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Lesson 44: Multiplication, Part 2: Disciple-making

Sunday, July 15, 9:45 AM - Sunday, July 15, 12:00 PM

Teacher Prep Video

The LIFE: Embracing The Life Of A Christ-Follower

The LIFE: Embracing The Life Of A Christ-Follower

Part 2: The Picture Of A Disciple

Unit 6: A Disciple Invests In Multiplication

Lesson 44: Multiplication, Part 2: Disciple-making

 

What we want students to learn: That as Christ-followers, they are expected to be involved in leading other Christ-followers deeper in their faith. 

 

What we want students to do with what they’ve learned: To identify ways in which they can begin to engage in disciple-making in your ministry.

 

Scripture Focus: 1 Timothy 4:6-16

 

Overview: Individual multiplication is the expectation that as Christ-followers, your students will be shepherding younger Christ-followers. As they journey along their personal paths, they’re to be traveling along with others as they’re on their journeys. The wisdom and understanding your students have based on their time walking with God is to be imparted to others to help their growth. And as these other, younger followers grow, the expectation is that they would, in turn, engage in multiplying their followership through someone else. The interesting thing about this expectation is that it is almost seen as a pipe-dream in youth ministry circles. It’s as if we don’t think teenagers are ready to lead others. And yet, God’s desire for us as Christ-followers is to make an impact exactly where we are, at any time, at any age. Your students will be challenged to consider their role in leading others, regardless of age or experience level. It’s who they were meant to be as Christ-followers.

 

Teacher Prep Video                                     

Each LIFE lesson comes with a Teacher Prep Video. These are short videos designed to help you grasp the main point of the lesson as you prepare to teach.

 

To access your LIFE lesson 1 Teacher Prep Video, login to your Lesson Manager, navigate to lesson 1, and click on the “Background” tab. You’ll notice the Teacher Prep Video near the top of the Lesson Manager window.

 

Bible Background

The Bible Background is designed to help you provide some context for the Scripture you’ll be studying. The Details gives you background info for each book. The Setting informs you of what’s happening in and around the passage. The Main Point gives you an overview of how the passage will be used in the lesson.

  • What do we mean by “context”? In every YM360 Bible Study lesson, you’ll notice we make a point to encourage you to provide the context for the passages you study. By “context” we mean at the very least helping students know who wrote the book, when it was written, and why it was written.
  • What’s the big deal? When we teach the Bible without giving context, students don’t get a “big picture” understanding of the story of the Bible. But this view is vital to grasping the story of God’s plan of redemption for humankind. As you teach, use the Bible Background to help summarize the context.

 

The Details

·         Author: Though in the last 200 years or so there have been efforts by some scholars to shed doubt on Paul’s authorship of 1 Timothy, their arguments aren’t very compelling.

·         Time frame: Most scholars believe Paul wrote the letter to Timothy, his apprentice in ministry, between Paul’s first and second imprisonment in Rome. By most accounts, this would place the writing of 1 Timothy sometime around 64–65 AD.

·         Purpose: Paul writes to tell Timothy to continue to combat false teachings. In addition, Paul gives Timothy specific instructions on how to protect against such teaching, including how to install faithful leadership in the church at Ephesus.

 

The Setting

1 Timothy is written to Paul’s mentee, Timothy, who spearheaded the church planting efforts in Ephesus. Timothy was young in both life and ministry and needed the wise words of Paul to assist him in such a new and un-pioneered task. The thesis of the letter to Timothy is to stand guard against the false teaching that is attempting to make its way into the church. (The false teaching is not specifically spelled out.) Paul exhorts Timothy to squash any hint of false teaching and promotes the teaching of a true Gospel. In doing so, he gives valuable insight into how the church should operate and what the individual life of the believer should look like.

 

The Main Point

The main point we want to make in 1 Timothy 4:6-16 is that following Christ leads to a multiplication of disciples. As verse 12 will point out later in our lesson, the Christian’s age has nothing to do with their effectiveness or responsibility in God’s call. Young people can have an incredibly strong witness and can influence people of all generations. However, it takes a life dedicated to making much of Christ and turning away from the propositions of the world to accomplish this. Teenagers should see the supreme worth and value of following Jesus and strive to make His glory known. One of the most tangible ways they can do that is by picking up the mantle of discipleship just like Paul did for Timothy and Timothy was doing for others.

 

Lesson Plan

The Lesson Plan contains three elements: an introductory activity called The Lead In; the Bible Study section called The Main Event; and an application-focused segment called The Last Word.

 

The Lead In

  • Goal: To aid students in seeing the power of discipleship and their opportunity for impact.
  • Set-Up: Print enough copies of the “Word Problem Problems” (located in your Lesson 1 folder) so that each group of three to five students can have their own copy. You’ll want to make sure groups have something to write with as well.

 

FIRST, divide your students into groups and distribute the word problems, telling them not to look at them until you tell them to. Explain what they are about to do, and then tell them to flip their sheets over. Allow them 3-5 minutes to complete it. Once time is up, read the word problem aloud and ask for potential answers. Once each group has shared, go ahead and give the final solution. Below is the math for the exercise. The final answer is 512.

  • Week 1: 16x2=32
  • Week 2: 32x2=64
  • Week 3: 64x2=128
  • Week 4: 128x2=256
  • Week 5: 256x2=512

 

 FINALLY, once you have gone over the answer, say something like this:

  • This was a silly exercise to get our brains working this morning, but it also has more depth than that. This model is exactly the way that discipleship works. As Christians, we are obviously not promoting Oreos, but we are sharing with people the goodness of our Savior. The task of discipling others can be overwhelming at times. You may be discouraged because you think there’s no way that you can win 10 or even five people to the Lord. But we’re all called to disciple others, and that should start with the one. It would be amazing to one day have a wide-reaching platform in which we could use our influence to see many people come to Jesus, but do you realize that you already have a platform? You already possess influence, and the Lord has called each one of us to use that to further His Kingdom by making disciples. Instead of thinking large scale, think about the one that you could reach. Once that person has been grounded in the faith, they can go and reach their one. Who knows? After a while, your investment in one person can cause a ripple effect that reaches far beyond what you could have even dreamed just like our activity showed us!

 

Transition into The Main Event portion of the lesson.

 

 

The Main Event

·         Goal: That as Christ-followers, they are expected to be involved in leading other Christ-followers deeper in their faith. 

  • Set Up: You may benefit from a dry-erase board, but it’s not critical. Make sure students have a Bible or that they are able to look along with a friend.

 

FIRST, take a minute to reiterate that Paul was Timothy’s mentor. But explain that even though Timothy studied under the most prolific missionary of all time, that doesn’t mean that he had everything together. Say something like:

·         Timothy was a young man just trying to be obedient to the mission that God had called him. And he was encountering some struggles. However, that did not stop him from pursing the call to make disciples and be a faithful follower of Jesus. There is so much we can learn from this epistle about the commitment we are all called to. Now, let’s take a look at our passage, 1 Timothy 4:6-16.

 

NEXT, have a student read 1 Timothy 6-16. Feel free to split it up because the passage naturally breaks after verse 10. When students have finished, lead them in a short discussion. Instruct them to look back on verse 6 and ask them something like:

  • What kind of things does Paul instruct Timothy to “put before the brothers”?
    • Answer: In order to answer this question, we have to look back at the previous passage. Paul tells him to correct false teaching and remind the church that marriage is a God-given gift and that they were not required to follow dietary laws as Jews in the OT were.
  • Why do you think Paul places such an emphasis on the church having sound doctrine?
    • Answer: If the teaching is false, then Christ is misrepresented and is not given His proper glory. The Church then becomes a place where people either add or take away from the Gospel. Paul actually brings down a curse for any man or angel that tries to do so (Gal. 1:6-8).
  • What is the condition of Timothy becoming a good servant of Christ?
    • Answer: It is that he would be faithful in teaching the Word of Christ to his brothers. 

 

Take a minute and talk about the danger of believing lies. You can ask a couple common sense questions such as: If someone tried to convince you to go skydiving without a parachute, would you? Or would you let someone talk you into trying to run a marathon through the desert without water? Of course, you wouldn’t! Believing those lies would eventually result in your own demise. The same is true with our spiritual life. If we start to believe things that the Bible doesn’t advocate, we can become very vulnerable to sin.

 

NEXT, direct their attention to verses 7-8. Ask something similar too:

  • What are some myths that Christians believe today?
    • Answers will vary. But to name a few: that life will be easy, and hardship is avoidable; God will grant us any desire and prayer request, and all there is to the Christian life is going to church.
  • Why is it vital that you make an intentional effort to train yourself in godliness?
    • Answer: Godliness is the path to life and knowing God more intimately, but it does not come naturally. It is only cultivated through denying ourselves and picking up our cross.
  • What are some practical things you can do to develop godliness?
    • Answers will vary. However, bible study, prayer, accountability, serving, and disciple-making are crucial components in godliness.
  • Paul says that training for godliness is better than just training the body. How come?
    • Answer: Training the body is a good thing, but it only lasts until we enter into eternity. At that point, the Lord gives us a new body. But, as we train ourselves in godliness, we will take that knowledge and those things we did for the Kingdom into eternity.

 

Take a minute to drive home the promise that God’s Word does not return void. The more that we study it and seek to obey it, the more fruit the Spirit will bear in our life. Ask:

  • How does training in godliness help us to become better disciple-makers?
    • Answer: It allows us to be more genuine and authentic. We reproduce who we are. So if we are shallow in our faith, we can only expect to replicate shallow disciples, but the opposite is true too. Having a grounded, strong faith produces faithful men and women who will disciple others.

 

THEN, move on to verses 9-10. Ask them something like:

  • How can Paul be so confident that what he was writing was true and deserving of full acceptance?
    • Answer: For one, Jesus radically met Paul on the road to Damascus. He had deeply encountered the truth he was teaching and was fundamentally changed by it. Secondly, Paul was called to be an apostle of Christ and carried authority to speak on His behalf. Paul was aware that the Spirit of God was inspiring him to write these letters that would serve as Scripture.
  • Why is so important to have our hope set on the living God and nothing else?
    • Answers will vary. Jesus addresses this issue head on in Matthew 7:24-27. Anything not built upon the rock of Christ will eventually fail when storms come.

 

Take a moment to recap what you all looked at in verses 6-10. You can say something like:

  • We just looked at the command on each one of our lives to train ourselves in godliness. Godliness is not something that organically sprouts up in our life. Just like a farmer tills his field before planting, Christians have to allow the Word of God to till their own hearts. Then, from our own growth, we seek to pour into others. Whether you are a new believer or are a seasoned veteran in the Christian faith, we all have a responsibility to make disciples.

 

NEXT, intro verses 11-16 by telling them that there are some rich, practical nuggets they can take away in thinking about this idea of multiplying disciples. Go ahead and direct their attention to verses 11-12. Then ask:

  • What is the expectation we can gather from verse 12?
    • Answer: Age should not be a factor in obeying the Lord! Although Timothy was young, he was set up to have a deep impact on those around him. He had the choice to make: would he allow his age to keep him from all that God had for him or would he lean into his youth and embrace God’s call?
  • What does setting an example in speech, conduct, life, love, and purity look like?
    • Answers will vary.
  • Do you find this easy or difficult to do in your own life? Why?
    • Answers will vary.

 

Instruct them to turn their attention to 13-14. Viewing verse 13 not just as a command to Timothy, but to all Christians is crucial. We may not all have the spiritual gift of teaching, but that shouldn’t keep us from seeking to train up less mature believers.

  • Timothy was challenged to “devote” himself exhortation and teaching. What kind of emphasis does this word “devote” have?
    • Answer: It’s an all-out commitment. If we look back to verse 10, Paul mentions that they toil and strive to make the Gospel known. There is a notion of giving it everything you have.
  • What did Paul intend when he commended Timothy to devote himself to exhortation?
    • Answer: Just like any leader encourages his team to keep their spirits high, the same is expected of Timothy. If we’re always focusing on what needs to be improved and never celebrate what we get right, we can become weary. However, an uplifting word can go further than we think.
  • What are some areas of your life that you may naturally have the opportunity to exhort or teach?
    • Answers will vary.
  • In verse 14, Paul tells Timothy not to neglect the gift he has. What happens when we neglect the gifts that God has given us?
    • Answer: Our brothers and sisters in Christ miss out on a potential blessing you may give them, and you do not get to experience the grace that God has for you in those moments.

 

FINALLY, turn their focus to the final two verses. Here, Paul lays out four imperatives in only two verses. He rapidly fires these commands in order to solidify the importance of what he just said. Ask:

  • What is the purpose of practicing what Paul has just instructed?
    • Answer: He answers that on the back half of verse 15: “so that all may see your progress.” Jesus takes that one step further in Matthew 5:16 when he says, “So let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven.” The end goal is always God’s glory and our sanctification.
  • Why should we keep a close watch on ourselves and our teaching as verse 16 commands?
    • Answer: We are more sinful that we ever dare to imagine. If we are not careful, we will try to justify anything in ourselves or our teaching.

 

Ask if there are any questions and if there are none, transition into The Last Word.

 

 

The Last Word

  • Goal: To inspire discipleship and consider practical ways to disciple.
  • Supplies: An apple

 

FIRST, explain to students that as you begin to wrap up your lesson, you want to take what was just learned and find practical outlets for discipleship in their own life.

 

NEXT, pull out the apple and show the group. Then, ask the question, “What is the best way for this apple to feed one hundred people?” Hopefully, this will spark some discussion and even some strong opinions. Once you’ve given some time for conversation, follow up their discussion with this explanation:

  • Your first thought was, “How can I cut this apple up to feed 100 people? It’s impossible.” And that would be true! You may get a faint taste of the apple if you were to eat 1/100th of it. However, what would happen if you took a seed from that apple and planted it? Sure it would take longer, but time was not the condition of the question. Once that seed is planted, it eventually grows into a tree that will be able to feed so many more people! Now think of your life as the apple and the seeds that are within as the relationships that you have the potential to invest in and disciple. So many times we overlook the seeds of the apple and don’t consider that apple is there because a seed was planted. You never know the just how deep of an impact you can make in the world by taking the time to invest and disciple “the one” can make. Just like our opening illustration pointed out, it only takes one to reach one, who will then go reach another. God may not have called you to be a Billy Graham, but he has made it known that he wants to use you to shape this world in a profound way.

 

Before you end, your students may feel fired up to go and make disciples, but they may not know where to start. Here are a couple questions to get the ball rolling on how they can make that happen:

  • Who is one person in your life that you could intentionally lead closer to Christ?
    • Answers will vary.
  • What does discipleship practically look like?
    • Answers will vary.

 

After they have had time to wrestle with that last question for a while, say something like:

  • Believe it or not, every one of you has someone who looks up to you. They may be younger, or they could even be older than you like Timothy experienced. Either way, the question is, “what will you do with the influence you have?” I want to encourage you to use it to make a deep imprint in their spiritual life and to sit back and watch how the Lord uses your intentionality. 

 

 

FINALLY, allow time for any closing thoughts or questions from your students.

 

  • Don’t forget to distribute the devotions to your students this week. If you’re posting them on Instagram or some other means of electronic distribution, make sure you inform students of when they will be receiving them.
  • Use the Social Media Guide to stay in touch with students via text or Instagram and to encourage them to follow through with reading their devotions.