Growth Groups Week One:
Becoming Disciples who make disciples

Reading Plan: 
Day 1: Matthew 1-2
Day 2: Matthew 3-4
Day 3: Matthew 5-6
Day 4: Matthew 7-8
Day 5: Matthew 9-10

Memory verse:
Matthew 4:19
Then He said to them, “Follow Me, and I will make you fishers of men.”

Focal Passages: 
Matthew 4:17–22; Matthew 28:18-20; Acts 1:8

For the next several months we will travel through the word and discover what it means to be a follower of Jesus! Those who followed Jesus in the New Testament were called Disciples, and that is what followers of Jesus are called today. In this discipleship program, we will walk systematically through the life and ministry of Jesus with His disciples.

The goal of this study is to discover what Jesus says about discipleship, and what He says about going out and making disciples. God's word will help us answer these questions:

1. What is a disciple?
2. What is a disciple's life’s-purpose?
3. Is God really calling me to make disciples?
4. How do you make disciples?

We need to start at Jesus’ first call to His original disciples.

Here in Matthew 4:19 Jesus says, “Follow Me, and I will make you fishers of men.”  

In these 10 words Jesus defines His job and our job. Our job is to follow Him [“follow Me”], and His job is to transform our lives from the inside out. He does this work in us so we will be able to be His ambassadors to go out and make disciples [“I will make you fishers of men”]. Have you ever felt like, "I can't make disciples! I'm not a pastor or a Bible teacher. Isn't that the job of the church leadership?" But as we examine scripture, we see that not only is it the calling of every Christian to go and make disciples, but it is the purpose of their existence. If we are not fulfilling this purpose we will not be fulfilled in our lives as believers.

The call that Jesus makes here in Matthew 4:19 is not only for His original disciples, but those that would follow afterwards. Right before Jesus goes to heaven, He commissions His disciples in Matthew 28:19–20 to “go into all the world and make disciples.” This call is to all believers!!! At the end of verse 20 He gives His disciples a promise that He is with them “even to the end of the age.” Jesus doesn't say to His original disciples, “till the end of your life”, but He says “to the end of the AGE” because the promise was not for the first generation only, but the subsequent generations to follow. Furthermore, Paul the apostle clarifies this as he writes in his general letter to the Corinthian church that we have the “ministry of reconciliation” and we are the “ambassadors of Jesus Christ to the world” (2 Corinthians 5: 17–21). In 2 Corinthians 5: 17–21 Paul is not writing to a pastor, but to a congregation of believers who, by the way, have some pretty big issues. (1-2 Corinthians is written to the Corinthian believers to address their carnal and unbiblical practices). If we wait until we feel like we are really spiritually mature and perfect to begin to fulfill our calling as disciple makers, we will never fulfill it.

Be encouraged! Jesus calls us to follow Him; that is our job. Jesus says that He will make you fishers of men; that is His job. In this discipleship program we will look at three main truths taken from Mathew 4:19

1. Follow me
2. I will make you
3. Fishers of men

This program is broken down under these three headings. We look forward to what God is going to do in your life as you apply these truths and seek to follow Jesus with all your heart.

1. Have you ever considered that following Jesus would mean that you yourself would be making disciples? What do you think that looks like?
2. When you first came to Jesus, what were your thoughts about following Him.? What did you think that meant? Has that changed? How?
3. What is your part in preparing yourself to make disciples? What should you be doing as a follower of Jesus to fulfill your purpose?
4. How do you think Jesus is preparing you to “make disciples”?

Action points: 
Spend time this week asking God to help you to finish this discipleship program, be faithful to do your weekly Bible reading, and memorize the verses.