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Key Texts:    Matthew 5-7; Matthew 10:1, Matthew 5-11; Mark 3:1-19; Luke 6:12-16.

Key Ideas:    A disciple, by definition, is a learner/follower of Jesus who works constantly to understand and become more like Jesus, and who invites others to do the same.  People are not born disciples.  They develop into disciples.  This week, we look at the matter of preparation.  What is involved in becoming a disciple?

1. Ephesians 4 states that the goal of discipleship is to reach maturity, fully developed emulation of Jesus.  Notice the various elements delineated there that make for this growth.  What are you and your church doing to assist people in that growth process?  What might you and they do?

2. Over and again in the stories of the Gospels, we see Jesus teaching his disciples and then helping them to get some experience on their own.  Consider the effects of teaching.   What did teaching do for the disciples?  How well would such a system work today, in terms of developing more able disciples?

3. One of the obvious elements in becoming a disciple has to do with teaching, putting ones-self under the tutelage of the Master.  One premier example of Jesus teaching is the sermon on the Mount, found in Matthew chapters 5-7, where he taught some of the principles of His kingdom to those who followed.  Spend some time studying those chapters and write for yourself a list of some of the more challenging things Jesus taught.  How could you apply such teachings to your life?

4. Doing ministry is almost always accompanied by a sense of trepidation or fear.  Why is that?  What did Jesus do for his disciples before sending them out that would help us if we took heed of it (Matthew 10:1).  Is it not true that God’s callings are also His enablings?  When do we get what we need in order to do ministry?  Before we go, or as we go?

5. The disciples ran into opposition in almost every place they went.  Should we expect anything different?   Why is there often opposition.  Do you think the nature of Christ’s kingdom has anything to do with the opposition being stirred up? 

6. What do you think about the practice Jesus followed of sending his disciples out two-by-two?  How do you think it would affect ministry if we still did that today?

7. There are numerous examples of Jesus and his disciples being alone, away from the crowds.  What role did those times play in preparing the disciples for their work?

8. What resources did Jesus give his disciples in order to enable them to do their work?  How come we are so concerned with money and buildings and other such visible things?

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