Use a Gospel as Discipleship Curriculum
The Gospels were written for the purpose of discipleship—so that we could learn what the gospel is, what it means to be a disciple, and how to make disciples. For example, Luke states that his purpose in writing his account of Jesus’ life was so we might have “certainty concerning the things [we] have been taught” about Jesus (Luke 1:4). All four Gospels were written with a similar purpose—to disciple us into believing in and living out the gospel. The result is that we are equipped to follow Jesus.
Our (Ben’s) church has designed a simple tool to guide our discipleship groups through Mark’s Gospel. We originally named it Follow, but since then we've published it as The Discipleship Gospel Workbook: Multiply Disciples with the Gospel of Mark to make it more broadly available as curriculum for discipleship groups. When our church’s discipleship groups of three and four meet, we use this curriculum as we read every verse of Mark’s Gospel, one chapter at a time. This tool helps us apply what we’re learning, putting into practice what Jesus either taught his disciples or did with his disciples.
This is an excerpt from The Discipleship Gospel (available in eBook and paperback). Get a discount by using code ‘TBP’ at checkout when you order here.
Not too long ago, I was forming a discipleship group. Now, I had asked Bob (the older man I wrote about earlier, who was a new convert). I also had Garrett, a twenty-five-year old surfer, and the Lord had laid it on my heart to pray for one more man. A few weeks later, a man named Randy called me at church. Randy and I had met several years before, but we hadn’t seen each other in some time. He called to see if we could get together to catch up and talk about a few things (unrelated to discipleship). We got together a couple of days later.
While Randy and I met over coffee, out of the blue he said, “This is going to sound strange, but I think Jesus is calling me to learn how to follow him.” As soon as he said this, alarms went off in my head, and I thought, Is this the guy I’ve been praying for? We talked about discipleship, and he was eager to learn more. I smiled, ran to my truck, pulled out the workbook, ran back to Randy, and showed him the title. When he read the word “Follow” on the front cover (it's name at the time), he laughed—hard. He laughed because he had been praying for an opportunity to learn about following Jesus. I didn’t know it at the time, but my actions that day were part of an answer to his prayers. The Lord opened up the opportunity for him to learn more about following Jesus, and he answered my prayer for one more guy. That’s the power of God to bring together a group for discipleship.
4. See also Matthew 1:1; Mark 1:1; and John 20:20-2.
5. Ben Sobels and Bill Hull, The Discipleship Gospel Workbook: Multiply Disciples with the Gospel of Mark (Nashville: HIM Publications, 2018), available here at www.himpublications.com.