How do you cultivate students who own their faith and are capable of sharing it freely? This book is designed to answer that question and to give you some practical steps for discipling your students. Too often students live on “borrowed faith,” because they are never challenged to engraft the Word of God into their lives.
This is not, “six easy steps to Christian success,” but these godly habits can change your students’ life because they all lead them deeper into the Bible and a relationship with Christ. This book provides you with practical tools to help keep them growing spiritually while sharing their faith on this adventure.
How do you shut the back door to your Student Ministry so that teens will make a life commitment to following Christ? The answer to that question is not complicated; it is a matter of shifting our focus from making church members to making disciples. The issue is not information, it is application. Often students in the church have been informed with the facts but they still do not know how to live their faith. Our challenge is to take them from principle to practice. We must teach them the foundational truths of the Word of God but we must also help them develop biblical values that will guide their thinking. They need a worldview based on the Bible and that takes time, investment, and leadership. Once a student comes to Christ, our goal as parents, pastors, and leaders is defined very clearly in 2 Timothy 2:2 where Paul admonishes us to reproduce reproducers. Passing the faith along is not simply communicated from the pulpit, but should be in tandem with one-on-one discipleship. This is not just a casual relationship; it is intentional ministry. We can help shut the back door to Student Ministry by discipling teens through a series of basic truths that establish mile markers for their lives. We must embrace the challenge to raise up a new generation of Christians who know what they believe, live what they believe, and who can transfer it to others.
This book is designed to help students continue their faith adventure. Each of the six topics has a particular focus on preparation of their life for service. It is thorough but not exhaustive in its content. The goal is to provide some stability for their personal relationship with Christ and to encourage them to begin sharing their faith.
None of us have to be convinced to talk about the people, teams or things we love…it just comes natural. Once we realize the wonderful relationship we can have with the Savior, sharing Him with others should be a part of our daily lives.
I had always wanted to learn a second language so I signed up for what was called an “Immersion Course” that lasted three days. I went in with great expectations and high hopes. At the end of the course the instructor gave us some sage advice: “If you will spend just thirty minutes a day in review, you will master this language.” I remember thinking, “That’s not a big deal, I can do that easily.” I was convinced that I was going to become fluent in this new language but something happened. The ability to discipline myself and to sustain even this level of commitment became a real challenge. We all like starting new things and there is an adrenaline rush that comes when we begin a new program or adventure. The problem is sustainability. If we are not careful, we grow weary in well doing even in our Christian life. How do you continue the faith adventure once the “new” wears off? This book is designed to help you reinforce your students in their personal walk with Christ. Showing Others the Way - The Adventure Shared is the fourth book in a four-book series called Where Do I Go From Here? Each book answers questions believers need to understand on their adventure of faith. Book one, First Steps–The Adventure Begins, is written for new believers who have said “yes” to Jesus and need to understand the beginning concepts of their new faith adventure. It answers questions about matters such as what it means to have a relationship with Jesus and how to begin growing in that relationship. Book two, Knowing What You Believe –The Adventure in Focus, is written to help your students build upon the foundation of their decision to say “yes” to Jesus. This book will help bring into focus 8
strategic truths they will need for this adventure. They will face many challenges and potential detours so it is imperative for them to know what they believe. Book three, Growing in Your Walk – The Adventure Continues, is written to help the student take the next steps of their faith journey. They will be introduced to prayer, Bible study, scripture memory, worship, communion and temptation. This series is a must in providing students a firm foundation for their faith. If you are not familiar with books one through three, you can order them from www.wolstore.org. The Student Guide could be used by new believers without assistance but the preferred plan is for you, as a more mature Christian, to disciple them as they discover what they believe. This Leader’s Guide can be used by a parent, pastor, or youth leader. The bottom line is that you help the students realize that the Christian life is a continuing adventure. The Leader’s Guide you are reading contains all the content from the Student Guide, plus additional helps and insights. Each student believer will need their own personal copy of the Student Guide as it contains personal questions and action steps to be completed. The goal is not to simply have them learn six new aspects of their faith but to engraft these into their lives. This Leader’s Guide may be used multiple times with multiple students. 9
Plan to meet with the student personally to discuss each topic. You may choose to meet them in their home, at the church, or another natural location. Here are some points to consider both in preparing for the meeting and during your discipleship time together. • This book may be used in one-on-one discipleship or in a group. • Read and familiarize yourself with all the Bible verses and passages within the study. Take some time to read them in context and to research them in your favorite Bible commentary. • Review all the “Action Steps” listed in the Student Guide. • Prepare any personal questions or comments you wish to use in your discipleship meeting. • Allow the new believers to express themselves as they relate to each topic. Do not use this as a time to lecture.
• If you discover that the students have not prepared for the meeting, do not overreact. Simply read the material together and encourage them concerning your next meeting. • Pray specifically with them concerning at least one of the “Action Steps” and ask them to commit to following through on that commitment. • Make sure you record their prayer requests or struggles so you can pray for them. It will be highly encouraging to them to know that you remember and pray for them outside of your meeting time. At the beginning of each topic, you will find a “Study in Focus” page to be used as a worksheet in preparing for the meeting. Remember you have the exact lesson found in the Student Guide but this is an additional help. It provides the following points: • Study in Focus—the title of the lesson. • Focus Points—these are highlights or key points of the lesson, including key verses. • Focus Notes—as you prepare for the meeting, you will want to make some personal notes to aid in the discussion. • Focus Questions—you may select some of the questions from the student notes for your focus or you can record your own personal ones. • Focus Follow-up—this section may include any research you promise to do before the next meeting, prayer requests to remember, or just personal notations from the meeting. The Leader’s Guide and Student Guide are tools to help you disciple teens. With the help of these tools, determine to: • Guide them to maturity in their faith. • Instruct them to grow in their relationship with Christ. • Model for them the reality of living the truth. 11
Focus Points: • The Question of Ownership • The Question of Obedience • The Question of Christlike Character • The Question of Leadership • The Question of Service • Key verses o Ephesians 5:18 o Galatians 5:16 o Romans 6:16
Focus Notes: • • • • 12
Focus Questions: • • • • •
Focus Follow-up: • • • • •
One of my most embarrassing moments happened a few years ago when I was scheduled to speak in a church. They actually had to delay the service by singing additional songs while waiting for me to recover.You see, I was under the influence and unable to control myself. Now before you draw any hasty conclusions or gasp with horror about my being under the influence, let me explain. I have a medical issue that is often referred to as low blood sugar. I discovered this problem many years ago when I kept passing out. It was discovered that I have almost zero tolerance for sugar, and so I have to avoid it—I mean really avoid it. On this particular night, I had dinner with some people before going to the church to speak. I ordered unsweetened tea but made a careless error by not testing it before I put in my sugar substitute. I thought it tasted really sweet but never made the connection that they had given me sweet tea. Within minutes my blood sugar was spiking, and I was talking loudly and laughing uncontrollably. The people took me back to the church and put me in the pastor’s study, trying to determine what to do. One of my associates was traveling with me and immediately began forcing protein into me to try and counter the sugar effect. I was under the influence of a foreign substance that overrode my ability to control myself. Perhaps you are wondering what this story has to do with your walk of faith. In this chapter, we are going to examine what it means to be “filled with the Spirit” and to be under His influence. One of the ways you show Christ to a lost world is to “walk in the Spirit.” Both these concepts—being filled with the Spirit and walking in the Spirit—are covered in the following two verses: Ephesians 5:18 says, “And do not be drunk with wine, in which is dissipation; but be filled with the Spirit.” Galatians 5:16 says, “I say then:Walk in the Spirit, and you shall not 15
fulfill the lust of the flesh.” So what does it mean to be filled with the Spirit or walk in the Spirit? When you trusted Christ, the Spirit of God took up residence in your life, and there is nothing you can do that would ever cause Him to vacate. This is a one-time event. But being filled with the Spirit is something we can experience daily or many times a day. You cannot be filled with (under the influence of) the Spirit if you are calling the shots in your own life. Walking in the Spirit can happen only when you yield to the leading and control of the Spirit of God.You must move out of the driver’s seat and allow Him to take His rightful place of control. What are some of the marks of being under the influence of the Spirit of God? Although this is not an all-inclusive list, I want us to examine some of these evidences. A person whose life is under the influence of the Spirit and is walking in the Spirit has confronted and answered several life questions: 1. The
Question of Ownership:
When you choose to walk in the Spirit, you are acknowledging God’s right to your life. God’s Spirit lives within you and you should willingly yield to His desires and control. Notice the Apostle Paul’s words in 1 Corinthians 6:19-20: “Or do you not know that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and you are not your own? For you were bought at a price; therefore glorify God in your body and in your spirit, which are God’s.” Jesus died, was buried, and rose again to pay the price for your sin, purchasing your salvation. When you acknowledge that your life is no longer your own but belongs to Him, this settles the question of ownership. Understanding this principle helps lay the foundation for how you view your rights. 2. The
Question of Obedience:
When you choose to walk in the Spirit, you are demonstrating a 16
willingness to obey God and yield to His will. Some of the most powerful verses in scripture addressing obedience are Romans 12:1-2: “I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service. And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God.” Obedience is a choice—either you choose to obey or you choose to disobey. In Romans 6:16, Paul refers to it as yielding: “Do you not know that to whom you present (yield) yourselves slaves to obey, you are that one’s slaves whom you obey, whether of sin leading to death, or of obedience leading to righteousness?” When you see a yellow “Yield” sign on the road, you know you are to yield your right of way to someone else. Just so, we yield our rights to the One who gave His life for us, purchasing our salvation. It is strange that it should be so hard to yield our rights to the One we owe our lives to. 3. The
Question of Christlike Character:
When you choose to be filled with the Spirit, there will be evidence of Christian character as defined in Galatians 5:22-23: But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, selfcontrol. Against such there is no law.
Your life should be marked by growth in these nine areas. The Spirit of God aids in the development of these Christlike character traits when you willingly walk in His power. This is a life-long journey, so be patient with yourself.You are not going to master these nine traits overnight; the key is consistent growth and change.
Question of Leadership:
When you choose to walk in the Spirit, you are yielding to His leadership. Doing so is one of the evidences of true faith. In Romans 8:14, Paul says, “For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, these are sons of God.” One of the great privileges of living the Christian life is that we can walk in harmony with our heavenly calling as a believer. Being led by the Spirit of God is testimony to a changed life. We are presented with the challenge of either following our own selfish desires, or Christ. Therefore we must choose wisely. Realistically, the only sensible and intelligent decision is to follow a leader who has proven His love for us by dying in our place. Why do we struggle between following Christ who loves us and following Satan who wants to use and abuse us? 5. The
Question of Service:
When you choose to be filled with and to walk in the Spirit, you will be empowered and emboldened for Christian service. Paul explains in Ephesians 2:10 that the believer is created for good works. “For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them.” As believers we have a divine responsibility to share our faith with unbelievers who do not know Christ. When we are walking in the Spirit, we will find that His desires become our desires, and His desire is for all to be born again as stated in 2 Peter 3:9: “The Lord is not slack concerning His promise, as some count slackness, but is longsuffering toward us, not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance.” One of our greatest privileges is to tell others about our Savior. We all like to share when someone does a kind deed for us. We like talking about that person’s kindness. Jesus did more than a kind
deed; He gave His life so we might have our sins forgiven! Now that is something to talk about. We are also called to serve one another as believers. We are reminded that when we serve others, we are serving Christ. Matthew stated it well in his gospel in chapter 25 and verse 45: “Then He will answer them, saying, ‘Assuredly, I say to you, inasmuch as you did not do it to one of the least of these, you did not do it to Me.’” The question of service is answered when we determine to be filled with and walk in the Spirit.
• Write on a 3x5 card—and place it in a prominent place—the phrase “Under New Ownership” to remind yourself that you have been bought with a price. • Make an agreement with one of your friends to text each other at least once a day this one word:YIELD. It will serve as a reminder to yield to His will. • Identify three potential areas of Christian service in which you can engage during the next three weeks. • List the nine Christlike character traits from Galatians 5:22-23, and determine to focus on one per week for the next nine weeks. • Set the alarm (vibrate only) on your phone or watch as a daily reminder to walk in the Spirit. 21