A quick search for resources on discipleship yields an ever-increasing number of books. While the implementation of Jesus’ Great Commission to make disciples surely warrants countless books on the subject, sometimes I think we have the tendency to overcomplicate it.
While we will read very little of Jesus’ one-on-one meetings with disciples, he often spent time with just three of them. Have you ever wondered what those conversations sounded like? A quick survey of the Gospels gives us some insight, but we know there were an untold number of conversations which were never recorded in Scripture. What an amazing thing it would be to listen in, take notes, and follow Jesus’ methodology closely—to most accurately be able to say like the Apostle Paul,
“Follow me as I follow Christ”1 Corinthians 11:1
Over the last few years, I have used a number of different tactics for discipleship meetings. I have met one-on-one with students and also in small groups. While both have their place in making disciples, meeting in a group of 3 or 4 for discipleship often bears a different sort of fruit than the one-on-one meeting. While a one-on-one meeting tends to take on the format of teacher and student, a small group meeting tends more toward a band of brothers (or sisters).
This fall, our team of student leaders divided into smaller discipleship groups for accountability and prayer. During these D-groups, we’ve been asking 5 questions that have been helpful in turning our attention toward Christ. Over the years I’ve been influenced by numerous lists of questions, but recently these have proved to be fresh and helpful.
How has your time in the Word been this week?
The intent of this question is not to merely share a book of the Bible you’ve been reading but to talk about where you’ve been reading and how the Lord is teaching you through it. Our aim is to be hearers and doers of the Word (consider James 1:22-25), but if we’re honest, it’s easy to read the Bible just to check it off the list.
Knowing this question is coming every week during a D-group meeting can really help motivate daily reading, meditation, journaling, and application of the Word of God. A good answer to this question makes this one of the longer parts of the D-group meeting as each participant shares (or humbly admits there is not much to share from the past week).
Have you shared the Gospel this week? Tell us about it!
Positive answers to this question are the highlight of a D-group time. It’s so exciting to hear how the Lord is working through members of the group to share the hope of Christ throughout the week. This in turn helps the group to be praying for one another and watching for opportunities to share every week. This question can really help motivate intentionality in evangelism.
How have you intentionally spent time discipling someone this week?
The intent of this question is to get each member of a D-group investing in someone else’s spiritual growth. It’s so easy to let a D-group become an end in itself. This question helps remind every member that the Great Commission is for every follower of Christ. Sometimes this question turns into a troubleshooting session where the group can help one of the members work through the inevitable challenges of making disciples.
How has the purity of your heart, soul, and mind been this week?
This question may be a little too general for some, but the intent is to get the group opening up about matters of personal holiness. How has the struggle with lust been this week? How are you loving your family, friends, co-workers, etc.? Have you been honest in all of your financial dealings? The heart behind this question is helping each member of the group confess sin and hold one another accountable for Christ-like living.
Have you been honest in all your answers?
This simple question is the backdoor to the time together. It can be easy to hide something or even exaggerate a story about evangelism. We want to encourage one another to be honest and above reproach in our answers.
Good Questions Go a Long Way
These are five questions that have been working for our D-groups lately, but there are so many other ways you could ask good questions and help spur a D-group on toward Christlikeness.