Skip to main content

4 Spiritual Food Groups

-Adapted from The Adventure of Discipling Others by Ron Bennett & John Purvis.

When I meet with those I'm discipling, I plan our time around the following four ingredients.

New believers need an environment where they are listened to, taken seriously, understood, and accepted. Each time I meet with someone I'm discipling, I spend some initial time connecting relationally. In the early weeks of meeting together, we may need to spend a large proportion of time in this ingredient. Once we establish a deeper connection, catching up since our last meeting is usually adequate.

Practical Truths
Truths of the Christians life that need to be modeled, taught, and developed form another ingredient of our time together. This usually takes the form of some kind of Bible study. This time in Scripture may be formal or casual, perhaps coming from a published Bible study or from meditating over a passage of Scripture.

Pertinent Issues
This ingredient deals with current life issues. Usually some area of life is broken and not working. Sometimes I make a list of the issues I observe and ask the disciplee to make his own list. This gives us two perspectives on what issues and character qualities to address.

What does the disciplee want to know? Making space for his questions forms the fourth ingredient of our meetings. We often assume that because we've talked about a subject, the people we're discipling get it - but they may not. We need to allow the opportunity for people to raise questions even if we don't have answers.

I don't put in every ingredient each time we meet. But over time, I want to ensure that a balanced diet is reached. Too much time on relationsjip leaves the person starved for truth. Too much time on practical truth leaves the person starved for authentic relationship. Be sensitive to where God is working. Allow God's Spirit to lead you in both planning and adjusting your plan.

- from Discipleship Journal, September/October 2004


Popular posts from this blog

Discussion Questions for Easter

Have several people ask the question, “What’s the most important thing you’ve ever done?”
Ask other people, “What do you hope to accomplish in the next several years of your life?”
Tell your class that today you’ll be talking about “life mission” or the one most important thing you do that drives everything else. Tell them that Jesus’ resurrection from the dead is the defining moment in history, so it should be the defining moment in our lives.
Read 1 Corinthians 15:12-19. How does the resurrection impact some of the crucial beliefs of Christianity? 
How would Christianity be different if there was no resurrection? How would you be different without the resurrection?
Read 1 Corinthians 15:50-58. What are some specific ways that the resurrection gives us hope?
If you had been a friend of Jesus when he was on earth, how would the resurrection have impacted your life? 
How do you think his followers then were effected by the resurrection?
Read 1 Corinthians 15:58. What do you t…

20 Questions to Build Group Connections

Here is a great exercise for a new group. The instructions are pretty simple. Go around the group giving each person the opportunity to choose one question and answer it honestly. Anyone can follow-up with an opinion or clarifying question (no critiquing each other's answers, though). Once a question has been answered, no one else may answer that question.

If your group is larger, you may want to alter the rule and allow each question to be answered 2 or 3 times. Ideally, each person should end up answering 3-5 questions.

As the leader, pay attention to the conversation. Let the discussion run its course as this is how people in the group build their relationships with one another. You can use these questions, modify them or create your own.

21 Bible Passages With Which Every Small Group Leader Should Be Familiar

Matthew 5:23-24.
23"Therefore, if you are offering your gift at the altar and there remember that your brother has something against you, 24leave your gift there in front of the altar. First go and be reconciled to your brother; then come and offer your gift.

Luke 10:1-11.
1After this the Lord appointed seventy-two[a] others and sent them two by two ahead of him to every town and place where he was about to go. 2He told them, "The harvest is plentiful, but the workers are few. Ask the Lord of the harvest, therefore, to send out workers into his harvest field. 3Go! I am sending you out like lambs among wolves. 4Do not take a purse or bag or sandals; and do not greet anyone on the road.

5"When you enter a house, first say, 'Peace to this house.' 6If a man of peace is there, your peace will rest on him; if not, it will return to you. 7Stay in that house, eating and drinking whatever they give you, for the worker deserves his wages. Do not move around from house to hous…