Ten Reasons to Join a Discipleship Group
1. You’ve been called by Jesus to follow him with others who are also following him.
In Matthew 4, Jesus is talking to groups and not just individuals when he calls Simon Peter and Andrew, and then James and John, to leave their fishing nets and follow him:
“While walking by the Sea of Galilee, he saw two brothers, Simon (who is called Peter) and Andrew his brother, casting a net into the sea, for they were fishermen. And he said to them, “Follow me, and I will make you [y’all] fishers of men.” Immediately they left their nets and followed him. And going on from there he saw two other brothers, James the son of Zebedee and John his brother, in the boat with Zebedee their father, mending their nets, and he called them. Immediately they left the boat and their father and followed him” (Matthew 4:18–22).
2. You need others who know you to be committed to praying for you, and others need you to be committed to praying for them.
The Christian life is hard. The Bible uses warfare imagery often to describe it. In the battle, you need others to say to you the same thing that Samuel said to the people of Israel: “Far be it from me that I should sin against the LORD by ceasing to pray for you” (1 Samuel 12:23). And others need you to say the same thing to them, and then to actually do it, to pray in very specific ways for their specific needs.
3. You need others who know you to give you sound counsel, and others need you to give them sound counsel.
Wise women and wise men listen to the good advice of others who they trust. Proverbs encourages us here: “Listen to advice and accept instruction, that you may gain wisdom for the future” (Proverbs 19:20).
4. You need a trusted brother or sister to whom you can confess your sins, and others need to be able to trust you and confess their sins to you.
Confessing to one another requires (and cultivates!) humility, but it also is one of the keys to tapping into God’s provision for defeating sin in our lives. James writes, “confess your sins to one another and pray for one another, that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person has great power as it is working” (James 5:16).
5. You need others who know you to ask you the hard questions, and others need you to ask the hard questions for their lives.
The Proverb that we heard in the sermon titled The Wisdom of Friendship was Proverbs 27:5–6: “Better is open rebuke than hidden love. Faithful are the wounds of a friend, profuse are the kisses of an enemy.” We all need others who are willing to ask us hard questions and give us that hard truths that we need to hear, because each of us has the tendency to be deceived by our own hearts (see Jeremiah 17:9).
6. You need the support of others in your evangelism, and others need your encouragement in their evangelism.
Intentionally praying for the lost is hard enough, as is inviting someone to church, and actually sharing the gospel with someone can be downright intimidating for many of us! We need one another to pray with us and for us, and to encourage us to be intentional in reaching out to others around us. Paul himself knew this need, exhorting the church in Ephesus to pray for him “that words may be given to me in opening my mouth boldly to proclaim the mystery of the gospel” (Ephesians 6:18–19).
7. You need to hear from others about what God is teaching them in their Bible reading, and others need to hear from you about what God is teaching you in your Bible reading.
Bible reading is best done both individually and in community. We need to read Scripture regularly on our own, asking God to speak to us through his word, and we need to hear from others and how God is speaking to them through his word. Often the Spirit of God will give different insights to different believers, and when we share them, we all benefit from what God is doing among us through the Scriptures, so Colossians 3 tells us: “Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly, teaching and admonishing one another in all wisdom, singing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, with thankfulness in your hearts to God” (Colossians 3:16).
8. You need to hear encouraging words from others, and others need to hear your encouraging words to them.
Hebrews 10:24–25 tells us, “Let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works, not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the Day drawing near.”
9. You need others to pick you up when you fall, and others need you to help pick them up when they fall.
It’s not a question of if, but when. None of us will avoid falling. Mere circumstances of life will send all of us to the mud at some point or another, but add on that our struggle with sin, and we’re all destined to hit the turf many times along the way in life. We need others to pick us up when we fall. For that reason, God has given us one another. In his wisdom, he has told us:
“Two are better than one, because they have a good reward for their toil. For if they fall, one will lift up his fellow. But woe to him who is alone when he falls and has not another to lift him up! Again, if two lie together, they keep warm, but how can one keep warm alone? And though a man might prevail against one who is alone, two will withstand him—a threefold cord is not quickly broken” (Ecclesiastes 4:9–12).
10. You need to be sharpened by others, and others need you to help sharpen them.
“Iron sharpens iron,” and Proverbs 27:17 brings home the point: “and one man sharpens another.” You need others to help sharpen you in the Christian life.
For these reasons, and many more, I want to encourage you to join one of our Discipleship Groups at Mountain Creek. These groups are groups of three people who are committed to following Jesus together. Come on Sunday evening at 6:00pm to find out more!
Bert Watts has served since December 2016 as the Senior Pastor at Mountain Creek Baptist Church, where he has been on staff since 2012.