passionate about producing disciples of Jesus Christ! We look at discipleship as an ESSENTIAL process in producing spiritual MATURITY. 


This purpose of this page on our website is to serve as a resource hub for our disciple-making groups.



The Journey Session #2 "The Centrality of Christ"

posted Mar 26, 2018, 10:11 AM by Joel Toppen


The following summary is from our March 4 Discipleship Group Meeting:

INTRODUCTION:

The KEY TRUTH from this lesson is: Christians are people who've had a spiritual revolution placing Jesus at the center of their lives. 

In Ephesians 2:19-22 talks about how Jesus is the cornerstone – a building material that is central to its construction.

The model we looked at was that of the universe: where the earth orbits the sun. Realizing that this was how our solar system works caused scientists to rework their way of thinking. Previously it had been thought that the earth was the center of the universe and everything revolved around the earth. Once the truth was revealed, people's thinking had to be reworked around a new center.

This is also how it is for us when we come to faith in Jesus Christ. Our whole existence needs to be reworked around a new center: JESUS!

THE STORY:

We looked at the story of a man named Zacchaeus from Luke 19:1-10.

In this story we see a person who's whole life shifted so as to revolve around a new center. 

The story begins with a man who is greedy, self-absorbed, who exploits other people for his own gain. His focus appears to be on money. 

The story ends with Zacchaeus giving half of his possessions away to meet the needs of others. Clearly, his focus has shifted. His life is now revolving around a new center: JESUS.

Here's an important question we asked one another:

What was central to your identity before you became a Christian? What defined you?

As we unpacked the story we talked about what it would look like for Jesus to be central to our identity and central to what we do.
  • When Jesus became central to Zacchaeus' life, it dramatically altered his life in two key areas: (1) how he saw people; (2) and how he saw money.
  • As Christians, we approach ever area of our lives with the intent of aligning them to Jesus.
In contrast to Zacchaeus' story, we read from Luke 18:18-23 about a rich, young ruler who declined Jesus' challenge to let his life revolve around a new center. 

WEEKLY ACTIVITIES
Our "homework" for this lesson included the following Bible reading assignments:
  • Mark 4:1-20
  • Mark 4:21-41
  • Mark 5:1-20
  • Mark 5:21-43
  • Mark 6:1-13
  • Mark 6:14-29
  • Mark 6:30-44
Participants were also encouraged to do the personal studies on pages 29-33 of their workbooks.

The Journey Session #1 "What Just Happened?"

posted Feb 15, 2018, 1:48 PM by Joel Toppen   [ updated Feb 15, 2018, 3:27 PM ]

On Sunday, February 11 we launched our first church discipleship group using "The Journey" series from LifeWay!

INTRODUCTION:

The KEY TRUTH from this lesson was this: You were created by a passionate God who relentlessly pursued you to bring you into His family.

We took a close look at 2 Corinthians 5:17: 
"Therefore if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creature; the old things passed away; behold, new things have come."
Take a moment and really ponder what this verse says: 
If anyone... 
  • There's no ethnic, gender, or social class requirement to be a part of the "anyone" this verse talks about!
  • "Anyone" is me. 
  • "Anyone" is you.
If anyone is in Christ...
  • So if I'm in a relationship with Jesus Christ, all that this verse says, applies to ME.
  • If YOU are in a relationship with Jesus Christ, all that this verse says applies to YOU as well! 
If anyone is in Christ, he (or she) is a new creature; the old things passed away...

What we did in class was, we made a list of "old things" we wanted to see pass away.

  • Some of the things participants mentioned included:
    • Hopelessness
    • Unbelief
    • Idolatry
    • False beliefs
    • Bad thoughts
...Behold, new things have come.

The next thing we did as a group was we made a list of "new things" we wanted to see come as a result of our newfound relationship with Jesus Christ.

The Story
Every lesson in this series has a "story" segment. 

The story from this lesson came from Luke 5:4-11. Some of the questions we asked and discussed as a group included:
  • What are some practical examples of what it looks like to follow Jesus in your life?
  • What makes it difficult to follow Jesus? What makes it easier?
We also paid close attention to these statements from the book: 
  • "Being a Christian isn't about following rules; it's about following a Person – Jesus!" 
  • "Following Jesus is ultimately about doing what Jesus did the way that He did it." 
  • "We strive to replicate Jesus' character, ways, and mission."

Unpacking the Story
Every lesson also has an "unpack the story" segment. In this lesson, we looked at the Creation and how God created everything with perfection. We looked at how God created human beings for the purpose of being in relationship with Him and to be stewards of His creation.

One of the questions we discussed from the book was this: Why do you think it's important to know God as Creator?

Next, we looked at "the Fall" – the introduction of sin and all of its destructive elements into the creation. 

Next, we looked at "the Redemption" – God's plan to redeem what was lost in "the Fall." We looked at the importance of Jesus being fully God and fully human: 
  • Fully God, Jesus made the perfect sacrifice to pay the debt of our sin and cancel the curse of death on our lives. 
  • Fully human, Jesus was able to completely represent man before God!
Lastly, we discussed RE-Creation – God is not finished with His creation! The great story of God is still being written. Our lives as "new creations" in Christ Jesus are vital elements in the ever unfolding story of God! 

ENGAGE
As we wrapped up our group time, we read Philippians 2:5-11 together:

Philippians 2:5–11 (NLT)

5You must have the same attitude that Christ Jesus had. 6Though he was God, he did not think of equality with God as something to cling to. 7Instead, he gave up his divine privileges; he took the humble position of a slave and was born as a human being. When he appeared in human form, 8he humbled himself in obedience to God and died a criminal’s death on a cross. 9Therefore, God elevated him to the place of highest honor and gave him the name above all other names, 10that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, 11and every tongue declare that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.

We as a group discussed how we might "do what Jesus did the way that He did it." What attributes of Jesus do we find in this passage that we as His followers should imitate?

WEEKLY ACTIVITIES
Our "homework" for this lesson included the following Bible reading assignments:
  • Mark 1:1-15
  • Mark 1:16-28
  • Mark 1:29-45
  • Mark 2:1-17
  • Mark 2:18-28
  • Mark 3:1-19
  • Mark 3:20-35
Along with each reading assignment, we are supposed to write down at least one thought that occurs to us. For example, when I read Mark 1:1-15, I might write down how it stood out to me that repentance is the beginning of the Gospel. 

There are also 3 interactive devotionals that each of us as participants are to complete before our next meeting. These assignments are found on pages 15-19 of the workbook. 

NEXT GROUP MEETING
We decided on meeting every two weeks. 
Our next meeting will be on Sunday, February 25 from 6:00-7:30pm.
  • No meal this time, just snacks to share. 
  • We'll also be splitting up into smaller sub-groups this time. 
I'm so happy to be on this journey with you all! 

-Pastor Joel

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