Many Bible studies work through scriptures to convince someone to agree Jesus is Lord, the Son of God and commit their lives to Him. That often means we feel the burden is on us to present things correctly, be convincing, etc…and what is more we have no idea how to transition from this approach to discipleship.
But what if you started with discipleship instead? What if you encouraged someone to discover Jesus by reading the Word and obeying what it says on the front end? This is what is happening all over the world and resulting in kingdom growth and it makes all kinds of sense.
Here’s why this makes sense
First, it has continuity. You are starting with helping them read the Word to live (obey) the Word. You are starting with discipleship. You want them to be a disciple who follows and obeys Jesus. So why not start by opening the Bible, reading it, trying to discover what it means together and committing to living what it says?
In this way people have an experience with Jesus that builds faith as they learn to live for Jesus.
Second, you are starting with the end in mind. You want people to follow Jesus rather than just agree he is Lord? Start with discipleship rather than study to conversion.
Third, this solves your discipleship dilemma where you had studied with someone to get them to agree with you and then try to figure out another gear – discipleship.
The approach many people use to do this is called Discovery Bible Study. You can download the guide to DBS here. It is a simple way that you don’t really teach people Jesus – you invite them to discover Jesus with you by being in the Word to live the Word/obey the Word. As they do this, their life will change and they will come to faith in Jesus via discipleship rather than a teacher just teaching.
If you want more thoughts on this, I recorded a video on it to do more explaining so that it really sinks in. If you need help, let me know!