Following Jesus: Family Up

 

(Under Construction)

Description

Welcome to Family Up – the second component of our Following Jesus discipleship program.


Pre-Requisites

The material in this component of Following Jesus depends on key material from Following Jesus: Focus On The Message, including:

  • Habits and Ministries
  • Assignments
  • The Bible

Purpose

Follow this link for information about our discipleship training: purpose, goals, habits, ministries, and assignments.


Joining and Functioning In The Family

This component focuses on joining God’s family and learning how to function in it. After completing this component you will understand:

  • How to function in your life group.
  • How to function in life church as a whole.
  • How to function in the universal church.

Our Following Jesus: Focus On The Message component was based on working our way through the Gospel of Matthew. For our Following Jesus: Family Up component we will explore what happened when the first large group of people (3,000 men and probably a comparable number of women and children) responded to Peter’s announcement of the Good News on that first Pentecost after Jesus’ resurrection (read Acts 2 for the whole context):

  They devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and to the fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer.Everyone was filled with awe, and many wonders and miraculous signs were done by the apostles.All the believers were together and had everything in common.Selling their possessions and goods, they gave to anyone as he had need.Every day they continued to meet together in the temple courts. They broke bread in their homes and ate together with glad and sincere hearts,praising God and enjoying the favor of all the people. And the Lord added to their number daily those who were being saved.  Acts 2:42-27 (NIV)

These were pilgrims from outside Jerusalem who had come to town for the feast of Pentecost with the intention of then returning to their homes. Instead, having embraced the gospel and become followers of Jesus, they stayed. The core group of Jesus’ followers quickly embraced their new brothers and sisters and folded them into their extended family.

This first harvest after Jesus’ resurrection established a pattern:

    • They became an extended family to one another.
    • They fellowshipped and ate together in homes.
    • They met together as a large group in the temple courts.
    • Life in Christ needs gatherings in both large groups and small groups!

This is a pattern that the earliest believers followed and it’s a pattern that we need to follow today.
As a follower of Jesus you need to engage with:

    • A Kingdom Family: A life group that is safe, healthy, and effective for the Kingdom.
    • A Kingdom Congregation: A congregation that is safe, healthy, and effective for the Kingdom.
    • A Kingdom Community: The larger community of Christians in your city.
    • The Kingdom: The larger body of Christ throughout the world.

Let’s be clear about the meaning of safe, healthy, and effective:

    • Safe – By “safe” we mean that the members feel free to share what’s going on in their lives without fear of judgment or rejection.
    • Healthy – By “healthy” we mean that the members are committed to helping each other become more like Jesus.
    • Effective – By “effective” we mean that the members work together to advance the Kingdom of God.

You need:

    • You need to know your responsibilities towards each of these.
    • You need to know how to function in each of these.

Note their devotion to the following elements of their new family relationship:

  • The Apostles’ teaching
  • The fellowship
  • Breaking bread (i.e. eating together, including The Lord’s Supper)
  • Prayer
  • Sharing resources
  • Meeting in homes and in large gatherings

Note the following outcomes of their new lifestyle:

  • Wonders and miraculous signs by the apostles
  • Daily influx of new followers of Jesus

Topics

Using Acts 2:40-47 above as a framework, we will address the following topics:

  • The Apostles’ teaching
    • The teaching itself is largely covered by our Focus On The Message component.
    • Submission to authority
  • The fellowship
    • The importance of joining a congregation.
    • Meeting in homes.
    • Meeting in large gatherings.
    • Foot Washing
    • Edifying others
  • Breaking bread
    • Eating meals together
    • The Lord’s Supper
  • Prayer
  • Sharing resources

We will then work our way through the Gospel of Matthew that we already covered in Following Jesus: Focus On The Message. This time however we will skip through the gospel focusing on the passages that provide a pattern for relationships among followers of Jesus.

This section will include notes and resources related to each chapter that we will be reading

Training assignment (do this yourself, and use it to help train someone else):

    • Read and watch the material in the Bible Project link above.
    • Order the “Matthew for Everyone” commentators above.
    • Discussion Questions:

Lessons (under construction)

Lesson 1: The Apostles’ Teaching

Main text and related passages:

Checkout the following:

    • ?

Topics to explore in discussion:

    • The backstory to the Gospel.
    • The women in Jesus’ genealogy.

Additional resources to check out:

Training assignment (do this yourself, and use it to help train someone else):

    • Read the main passage and related passages above.
    • Watch the “Yahweh Saves” video from the Tim Mackie series on Matthew above.
    • Discussion Questions:
      • What does this chapter say about who Jesus is?
      • How does this chapter compare with what you’ve believed about Jesus in the past?
      • How does this chapter compare with what you believe about Jesus now?

Habits

    • Make a list of the people in your sphere of influence (i.e. people you connect with at least once a week) who aren’t followers of Jesus.
    • Begin praying for them regularly.

Matthew 1 – 4 – The Beginning of the Gospel

Lesson 2: The Kingdom

Notice what Matthew records in his Gospel:

  • Matthew 3:1-2 – John the Baptist announces the Gospel: “Repent, for the Kingdom of Heaven is near.”
  • Matthew 4:17 – Jesus announces the Gospel: “Repent, for the Kingdom of Heaven is near.”
  • Matthew 4:18-22 – Jesus calls the first disciples: “Come, follow me, and I will make you fishers of men.”

After Jesus announces the Gospel, the very next words that Matthew records are Jesus’ call for Simon (Peter) and Andrew to follow him. Shortly thereafter James and John follow Jesus too. This pattern establishes that the Kingdom of God begins with following Jesus. Keep this in mind for the next lesson on Seeking the Kingdom.

Topics to explore in discussion:

    • ?

Checkout the following:

    • ?

Additional resources to check out:

Training assignment (do this yourself, and use it to help train someone else):

    • Read the main passage and related passages above.
    • Discussion Questions:
      • What does this chapter say about who Jesus is?
      • How does this chapter compare with what you’ve believed about Jesus in the past?
      • How does this chapter compare with what you believe about Jesus now?

Habits

    • Make a list of the people in your sphere of influence (i.e. people you connect with at least once a week) who aren’t followers of Jesus.
    • Begin praying for them regularly.

Matthew 5 – 7 – The Sermon on the Mount

Lesson 3: Seek First His Kingdom and His Righteousness

Main text and related passages:

This sequence of two passages culminates with Jesus’ direction to “seek first his (God’s) Kingdom and his righteousness”. If Jesus had wanted to say “seek God first” he would have said. What he said was: “seek first his Kingdom”. God’s Kingdom is more than God – it includes all of the people who live under God’s reign. As we learned from the previous lesson, God’s Kingdom begins with following Jesus and includes everyone who follows Jesus. If you are not genuinely connected to followers of Jesus, you are not seeking God’s Kingdom.

Checkout the following:

Topics to explore in discussion:

    • What does Jesus mean by “seek first his (God’s) Kingdom and his righteousness” in Matthew 6:25-34?

Additional resources to check out:

Training assignment (do this yourself, and use it to help train someone else):

    • Read the main passage and related passages above.
    • Discussion Questions:
      • What does this chapter say about who Jesus is?
      • How does this chapter compare with what you’ve believed about Jesus in the past?
      • How does this chapter compare with what you believe about Jesus now?

Habits

    • Make a list of the people in your sphere of influence (i.e. people you connect with at least once a week) who aren’t followers of Jesus.
    • Begin praying for them regularly.

 


Resource Lists (for your convenience)

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Acknowledgements

Please join me in acknowledging the key people who contributed to this material!

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