[Thought questions for Discipling Spiritual Leaders March 12, 2014]
1. Choosing the Twelve. Did Jesus choose the twelve disciples because of their broad experience and proven leadership skills? Did He take a chance with each one? Or did He know they’d come out all right? But wait a minute. Did they? How could someone walk with Jesus day by day and then turn away from Him?
2. A few leaders. How did the dozens of other followers of Christ respond when Jesus chose just twelve to be His closest disciples? Were they jealous? Should they have been? How did Jesus demonstrate the power of small groups to develop leaders in that early group of followers? Does the church today emphasize small groups today? Give examples.
3. Knowledge in the church. Would you rather belong to a church that tries to share Bible facts and promises–or one that emphasizes a swing-and-shout celebration? Why? Is there danger at each extreme–severe and carefree? Does the church you belong to lean a little too close to one extreme or the other? What do you think is God’s preference? Could you show that from the Bible?
4. Spiritual transformation. Here’s an interesting quote from the lesson guide about what modern Christians should do: “(T)hey should disseminate doctrine and teachings without regard to popularity or convenience.” A conference officer once said, “As long as attendance is good [at a local church] and so are the offerings, we don’t worry much about anything else.” Describe your confidence in each of those statements.
5. Early leaders. Why didn’t Jesus select the best of the religious teachers–such as members of the Sanhedrin–to lead out in the early days of the Christian church? What is the stumbling block that can prevent well-educated and brilliant members of the church from being humble teachers and examples? Does Jesus prefer those of humble means and not much education to serve Him? (I hope you said, “Of course not!” and can explain your position.)
6. What Jesus left. Do you enjoy reading and studying the book of Acts? What were some of the miracles of discipleship that were demonstrated by these church leaders? How can Jesus take our broken lives and transform us into brave and courageous witnesses to Him and His love? Is God still looking for Christians to uphold the Bible and demonstrate the joy of full obedience?
7. Church leadership. Whom do you consider to be the outstanding spiritual leaders of your local church? What are the qualities of these folks that draw you to them? Do you pray for God to develop these and other important qualities in your life? Is He willing to work in you to create a more effective disciple? If all you have to give is your time and your heart in prayer for our spiritual leaders, is that enough?