Click here to listen to Pastor Nate Hall’s Sermon ‘Discipling Friendships’
Listen. Paul devoted his life to teaching people to follow Jesus. One of the cities where Paul made disciples and started a new church was Thessalonica. 1 Thessalonians is a letter from Paul to this church. In 1 Thessalonians 2:1-14 (focus on verse 8), he explains how he taught people to follow Jesus through discipling friendships, where he told them about the gospel* and showed them how to follow Jesus by spending time with them and loving them like family.
*The gospel is good news about Jesus. Jesus became a man, lived the life we should have lived, and died the death we should have died. Jesus was raised from the dead and will soon return to earth to establish a new world without evil, suffering, and death. Those who accept his invitation to turn from their sin to serve God by following Jesus will be welcomed to live in this new world forever with God.
Discussion. All of us need discipling friendships if we are going to grow as followers of Jesus. A mentor is someone who is ahead of you on the journey of following Jesus and helps you follow Jesus by sharing the gospel and their life with you.
Who is someone in your life that can be a mentor to you?
Who are some people in your life who are at the same stage of the journey who might be willing to follow Jesus with you? (We call these friends ‘peers’).
Paul shared the gospel and his life with the Thesssalonians so that they would do the same with others. Who is someone that you can share the gospel and your life with so they can learn to follow Jesus?
- Make a plan to build a discipling friendship with a mentor (or peer).
- Build a discipling friendship to help someone follow Jesus. The diagram and practices on the back of this are a guide.
- Listen to God. Sit silently in his presence; listen for his voice, submit yourself to his will for the day.
- Respond to God. Pray through the outline of the Lord’s Prayer: worship, surrender, daily needs, forgiveness, and protection.
- Bible Reading. Read the Bible as a disciple, listening to what God has to say, responding with obedience, repentance, worship, and trust, and sharing with others what you are learning.
- Praying for your five. Pray for five people in your life that God will work through the circumstances of their life so that they are open to follow Jesus. Pray for opportunities to invite them to follow Jesus with you.
- Prayer with others. Pray with spouse, family, and others.
- Discipling Friendships. Cultivate friendships with others for the purpose of following Jesus together.
- Community Worship. Join with fellow believers to receive the Gospel through the Word and communion and respond with worship and prayer.
- Participate in trainings that develop your gifts and deepen your walk as a disciple of Jesus.
- Give your time, money, and talent. Give what God has entrusted to you to love your neighbor, make disciples, and strengthen the church.
- Sabbath. Take a twenty-four hour break, where you cease from all paid and unpaid work. Connect with God, family, and friends. Rest. Play. Enjoy activities that recharge you.