The Pursuit

God promises that those who make a genuine commitment to pursue him will find him.

Talking Points:

  • A full circle pursuit of God includes three things: Trusting Jesus, Honoring God, and Making Disciples. (See image below.)
  • Your part is to take ownership of your pursuit of God. Make these four personal commitments as you meet with your mentor over the next 12 weeks.
    • Prep: Make a commitment to watch the video before you meet. Your personal prep will make the conversation more meaningful for everyone.
    • Listen: Don’t just bring your ideas and opinions to the table. Develop a teachable heart, and come ready to listen to God and others.
    • Discover: The Bible has answers to our most important questions. If you keep showing up, you can expect to discover a fresh perspective on just about any topic.
    • Act: The goal in every conversation is transformation, not just information. Be ready to step up and act on what you’re learning.



  1. Initial reactions to this topic? What jumped out at you?
  2. Do you have any questions about faith or the Bible right now? Start a list.
  3. Make a list of areas where you would like to make improvements in your daily life.
  4. Read Psalm 139:17. Is this a new concept for you to realize that God uniquely created you? Explain.
  5. Read Jeremiah 29:11-13. What do you hope your life looks like in 5 or 10 years? Paint a picture.
  6. Where would you put yourself on the circle above right now? Explain.
  7. Is there a step you need to take based on today’s topic?

Love is at the core of God’s nature. True follower of Jesus should reflect the love of God.

Talking Points:

  • Jesus was a revolutionary leader who taught that all people matter to God. He rebuked religious hypocrites and welcomed those in need. John 8:10-11
  • Love is at the core of God’s nature. True followers of Jesus reflect the love of God to the world around them. John 13:351 Corinthians 13:4-7
  • The Bible teaches that God doesn’t play favorites. Every human being has value because they are created in the image of God. Genesis 1:27


  1. What is your initial reaction to this topic? What jumped out at you?
  2. Share a time when a “religious” person rubbed you the wrong way. Have you ever been that person?
  3. Read John 8:10-11. What would you have said to the adulterous woman? 
  4. Read Genesis 1:27. Do you agree that everyone is worthy of dignity and respect? Who do you have a hard time respecting, and why?
  5. What does it mean to love God? What does it mean to love people? Make a practical list.
  6. Is there a step you need to take based on today’s topic?

God is interested in your whole life, not just your “spiritual” side. A pursuit of God will transform you into a “whole person”.

Talking Points:

  • Emotional health is seeing ourselves like God sees us, no more and no less. It’s having the courage to become self-aware and lean into our fears and insecurities. Psalm 139:1
  • Relational health is truly loving the people around us and wanting the best for their lives. It’s speaking truth in love even when it’s uncomfortable. Romans 12:9-10
  • Spiritual health is letting Jesus fix the brokenness at the core of our being. It’s submitting our attitudes and actions to God so we can start living from the inside out. 2 Corinthians 5:17


  1. Read Matthew 22:37-39. What jumps out at you in this passage?
  2. What does it mean to be “emotionally healthy”? Make a list.
  3. Who is the most emotionally healthy person you know? How do you know?
  4. Read Romans 12:9-10. What does it mean to be “relationally healthy”? Make a list.
  5. Who is the most relationally healthy person you know? Describe this person.
  6. What grade would you give yourself on your emotional and relational health? Explain.
  7. Read 2 Corinthians 5:17. Share about someone who became a “new person” after they met Christ.
  8. Is there a step you need to take based on today’s topic?

Sin is going your own way, trusting and acting on your own opinions and feelings instead of on God’s truth. (Genesis 3:1-6)

Talking Points:

  • The Bible teaches we’re all born into sin and therefore we can’t always trust our natural instincts. Jesus said we all must be “born again”. John 3:3
  • Sin brings brokenness in every way, keeping us from experiencing the fullness of life that God wants for us. Because of sin, we cannot be whole emotionally, relationally, or spiritually. John 10:10, Galatians 5:19-21
  • No one is as bad as they could be, but everyone is infected at the core with a sinful nature. Sin is the roadblock that keeps us from a relationship with God. Romans 3:23, Romans 6:23


  1. What is your initial reaction to this topic? What jumped out at you?
  2. How does this video define sin? How would you define it?
  3. On a scale of 1 (Mother Teresa) to 10 (Hitler), how bad of a “sinner” are you? How do you think someone else would rate you?
  4. Read James 1:14-15. Give an example of how sin is a selfish impulse. Where do you think that impulse comes from?
  5. Read Galatians 5:19-21. Why do you think there’s such a wide variety of sin listed there? What would you add to the list?
  6. How have you seen sin bring brokenness to your life or the life of someone you know?
  7. For next week, take an honest look at your own life and identify a few areas of brokenness that you need to address.

Jesus alone is the answer to your sin problem.

  • What you believe about Jesus is the most important thing about you, because Jesus alone is the solution to your sin problem. Acts 4:12
  • Jesus is both fully God and fully man. He existed before anything else, and he holds all creation together. John 1:1,14Colossians 1:17
  • Jesus lived a sinless life and yet died a criminal’s death on a cross. Jesus rose from the dead to prove his power over sin and death. Isaiah 53:4-61 Corinthians 15:55-57


  1. What is your initial reaction to this topic? What jumped out at you?
  2. What, if anything, did you learn about Jesus when you were younger?
  3. Read John 1:1. Why is it important to believe that Jesus is fully God? How would it impact Christianity if he were something less?
  4. Read Isaiah 53:5-8. How did Jesus fulfill this prophecy? Why did he have to do it?
  5. Read 1 Corinthians 15:3-4. Why is it important that Jesus rose from the dead? How would it impact the basic Christian message if he didn’t?
  6. What questions do you still have about Jesus? Talk about them now, and click here for more answers.
  7. Is there a step you need to take based on today’s topic?

The Bible teaches that we start a relationship with God by trusting Jesus for salvation. We call it “Saving Faith,” and these five verses will show you how to get it.

We learned in the last lesson that what you believe about Jesus is the most important thing about you, because your faith – or lack thereof – is the one thing that most impacts your eternal destiny. In this lesson we’ll explore this kind of faith, and we’ll show you how to make a personal response to Jesus – which can become the defining moment for the rest of your life.

Let’s examine five foundational Bible verses that talk about what we call “saving faith”. These are just representative verses of the general message of the Bible. Be sure to take some time to read the Bible for yourself, and you’ll see these ideas surfacing all over the place.

The first verse is a great summary of some of the lessons we’ve already learned in this series:

1 John 4:9 – God showed how much he loved us by sending his one and only Son into the world so that we might have eternal life through him.

And here’s the point: out of love, God sent Jesus into the world to solve our sin problem. He lived a sinless life and died on a cross in our place.

The facts about Jesus were already covered in the last lesson, but this verse goes beyond historical information about a person. It talks about God’s motivation for sending Jesus to the cross. He did it out of love. This is surprising. Many religions depict a deity who is full of wrath toward the human race. Other faith traditions describe a god who requires strict obedience to a list of rules. These ideas generate a picture of a transactional god, a cosmic deity doing business with people who struggle to keep up their end of the bargain. The God of the Bible is different. He’s a relational God, proactively reaching out to the human race in spite of their failure to bring anything good to the table. And this God didn’t send his son Jesus with reluctance or out of obligation; he did it willingly – out of love.

So God’s heart is the first thing you need to know about saving faith. The second thing is about your heart. When Peter preached his first sermon after Christ’s death and resurrection, he invited people to respond to the message of salvation through Jesus. Their words perfectly model the heart attitude necessary for saving faith:

Acts 2:37 – Peter’s words pierced their hearts, and they said to him and to the other apostles, “Brothers, what should we do?”

Go and read the full sermon for yourself (Acts 2:14-36). Peter covers Jesus’ life, death, and resurrection, putting it in the context of the story of Israel. And he closes his little sermon by pointing out that Israel rejected him and nailed him to the cross. These were fighting words for sure! A proud Israelite would have taken offense and fought back. But that’s not what happened. Instead, the message “pierced their hearts” and the people humbly submitted themselves to God. They didn’t claim to know more than Peter, but instead wanted to know what they had to do in order to be saved. 

So Peter told them: “Each of you must repent of your sins and turn to God…” (Acts 2:38). Saving faith requires more than just the right information about Jesus. It also requires the right attitude toward God, which the Bible calls “repentance”. Repentance is the attitude that says, “I’ve changed my mind and I’m ready to go God’s way now.” It’s an act of the will, a relinquishing of control. It happened to the listeners in Acts 2, and it resulted in their humble response to Peter’s message. 

And it happens to people today when they’re ready to respond to Jesus in faith. That’s what Paul describes in the next verse, our third verse for understanding saving faith:

Romans 10:9 – If you openly declare that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.

Words are powerful. They’re an outward expression of what’s going on inside our heads. They describe our thoughts, feelings, or intentions. What we say matters, especially when we’re talking about what matters most to us.

That’s why God instructs us to openly confess our faith in Jesus. To confess literally means to “say the same thing”. When we confess our faith, we are repeating what God has already said. We are agreeing with Him that we’re sinners and that Jesus can save us.

A typical way to do this is to pray a “Sinner’s Prayer” like this: 

There’s nothing magical about those particular words. What matters is that you have the right information (about sin and Jesus) and that you respond to it with the right attitude (repentance). Once you’ve done that, the Bible says you’re saved: forgiven of your sins and promised eternity with Jesus. If the prayer above helps you to respond in faith, pray it now. But keep our fourth verse in mind:

Ephesians 2:8 – God saved you by his grace when you believed. And you can’t take credit for this; it is a gift from God.

Jesus did all of the work to save us. The Bible teaches that we are “dead in our sin” – and dead people can’t do anything! That’s why the Bible uses the word “grace”. It literally means “gift”. A gift is freely given, and you can’t work for it. If you try to pay for it, it’s no longer a gift. Here’s the point: No level of personal performance can earn God’s approval. We are saved 100% by grace the moment we trust Jesus for salvation.

It’s human nature to want to work for what we have. We love the sense of accomplishment that comes from an honest day’s work. In the physical realm this is a good thing and the Bible even commands it (2 Thessalonians 3:10-12). But the spiritual realm works differently. In God’s economy, we cannot work for our salvation. God alone can saved us, and he alone gets all the credit (Ephesians 2:9). 

So there’s one final question you might have about saving faith: Could it really be true for YOU? That brings us to our final verse: 

Romans 3:22 – We are made right with God by placing our faith in Jesus Christ. And this is true for everyone who believes, no matter who we are.

Some people are so burdened by their sin or doubts that they feel out of God’s reach. Some may ask, “How could Jesus possibly want a relationship with someone like me? What if I’ve committed the unforgivable sin?” Others question, “I’m not sure my faith is strong enough. I still have questions about the Bible.”

Here’s the good news: the pathway to salvation is simpler than you think. Jesus did the heavy lifting; you just believe. The blood of Jesus is far more powerful than the skeletons in your closet: just believe (Romans 8:1). The message of the cross can overcome your doubts: just believe (1 Corinthians 1:18-21). Those who have trusted Jesus for salvation are made “right with God” in an instant, not in a lifetime of good works. This is the central message of the Bible. 

Saving faith is an end and a beginning. It’s the end of your old life, and it’s the beginning of a new way to live. That’s what we’ll cover in the next few lessons. 

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  1. Initial reactions to this topic? What jumped out at you?
  2. Read John 3:16. Why do you think it’s hard for some people to believe that God is loving?
  3. In your own words, explain how the death and resurrection of Jesus fixes our sin problem.
  4. Read Ephesians 2:8-9. Why do you think it’s hard for some people to receive the free gift of grace?
  5. Read 2 Corinthians 10:7. What’s the difference between “godly sorrow” and “worldly sorrow”? Which one was on display in Acts 2:37?
  6. Read Romans 10:9-10 and Romans 3:22. Do you believe that anyone can be made right with God by trusting in Jesus? Are there any exceptions?
  7. Have you put your faith in Jesus for salvation? If so, when? If not, are you ready to do it today?

Talking Points:

  • As Christians, we live to honor God. We have a new nature, but we have old habits that need to fall away over time. 2 Corinthians 5:17
  • We need more than will power to honor God. The Spirit leads from the inside out, empowering us to honor God every day. Ezekiel 36:26-27
  • We need a new way to think. The Bible guides us and shows us the attitudes and actions that honor God. 2 Timothy 3:16-17
  • We can’t live this new life on our own. Other believers help us stay on the right track, both one-on-one and in the local church. Galatians 6:1-2


  1. Initial reactions to this topic? What jumped out at you?
  2. If you’re a Christian, talk about how your life has changed since you came to faith. Give a few specific examples.
  3. Read 2 Timothy 3:16. Share a scripture verse that has been “useful” for you.
  4. Share a teaching from the Bible that surprised you when you first heard it. Did you obey it? Why or why not?
  5. Read Ezekiel 36:26. Describe the difference between a “stony” heart and a “tender” heart.
  6. Give an example of how the Spirit empowers us to live to honor God. How is this different from sheer willpower?
  7. Read Galatians 6:1-2. Share a time when another believer helped you on to the right path.
  8. Is there a step you need to take based on today’s topic?

There are five basic habits – spiritual disciplines – that every Christian should know about and practice.

Talking Points:

  • The Five Habits:
    • Bible study: Try to do this daily. Follow a Bible reading plan from YouVersion. 2 Timothy 3:16
    • Prayer: Make a habit of talking to God, not with fancy words but like he’s right there next to you. Set some time apart for focused prayer daily. 1 Thessalonians 5:17
    • Connection: Find a healthy local church and join a small group if possible. Meet regularly with your mentor and continue to cover topics. Hebrews 10:25
    • Giving: Many Christians give 10% of their income (a “tithe”) to their local church, and above and beyond that to other Christian charities. 2 Corinthians 8:7
    • Mentoring: This is the habit that most Christians have missed out on.  Matthew 28:19-20


  1. Initial reactions to this topic? What jumped out at you?
  2. Name one good habit you had as a kid. Did you have a habit that was hard to break when you were young? Talk about how to break bad habits and form better ones.
  3. Read 2 Timothy 3:16 and Hebrews 10:25. Give yourself a grade on each of the five habits above. Which one are you most eager to improve? Why?
  4. Read 1 Thessalonians 5:17. Talk about what prayer is all about. Do you have any questions about it?
  5. Read 2 Corinthians 8:7. What do you think Paul meant by “excel in giving”? What could it mean for you today?
  6. Read Matthew 28:19-20. Talk about how to use our resources to start meaningful conversations with your friends, family, or small group. Are you already doing this? Is there an area where you can be more intentional about your “mentoring”?
  7. Is there a step you need to take based on today’s topic?

The early Christians kept their faith pretty simple. Here are three core doctrines fundamental to Christianity over the ages.

Talking Points:

  • The Bible is inspired by God and always tells the truth. Christians submit to its authority above their own opinions and feelings. 2 Peter 1:20-21 
  • The God of the Bible is one being who exists eternally in three persons: Father, Son, and Spirit. This makes him different than – and mysterious to – us. 1 Corinthians 8:6, Colossians 2:9, John 1:1-4
  • The atonement is the work Christ did in his life and death to earn our salvation. He absorbed the wrath of God in our place, once for all. Isaiah 53:4-6, 2 Corinthians 5:21, 1 Peter 2:24


  1. What’s your initial reaction to this topic?
  2. Read 2 Peter 1:20-21. What does it mean that the Bible is “inspired”? In your church, what percentage of people believe this?
  3. What are some concepts or verses in the Bible that you’ve struggled to understand or believe? What does it mean to submit to God’s perspective in those areas?
  4. Read John 1:1-4. What do these verses say about the nature of God?
  5. Try to explain the Trinity in a sentence or two. Why do you think this doctrine is so hard to understand?
  6. Read 1 Peter 2:24. What does the word “atonement” mean? What does it mean to you personally?
  7. Make a list of some other doctrines you’d like to learn more about after this track.

Disciple-making is supposed to be normal, but it’s not. Here are three reasons to start making disciples…

Talking Points:

  • Reason #1: THE COMMISSION. We make disciples because Jesus said so. We make disciples because Jesus said so. Helping people pursue God is a matter of obedience to the Great Commission. Matthew 28:18-20 
  • We make disciples because it’s strategic. Jesus envisioned a church where pastors equip and people do the ministry. , Ephesians 4:11-12Matthew 4:19
  • We make disciples because the world needs us. God wants every follower to have a shepherd to help them along the way. Matthew 9:36-37


  1. What’s your initial reaction to this topic?
  2. Define “full circle” faith in your own words. Where are you on the circle?
  3. Read Matthew 4:19. Why do you think Jesus picked fishermen instead of Pharisees as his disciples?
  4. Read Ephesians 4:11-12. What’s the pastor’s job? What’s your job?
  5. Read Matthew 9:36-37. Why did Jesus have compassion on the crowds? Have you ever experienced that?
  6. Do you think you can help someone else pursue God? Why or why not?
  7. Is there a step you need to take based on today’s topic?

So we’re all supposed to make disciples. But how can you actually start doing it?

How to Make Disciples:

  • We start by trusting Jesus. This requires a work of God – it’s the Holy Spirit’s job to convict people of their need for him. Acts 2:36-37John 16:8
  • We live to honor God. This requires a heart of submission – elevating God’s truth above your own opinions or feelings. John 6:60-67
  • We mature by helping others. This calls for boldness – a willingness to step out of your comfort zone and engage with someone far from God. Matthew 10:31-32Acts 1:8Acts 4:29-31


  1. What’s your initial reaction to this topic?
  2. How do you think most churches would describe a disciple?
  3. Make a list of words or concepts associated with “trusting Jesus”. Do the same for “honoring God”.
  4. Consider the marks of a disciple. What percentage of people at your church could be found in each category (include those who haven’t yet trusted Jesus)?
  5. Read Ephesians 4:13-14. What does this say about the relationship between disciple-making and maturity?
  6. Read Matthew 28:19-20. Find the three marks of a disciple in this passage.
  7. Consider the marks of a disciple. Write the name of someone under each category.

Ready to make disciples? Remember these important essentials, and then go out and start helping people pursue God!

Talking Points:

  • Ready to help people in your world pursue God? Join the movement and start making disciples with our 3E process:
    • Engage: Pick a topic or category to engage others in conversations that matter to them. Use the featured topics provided on that page, and jump between categories as needed.
    • Establish: Start “The Pursuit” – our 12-week discipleship track available on every category page – to establish others in a full circle Christian faith.
    • Empower: Complete “The Pursuit” and empower those you are discipling to start helping others pursue God using the same 3E process.
  • The greatest thing you can do in life is to help someone pursue God. Here are your next steps:
    • Step 1: Make a list of people who could use your help, and start praying for God to open the door to a mentoring relationship.
    • Step 2: Pick a topic or category that would engage someone on your list, and send it out with a simple invitation to talk.


  1. Initial reactions to this topic? What jumped out at you?
  2. Engage, Establish, Empower – which one seems the most difficult to you? Explain.
  3. Describe the three mentoring principles in your own words. Which one resonates most?
  4. Describe the pathway for disciple-making in your own words. What’s the point to taking someone through a discipleship track?
  5. Do you feel qualified to make disciples? If not, what would qualify you?
  6. Make a list of a few people who might be interested in going through a discipleship track with you. Begin praying for those people.
  7. To finish your training, cover this full discipleship track with a training partner or group. Take turns leading each topic, and be sure to track your progress. Then start discipling someone on your list.