We recently outlined six steps to get started in personal discipleship with children: purpose, people, period of time, place, plan, and program. In this issue, we will expand on the “program” step.
Jesus: Over the course of three years, Jesus taught His followers about salvation, servanthood, relationships, prayer, God’s Word, God’s kingdom, worship, judgment, priorities, the cost of discipleship, and about future events.
You: Try these six starter topics with your disciple or small band of followers.
Time-honored Truths—Three Foundations of Victorious Living
1. Message: Begin with the Gospel—the Greatest News ever proclaimed. Jesus died to forgive our sins and rose again to give us new life. The Gospel is the Good News that everyone needs to hear. (Walk through “Good News for Kids” together.)
2. Mission: Explain God’s command to make disciples—the Greatest Commission ever given. Go make disciples of all people everywhere. Jesus poured His life into twelve disciples. Training the twelve was Christ’s sole weapon to win the world. (Study Matthew 28:18-20 & Acts 1:6-11.)
3. Motive: Emphasize God’s love—the Greatest Commandment ever received. Love God with all your being. Love your neighbor as yourself. Selfless love motivated the Lord to abandon heaven’s glory. Love kept Him on the cross, paying for the sins of His beloved. Jesus really loved His disciples—and they knew it! (Study Mark 12:28-34 & 1 Corinthians 13:1-13.)
Growth Goals—Three Dimensions of Growing Disciples
4. Knowledge: Encourage your disciple to know God intimately. Seek to really know the loving Father, the obedient Son, and the Holy Spirit. The Lord’s amazing names, qualities, and abilities reveal incredible insights. God delights to unveil His greatness to all who truly seek Him. (Study Proverbs 2:1-6 & Philippians 3:8-14 together.)
5. Character: Learn to love God passionately. God’s unconditional love is more than a feeling or emotion. It is active; it remains constant regardless of circumstances. “Character” describes who you really are, the person you choose to be. Jesus modeled character traits that all Christians can develop. (Study Galatians 5:6-26 & Philippians 4:4-9.)
6. Conduct: Demonstrate how to serve God selflessly. Freely give because Jesus has promised to meet your every need. In addition, the Holy Spirit empowers you and distributes spiritual gifts for each believer to serve others. Selfless love has arms and legs that serve. Your disciple can demonstrate faithful conduct that honors God and helps people. (Study Mark 4:1-20 & Mark 9:33-41.)
What’s next? After the initial six sessions, congratulate your disciple(s) with a small reward, certificate, or prize. Discuss taking discipleship to the next level—to prune your plants so they can produce even more fruit. Let your protégés know that Christ’s ministry model included doing ministry together in real life experiences. Jesus’ discipleship methods are radically different from what often takes place in small group settings. If your group stays together: make adjustments, fine-tune your plan, and keep making disciples!
Phase 2: Advanced Program
Learning Levels—Six Stages of Personal Progress
Level 1 God’s Greatness: Discover the Lord’s character and qualities. Find out who God is, what He is like, and what He can do.
Level 2 God’s Word: Explore the purpose and power of the Bible. Learn how to use God’s inspired, authoritative Book.
Level 3 God’s Son: Study Jesus Christ’s life and ministry. Walk in His footsteps and follow Him.
Level 4 God’s Church: Encounter the Lord’s mission for every believer. See the Church as God’s instrument to change the world.
Level 5 God’s Kingdom: View God’s eternal plan for all nations. Survey Biblical history and learn ways to influence the culture.
Level 6 God’s Champions: Embrace Christ’s call to personal discipleship. Explore opportunities to become world-class Christians.
Your disciples will someday blossom into adulthood—the harvest will come. Until then, nurture the soil in which each seed is planted. Resist the temptation to give up or to become complacent. You will reap what you sow (Galatians 6:7-10)!
Discipleship Begins With Our Children
Children need meaningful, shared-life relationships. That’s the heart of discipleship. DiscipleLand’s family of Biblical resources forms a complete Children’s Discipleship System™ – an intentional, relational, and transformational process designed to help children know God intimately, love Him passionately, and to serve Him selflessly. Click here for your Free Catalog