The Pursuit

God promises that those who make a genuine commitment to pursue him will find him. In this lesson we’ll look at three truths for every pursuit, no matter where you are in the journey.

Talking Points:

  • God is for you, not against you. Jesus didn’t avoid the broken and the lost, he sought them out. Matthew 8:2, Mark 2:17
  • A pursuit of God can change everything – from your eternity to your everyday. Jesus wants to give you “life to the full” (see image below). John 10:10
  • God wants to be found by you, and he has made the first move. The next step is up to you. Psalm 139:16, Jeremiah 29:13


  1. Initial reactions to this topic? What jumped out at you?
  2. Where do you put yourself on the continuum (far from God – close to God)? Explain.
  3. Read Matthew 8:2-3. Why is it significant that Jesus touched the leper? Have you ever felt cast aside or unworthy of God’s love?
  4. Read Mark 2:17. Based on this verse, what type of person is Jesus after? Why do you think that is?
  5. Read John 10:10. What does a “full life” look like to you? What are you missing from that picture?
  6. Read Jeremiah 29:13. What do you think it means to look “wholeheartedly” for God?
  7. Is there a step you need to take based on today’s topic?

The Bible is the best-selling book of all time. But why can we trust what it teaches? Here are five reasons.

Talking Points:

  • Historical Evidence: Ancient manuscripts and archeological digs have stacked up in favor of biblical reliability.
  • Textual evidence: The Bible contains 66 books written by 40 authors over the course of 1500 years, and yet it tells one unified story. Genesis 49:10, Micah 5:2, Psalm 22, Isaiah 53
  • Personal evidence: The Bible is ultimately about Jesus, and the changed lives of his followers is the most compelling proof of its message. John 20:25-28, John 7:16-17

In the last lesson we saw that God wants to be found by us, and that he’s revealed himself in the Bible. In the lessons ahead we’ll explore many Bible verses that explain how to start a relationship with God and how to live in light of that relationship. But how do we know that we can even trust the Bible? Why should we listen to its truth claims? That’s what we’ll cover in this lesson as we examine three reasons to trust the Bible.

Reason #1: Historical Evidence. Ancient manuscripts and archeological digs have stacked up in favor of biblical reliability.

The Bible was written thousands of years ago, long before printing presses and modern technology. Manuscript fragments of the biblical text have endured wars and weather throughout the ages, and the scraps we have left represent just a fraction of the originals. Is it enough to provide a reliable testimony for modern-day readers? And how can we be sure that the message hasn’t been corrupted over the millennia? The good news is that the God who inspired the scriptures was also powerful enough to preserve them for us through the ages. 

Consider the manuscript evidence. Manuscript copies in the ancient world were painstakingly hand-written, and not all of them survived the ravages of time. Reliability of ancient writings is determined by the number of copies (or partial copies) of the work in existence. So how does the Bible stack up? See for yourself:

  • Today we have only 49 copies of Aristotle’s writings.
  • Homer’s “The Iliad” does a little better, with 643 copies in existence.
  • The New Testament wins by a landslide, with almost 5700 Greek copies and over 19,000 copies in other languages!

So the New Testament clearly has more manuscript copies than any other ancient work. But how do we know that those manuscript copies are faithful to the originals? What if human authors changed the message, intentionally or otherwise? Modern archeology helps us answer this question, thanks to the Dead Sea Scrolls. In 1947 a shepherd boy discovered some ancient scrolls hidden away in remote caves in the Middle East. This led to even more discoveries in the area, and in the end almost 1000 manuscripts were recovered. Parts of almost every book of the Old Testament were found, and some of those fragments proved to be almost 1000 years older than the oldest manuscripts known at the time. This provides a perfect test for the reliability of our modern translations. The book of Isaiah provides the most compelling example, since the Dead Sea Scrolls contained a complete copy of the prophet’s writings. When compared to the Masoretic Text (the oldest copy previously known, dating back to about 800 AD), the Isaiah manuscript from the Dead Sea Scrolls was 95% identical! And the differences were minor, often just variations in spelling.

So the historical evidence stacks up in favor of the reliability of the Bible. But there’s more:

Reason #2: Textual evidence. The Bible contains 66 books written by 40 authors over the course of 1500 years, and yet it tells one unified story.

The Bible is the most impressive writing project in the history of the world. Think about it: Moses, a Jewish slave raised in the house of a Pharaoh, wrote the first five books. John, a fisherman – turned – revolutionary, wrote the last four books. In between were books and letters written by shepherds, kings, prophets, tax collectors, doctors, and more. And the most prolific author in the New Testament was Paul – a religious Pharisee who met Jesus and joined the band of misfit disciples. Most of these authors never met each other, and many of them were clueless about the other books and letters that would eventually be included in the Bible. Their writings spanned different cultures and languages over the course of 15 centuries, and yet the Bible amazingly reads as one story. From beginning to end it’s about Jesus, and the fulfilled prophecies are the glue that holds it together. Let’s take just a few examples: 

  • Lineage: Of the 12 tribes of Israel, Judah would be the one through which Jesus came. Genesis 49:10, Matthew 1:1-3
  • Birth: Jesus would be born in Bethlehem, even those his mother Mary didn’t live there. Micah 5:2, Luke 2:1,4
  • Death: Jesus would be brutally led away to face death on the cross. Psalm 22, Isaiah 53

It was because of these kinds of prophecies that Jesus spoke these words to the religious leaders of his day: “You search the Scriptures because you think they give you eternal life. But the Scriptures point to me!” (John 5:39). The Bible amazingly tells one story because it was ultimately inspired by the God of human history.

And this textual evidence leads to our final proof:

Reason #3: Personal evidence. The Bible is ultimately about Jesus, and the changed lives of his followers is the most compelling proof of its message.

Let’s just take three examples from the New Testament, starting with Peter. When Jesus was on trial before his crucifixion, a servant girl noticed Peter and accused him of being a follower of Jesus. Peter denied it three times, walking away with an incredible sense of guilt and shame (Luke 22:56-59). But that’s not the end of his story, because days later the resurrected Jesus sat down to breakfast with Peter and reinstated him – three times (John 21:15-19). Peter went on to be a pillar of the Christian church, eventually giving up his life for Jesus. Or consider “doubting” Thomas. He missed out on meeting the resurrected Jesus with the other disciples, and expressed his doubt that they really saw the risen Christ. But soon enough he met Jesus for himself and professed his faith in him (John 20:25-28). Thomas, too, ended up dying for his faith. And then there’s Paul, a self-righteous Pharisee (Philippians 3:5) whose life mission was to persecute the followers of Jesus. Then he met Jesus and joined that very group of misfit disciples. Paul made it his life’s mission to spread the Good News about Jesus and he, too, died a martyr’s death. There’s no way to explain away these changed lives except to conclude that the message about Jesus, along with every word in the Bible, truly is inspired by God.

But no amount of evidence can overcome an unbelieving attitude. At the end of the day, trusting the reliability of the Bible comes down to your willingness to believe in the God behind the Bible. Jesus made this point one day as he taught in the Temple courts:

John 7:16-17 “My message is not my own; it comes from God who sent me. Anyone who wants to do the will of God will know whether my teaching is from God or is merely my own.”

If you’re unwilling to submit to God’s will, your pursuit is over before it has even started. But if you are willing to come to God on his terms and take him at his word, then Jesus promises that you’ll discover the truth. The teachings of Jesus, and indeed all of the teachings in the Bible, are from God, not man. And so we can trust the Bible in our pursuit of God. 

But even more than trusting the words of God in the Bible, we need to know if we can trust the heart of God toward people. That’s what we’ll cover in the next lesson.


  1. Initial reactions to this topic? What jumped out at you?
  2. Have you ever wondered about the reliability of the Bible? How big of an issue is it for your pursuit of God?
  3. In your own words, explain the historical evidence for the reliability of the Bible. Do you agree that it is historically reliable?
  4. Why is it surprising that the Bible tells one unified story? Do you agree that it is textually reliable?
  5. If Jesus hadn’t risen from the dead, what do you think his disciples would have done with their lives?
  6. Which of the three evidences above is most compelling to you, and why?
  7. Read John 7:16-17. Are you interested in “doing the will of God”? Why do you think this is a prerequisite for discerning whether Christ’s teachings are true?

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.

Peter’s sermon in Acts 10 – the first sermon preached specifically to non-Jews – shows us five teachings of the early church on the person and work of Jesus.

What you believe about Jesus is the most important thing about you, because your faith – or lack thereof – is the one thing that impacts your eternal destiny. So what does this kind of faith (we call it “saving faith”) look like? That’s the subject of the next lesson. But first we need to talk about the object of that faith – and it’s not just a philosophy or an idea. It’s actually a person: Jesus Christ.

Jesus is the most written about, fought over, and misunderstood person in history. But who was he, really? What does the Bible say? Peter’s sermon in Acts 10 – the first sermon preached specifically to non-Jews – shows us five teachings of the early church on the person and work of Jesus. Here they are:

There is peace with God through Jesus Christ, who is Lord of all (Acts 10:36). 

Peter calls this the “good news for the people of Israel”, but he was beginning to understand that it was good news for everyone – both Jews and Gentiles. We all want peace with the Creator of the Universe, reconciliation with the One who has power over life and death. We all want to know that our eternity is secure and that there’s a better place waiting for us in the next life. We all want “peace with God”. 

But peace isn’t the most operative word in this first teaching about Jesus. The shocking bit is what Peter reveals about who Jesus is: “Lord of all”. Jesus isn’t just a prophet or a priest, and he’s certainly more than just a man. Jesus is fully God, creator and sustainer of all things (Colossians 1:15-17). Jesus is Lord. That’s the first biblical teaching about Jesus. Here’s the next:

Jesus went around doing good and healing all who were oppressed by the devil (Acts 10:38). 

This next teaching fills us in on Christ’s activity while he was here on the earth. This, after all, is why Jesus was so well-known in his day! He was a miracle worker unlike anything the world had ever seen. He casted out demons (Luke 4:40-41) and healed lepers (Luke 5:12-13). He miraculously fed thousands, walked on water, and even raised a dead guy to life.

But most important of all was what Jesus didn’t do while he was here on earth: he never sinned. During his lifetime Jesus proved his power over not only disease and nature, but even sin itself. Read his story for yourself and here’s what you’ll find: Jesus was fully God and fully man, living a sinless life and perfectly modeling the love of God. And here’s what happened next:

They put him to death by hanging him on a cross, but God raised him to life on the third day (Acts 10:39-40). 

The power of faith in Jesus hinges on two simple, historical facts: he died and he rose again. Everybody dies, but nobody expected this miracle worker to flame out so quickly. He was about thirty three years old when the Jews put him on trial and the Romans nailed him to the cross (Luke 23:44-46, 24:1-6). But this was God’s plan all along, even though nobody saw it coming (Isaiah 53:8-10).

Everybody dies, but only Jesus can make this claim: he didn’t stay dead. Jesus rose from the grave after three days, proving once and for all his power over sin and death. How do we know the resurrection isn’t just a myth? The simplest proof was the response of his closest followers. Though they abandoned him in fear before the crucifixion, they sold out their lives to his message just three days later. And in time they learned the fourth truth about him:

Jesus is the one appointed by God to be the judge of all—the living and the dead (Acts 10:42). 

This point might come as a surprise to modern listeners. Isn’t God love? Wasn’t Jesus just a nice guy? Why does there need to be judgment and punishment? 

The fact is, God is not only loving; he is also just. And someone has to pay for our sins. If an earthly judge overlooked a crime, we would call it a miscarriage of justice. And so we can’t blame God for not flippantly dismissing our sins (Romans 2:9,16). God did not cancel his wrath against us – he spent it on his Son. At the cross, the justice of God meets the love of God in the person of Jesus (Romans 3:23-25). And that brings us to one final truth:

Everyone who believes in Jesus will have their sins forgiven through his name (Acts 10:43). 

Now that we know who Jesus really is, we have a choice to make. Will we believe in him? Will we trust that the price he paid on the cross is enough to cover our sin debt? The good news of the Bible is that we can be forgiven – but not through a lifetime of good works. Peace with God comes only through faith in a person: Jesus Christ. 

That’s what we call “saving faith”, and we’ll show you how to get it in the next lesson.


  1. Initial reactions 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. 


  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. Helping people pursue God is a matter of obedience to the Great Commission. Matthew 28:18-20 
  • Reason #2: THE STRATEGY. We make disciples because Jesus envisioned a church where pastors equip and people do the ministry. It’s not enough for Christians to invite their friends to church to hear a great sermon. Ephesians 4:11-12
  • Reason #3: THE NEED. We make disciples because people need help on a personal level. 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:

  • Engage: Meet regularly to cover topics together as you build a relationship. Pick a topic or category, share it with others, and then “walk along beside” them to talk about it. Acts 8:28-29
  • Establish: Complete The Pursuit together to learn the essentials of the Christian faith. This is where you’ll learn about God, sin, Jesus, salvation, and more – all the basics of biblical Christianity.
  • Empower: Help them get connected to someone else who needs a mentor. Now that you’ve shown them how to make disciples, encourage them to go out and help the next generation. 2 Timothy 2:2



  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.

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

Disciplemaker Essentials:

  • Commit to a real relationship. Discipleship is relationship, and none of this matters if you don’t care about the person you’re mentoring.
  • Share the right truth at the right time. Pay attention to the kinds of topics that they need to talk about, and don’t cram your favorite conversations down their throats.
  • Just do your part, not God’s. You can’t make someone else pursue God; just walk alongside them and keep showing up, even if they don’t!
  • Point it all to Jesus. Remember, you’re not just helping someone become a better person; you’re helping them meet Jesus. 
  • Pray, pray, pray. Keep a prayer journal and make a habit of praying for the people you are mentoring – and let them know you’re doing it. 


  1. Initial reactions to this topic? What jumped out at you?
  2. What are some ways you can show your mentee that your relationship with them matters more than the content you’re covering? Make a list.
  3. Share about a time when someone shared the right truth at the wrong time. How did it make you feel? How could they have timed it differently so you had ears to hear?
  4. What’s your part in a mentoring relationship? What’s their part? What’s God’s part? How does knowing this information take the pressure off of you as a mentor?
  5. For someone who hasn’t had their defining moment of faith, how do you know when it’s time to point them to Jesus?
  6. How would it make you feel to know that your mentor was regularly praying for you?
  7. Is there a step you need to take based on today’s topic?