Explore
Follow Us

The best discipleship curriculum

A friend recently asked me, “What’s the best discipleship curriculum you can recommend?” “You are,” I answered. He was befuddled. “No, I mean like a book,” he clarified. “You mean you want to use a book to disciple instead of having them imitate you? Well, it didn’t work t…
By Seth Barnes
By Seth Barnes

A friend recently asked me, “What’s the best discipleship curriculum
you can recommend?”

You are,” I answered.

He was befuddled. “No,
I mean like a book,” he clarified.

“You mean you want to use a book to disciple instead of
having them imitate you? Well, it didn’t work that way with Jesus. He WAS the curriculum, just like you are.”

“Right, I understand, but let’s suppose you were to use a
book, what would it be?”

“Well, if you have to use a book, I recommend Luke. Specifically chapters 4-10. That’s where Jesus shows us how to disciple others.”

“You mean where he taught them stuff?”

“No, he taught the masses, but he mostly discipled his
disciples by hanging out with them and then by sending them out. It’s right there in the Bible. It’s the very
thing that we don’t do in most of our seminaries.”

“So, how long should I take to do this?”

“Well, I estimate about 15,000 hours. I look at it this way, if the master invests
that amount of time over the course of three years and at the end his best
pupil is just barely getting it, who am I to do any better?”

“When you put it that way, discipleship is pretty tough.”

“Yeah, I guess that’s why Jesus called it a narrow road.”

Comments (14)

  • Christ’s life through you is the answer, but such requires Bible substance and content. Try downloading a book on this subject for free, which also addresses evangelism. http://www.WillYouLiveForever.org. Since its pure Bible, based on the best materials found, and 30 years in research, it should be what you’re needing. Thanks

  • In reference to the Luke 10 passage – where Jesus sends out the 72 (or 70 depending on what version you read)- the Lord impressed on me about two weeks ago to think about who the top 12 people are that I would consider to be my intimate friend (the inner circle)as well as listing out the next circle of 70 that I trust and feel I have a great relationship with. That has been great to do and encouraging as well.

    Your post now has me thinking – Sue, who the 12 people you know you have poured into? Who are the 12 people who have poured into you? Who are 70/72 people you know you have impacted by having a deliberate relationship with them?

    I’m also excited by His reminder to me just now that we have the opportunity to impact others every day and the Lord provides those opportunities. It’s up to us to make the most of them! I pray that the “book” they read as me – says JESUS in big, bold letters alllllll over it!

  • Good blog Seth!!! How did the prevailing thought in the church ever become that discipleship is strictly about knowledge?

  • Thanks Keith.

    I’ve actually been reading and meditating on that subject. I think it is a byproduct of the information explosion of the last 100 years. As a society, we have actually started repeating the sin of Adam, worshiping knowledge and looking to it as our god. We now have an information-obsessed society that covets knowledge just as Adam did, eating of the tree of knowledge of good and evil. In the church we’ve turned discipleship into mentoring as a function of this trend.

    Mentoring is good as a secondary piece of the discipleship process – it is a good lunch, but a poor breakfast. What people really need as a start in their discipleship are identity-confirming relationships. Mentoring implies developing proficiency. In a true discipling relationship, disciples begin to see Jesus in the person discipling them and recognize that their identity in Christ has nothing to do with proficiency (a Greek concept) and everything to do with Jesus’ sufficiency.

    We need to get away from information and move toward formation.

  • When you put it that way, I feel a great sense of relief! There is much hope for all of us. I have been thinking “How am I going to disciple people?” I have never had anyone disciple me. Then it hit me, What do I think God is doing everyday? Duh!! I know I have got a lot to learn but what I have learned, I am excited to share. Thanks for some perspective.

  • There’s more than a kernal of truth in this column. However, it takes true disciple to make one. The real question is how do I/you become a disciple in order to diciple others? One answer may be the conference at Perimeter Church ( http://www.perimeter.org ) in Atlanta on Discipleship I attended earlier this month. Perimeter has been using their 3 yr curriculum for over ten years and their pastor, Randy Pope,for many more. The process is proven and has attracted the attention of churches US and worldwide. Perimeter is now exporting the curriculum to the world – via the conference and a follow-up teaching clinic. It is not simple but it is modeled after what Jesus did. Thanks, Seth, for sharing your valuable insight. KP vernon, ct

  • Ken,

    Thanks for the link. I just checked it out. It looks like it could be helpful, but here’s my critique:

    1. It does little to address the profound issue of identity. You need to confront lies, wounds, generational bondage, and the role of the demonic to get a person to a place of peace. Without addressing this, all this information is just wallpaper on a crumbling walls.

    2. Jesus’ model of discipling centered on experience. Where is that here?

    3. It is big on imparting information, but I see little on imparting power.

    4. Back to the point of the blog: I’d begin with spending time with disciples doing life as opposed to a linear series of study materials.

  • Sounds spiritual, but we do not live with our people like Jesus lived with His disciples. We get them Sunday for 2 or 3 Hrs and possibly midweek for 1 Hr. People are so busy working 8-10Hr days 5-6 days a week. I would love to live with my disciple but he has a family and a full time Job. Yes you need a book the Bible. All discipleship courses cover the same materials just different eye candy. You must give them “sound doctrine for them to grow.You must make the most out of the little time you have with them
    Chris

  • Sounds spiritual, but we do not live with our people like Jesus lived with His disciples. We get them Sunday for 2 or 3 Hrs and possibly midweek for 1 Hr. People are so busy working 8-10Hr days 5-6 days a week. I would love to live with my disciple but he has a family and a full time Job. Yes you need a book the Bible. All discipleship courses cover the same materials just different eye candy. You must give them “sound doctrine for them to grow.You must make the most out of the little time you have with them
    Chris

    “I like what Chris said…and i would like to comment – very typical of an american to easily explain away important truths, what you wrote may seem to you a smart way to answer the question but its not – its a copout answer. we don’t want anybody to imitate us we want them to imitate Christ. that’s why we need a good discipship training book to train Christians in the way of God. 90% of christians don’t know basic christinity… this is why america has lost its edge on christianity too many talking heads spouting nonsence.”

Comments are closed.

Subscribe to Radical Living:

Receive updates on the latest posts as Seth Barnes covers many topics like spiritual formation, what if means to be a christian, how to pray, and more. Radical Living blog is all about a call to excellence in ministry, church, and leadership -as the hands and feet of Jesus.

Seth Barnes

I'm motivated to join God in his global reclamation project. He's on the move, setting his sons and daughters free from their places of captivity. And he's partnering with those of us who have been freed to go and free others.



© Adventures In Missions. All rights reserved. Privacy Policy