Q & A: Raising Spiritual Parents

 This goes with the message that was posted on February 5, 2013 of this blog. I have included the insert for a quick review and the Message Based Discussion Questions follow. The purpose is to provide material for personal reflection or group discussion. The questions are designed to be answered in far more than one or two sentence answers.

Strategy of Grace – Raising Spiritual Parents
Deuteronomy 6:1-9
(February 3, 2013)

 What is God’s solution to raising spiritual parents?

1)      Pursue the Lord’s pattern for raising parents Deut. 6:1-9

  • Ephesians 6:1-3

2)      Pursue the Lord’s pattern in raising disciples Matt 4:18-22

  • John 17:6, 17, 20

3)      Pursue the Lord’s exhortation to raise spiritual children           1 Thes. 2:5-14; Heb. 5:12-14   

What is the wisest approach to help 80% of the congregation become spiritual parents (disciple-makers)?   Some possibilities:

·         Disciple people to be seminary graduates emphasizing on original languages

·         Disciple people to be Bible College graduates from  a correspondence network

·         Disciple people with years of intense Systematic Theology from the pastor

·         Disciple people with years of intense counseling training and practical theology

·         Disciple people in small groups teaching various books of the Bible

·         Disciple men through the Colossians 2:7 material

·         Disciple people in small groups using the Message Based Discussion Questions

Small groups provide a wise environment to develop spiritual parents (disciple-making people):

·         There are 10-14 people which is easier to develop trust

·         They develop deeper relationships because more time is spent in relationships

·         They provide a safe place to be authentic with personal struggles and get help

·         They allow for many groups outside the church building

·         They provide a back door for people to come to church

·         Everyone participates because we learn by doing  (teach them and release them)

·         There are 12, rather than 30 or 50, so people are willing to lead also

·         They let leaders know if people are “getting it” because of greater feedback

·         They practice a model where a new person can learn quickly he can lead also

·         Often more is caught than taught

n  This assumes 1) on-going training, 2) support for disciples and 3) accountability

n  This assumes using a material that 80% of the people can grasp, apply and implement

The Lord Jesus gave the example and
taught us to become spiritual parents.

·         Too many Christians mimic the movie, “Failure to Launch.”  The goal is not being independent, but interdependent raising new spiritual parents or disciples to Jesus Christ.  Are you in a FG or HG, accountable for growing to the next spiritual level?  Is there someone helping you advance?

·          God loves you where you are, but where you are God wants you to keep growing.  He wants you to become spiritual parents for others.  That means adjusting your schedule to fit with others.

·         Life is not about you.  Life is about Jesus Christ and His message to disciple others, i.e. raise spiritual parents.


Message Based Discussion Questions

1)       When and how were you taught to be an adult who was ready to raise children?

a)       A variety of answers will be given.  The key is to get everyone to provide some kind of answer as it applies to them.  There is no right or wrong answer, but should be fun to learn what others say.

Digging Deeper:

2)       In Deuteronomy 6:6, where is the word supposed to be solidified? ___heart__________.         What will that look like according to the larger context of Deut. 6:1-9?

a)       People will look for opportunities to learn. They’ll join their church in the worship service, a FG or HG, and they’ll learn to do devotions or quiet time.

b)       If they don’t do a QTime, they’ll others on how to do that.  They’ll fit their schedule around studying God’s Word.  They’ll learn the realm of Scripture, what the books are, the flow, why there are 2 Testaments, etc. etc

c)       They will be people who talk about the Lord and His Word with others more than they talk about the weather or sports or even politics.  They will talk about those, but because the Lord and His Word is in their heart, they can’t help but talk about Him.  Cf. Matt. 15:18-19.

d)       They will be renewed Rom. 12:1-2; Eph. 4:22-24 and miracles of change will be going on in their life and family.

e)       They will be looking for opps to be accountable and growing in a relational environment.  They won’t be shy about being worried to give a wrong answer.  They want an opportunity to talk about how life, questions, and problems relate to the character of God.

f)        Then the person will want to ensure, diligently, that their children AND grandchildren are learning to walk worthy of the Lord.  They will look for opps sitting down, walking, lying down at night and getting up in the morning to focus other people attention on the Lord, etc. etc.

3)       How many times was Peter called to follow by Jesus?  _at least 2 times___ (compare John 1:35-42 with Matt. 4:18-20).  What do you suppose was going through Peter’s mind?

a)       This all makes sense, but I have to work a job.  I have to provide for my wife and family.

b)       This guy seems like the Messiah, but I don’t understand my role.

c)       How do I know what to do?  I don’t know enough yet.

d)       I fish, what else is there in life.  We have a fleet of boats to acquire.  I compete with other fishermen.

e)       Do I trust this man?  God has been silent for so long, how do I know?

4)       What are the three challenges Jesus makes in Luke 9:57-62? 

a)       __place to stay/provisions_______ ; __family responsibilities________;

              __Connections to this world_________


b)       What are examples of challenges today that you face in considering the invitation by Jesus (Luke 9:57-62)?  How do they hinder disciples from being fully committed to follow Jesus?

i)         Provisions

(1)     How much will I need to provide for myself and family?

(2)     What if the govt taxes me to death?

(3)     How will I know how God is going to provide?

(4)     I haven’t gone here before, I don’t know the way

(5)     I really don’t know you, Lord, well enough. The risks are too great.

ii)       Family responsibilities

(1)     I have to raise my family and that’s all I can do

(2)     We have vacations and hobbies to keep up; others will have to be taken care of by others

(3)     It might be the last day of my parent’s life, I’ll have to spend it with them, day after day.

(4)     I don’t like people, I have to put up with my family

(5)     I have things to take care of, house, car, job, stuff.  I can measure how I’m doing with them.

(6)     I can’t measure how well I’m doing following the Lord

iii)      Connections to the world

(1)     Once I get my retirement in place, then I’ll help the Lord

(2)     Once my children are launched, then I’ll serve

(3)     Once I have children, I’ll get involved

(4)     I have so much stuff, I might need it.

Application of the message to life:

5)       Are you ready to seek the next stage of growth?  What are three things you might have to do or rearrange in your life?

a)       Redo my schedule, so I fit my life into knowing and letting Jesus live out in my life.

b)       Be faithful in devotions to learn Scripture.

c)       Read a book on the outline of Scripture.

d)       Join a FG or HG to grow with other believers

e)       Be willing to put the Word into action

f)        Take steps to put people as more important than myself

g)       Come to the message next week.

6)       Do you know the miracle and joy of taking responsibility for discipling others in Jesus?  How is that more fulfilling than not having spiritual responsibilities?

a)       Responsibility is tough, because things don’t always turn out well

b)       Responsib. Means being rejected and I don’t like it, so why have it

c)       Responsib. Means watching others grow and seeing changes.  It means letting God move through me to be more other centered, than self-centered, which is a miracle.  It means I’m a part of the Lord’s purpose and mission of making disciples. It means I’m obedient and there are eternal rewards.

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