Using Disciple Bible Study in Sunday School

April 28th, 2014

For more than twenty years, DISCIPLE has provided the heartbeat for spiritual growth and transformation in thousands of churches through in-depth Bible study. Its methodology—daily Bible reading, weekly meetings, viewing and discussing a DVD presentation, reflecting upon and discussing insights gained from daily Bible readings, and praying together—has strengthened people in their faith in Jesus Christ as well as in their commitment to love and serve God and neighbor. DISCIPLE has proven overwhelmingly successful in nurturing Christian leadership and in developing committed disciples of Jesus Christ.

During the decades since DISCIPLE was developed, demands on time have increased—especially for families. In today’s culture, it is often challenging, if not impossible, for people to consistently attend a weeknight or weekend meeting of two and a half hours, as suggested in DISCIPLE. In order to meet the needs of this new generation, therefore, we now have the option of presenting DISCIPLE during Sunday school, which is the one time each week when many people are able to take on such a commitment.

This Sunday school edition of teacher helps will serve as your guide to present DISCIPLE: Becoming Disciples Through Bible Study during the Sunday school hour. We have retained the successful small-group process of DISCIPLE meetings but have adjusted the times to fit typical Sunday school schedules in local churches. We believe that the proven value of the program will outweigh any disadvantages of adjusting the program to fit time constraints.

What is the same, and what is different?

Participants will still use the DISCIPLE Study Manual to guide their daily Bible readings between the weekly meetings. Meetings will still open by having participants reflect on the theme word, theme verse, “Our Human Condition,” and pray the opening prayer. Participants will still view and discuss the DVD presentation, reflect upon and discuss the daily Bible readings and the material in the Study Manual, discuss the “Marks of Discipleship,” and close by praying for one another.

What has changed is the amount of time devoted to each of these activities during the group session. A Sunday morning meeting of DISCIPLE can be completed in fifty minutes. Instructions for how to do this are detailed in this Sunday school edition of teacher helps, which is the only new component you’ll need in order to make this change.

Daily Bible reading and communication

As with traditional DISCIPLE meetings, daily Bible reading is essential for the best experience in a Sunday school DISCIPLE program. Encourage participants to be diligent with this ongoing practice of reading and reflection and to communicate with one another during the week. You might enhance group interaction by using social media and other technology to communicate with one another.

A DISCIPLE class during Sunday school opens the door of this transforming program to a new generation of busy Christians. Churches offering this additional class setting will increase opportunities to nurture commitment to Jesus Christ and the desire to grow in love and service to God and neighbor.

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