The Investment of the Church
Matthew 28:18-20; 2 Timothy 2:1-2
We have come to know Matthew 28 as the Great Commission. But what meaning has the Great Commission taken on in today’s church? Usually we read Matthew 28 as a mandate for missions. The great commission as we know it has several key parts within it.
· We are to Win others – Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations
The phrase to teach or to make disciples carries the meaning of enrolling a student. It is the evangelistic emphasis of the church.
· We are to Connect others - baptizing them …
Baptism is an ordinance of the church. So when we are told to baptize those who believe in Christ we are in effect connecting them to the church.
· We are to Develop Others - teaching them to observe all that I commanded you
This is a life-time assignment given to the church. It requires our investment in others. It is commonly referred to as disciple-making.
It is the task of making disciples that we will concentrate on in this study.
The Apostle Paul was a master discipler. He truly invested himself in the process of making disciples. The New Testament is full of names of those whom Paul personally discipled. Timothy was one of his disciples. In the second letter that Paul sent to Timothy, Paul encouraged Timothy to be a disciple maker himself. He explained the process to Timothy in the beginning of the second chapter of 2 Timothy.
In your spiritual journey have you ever had anyone personally invest in your spiritual development? What is it that you remember most about the part they played in your spiritual formation? If you can’t think of someone who has personally invested in your spiritual development, in what ways do you think your spiritual journey would have been different if you had someone who discipled you?
The Preparation for Making Disciples – Investing in ourselves
According to 2 Timothy 2:1 what is required of someone who is going to be a disciple-maker?
It is important to understand the full meaning of being strong in the grace that is in Christ Jesus.
What kind of tasks is strength generally required for? So that kind of task would disciple making seem to be?
The word grace is present tense meaning that grace should be fresh in our life. How can we stay fresh in the grace of Christ Jesus?
According to this verse what is the source of strength and grace? What does this verse teach us about depending on our own abilities to make disciples?
“we cannot invest what we do not have!” How does that statement challenge you in the areas of spiritual growth and discipleship?
2 Timothy says, “The things which you have heard from me” What does that phrase indicate about Timothy?
How would a lack of spiritual growth in our own life affect us as disciple-makers?
What areas of Spiritual growth would you identify as the most difficult for you to include in your spiritual journey?
The Process of making Disciples – Investing in others
As wonderful and important as it is to learn of Christ, you must never be content to be a disciple only. You must also be a discipler! The process of Discipleship emphasizes several steps.
According to 2 Timothy 2:1, what type of relationship did Paul have with Timothy?
Read 2 Timothy 3:10,11 and describe the different experiences that Paul and Timothy shared?
Read Philippians 3:17; 2 Thessalonians 3:7,9; 1 Corinthians 11:1; 2 Timothy 3:10; based on these verses what was Paul’s preferred method of discipleship?
How does Paul’s preferred method of discipleship compare with the method of discipleship God gave to parents in Deuteronomy 6:4-7?
What key elements are required in discipling through a relationship?
Why would making disciples through relationships be such an effective method?
What responsibility did Paul give to Timothy? What responsibility was Timothy to give to others?
How does serving others develop disciples?
How does this method differ from the traditional classroom model of discipleship?
What is the danger of classroom only discipleship?
Discipleship is about the pursuit of Christ not reaching perfection. Based on that statement how would relationship and service based discipleship better serve the disciple-making process?
"Every disciple needs three types of relationships in his life. He needs a ‘Paul’ who can mentor him and challenge him. He needs a ‘Barnabas’ who can come along side and encourage him. And he needs a ‘Timothy,’ someone that he can pour his life into." ~ Dr. Howard Hendricks
Based on this study what can you do personally to improve your spiritual growth this week?
Based on this study who can you partner with in order to serve someone else this week?
Based on this study what must you do to make time for investing in others?