Bible Curriculum Must be Accompanied by Relationships

One of our Inspirational Devotions

must accompany Bible curriculum. That's easy for us to forget.

When my daughters Carey & Crystal attended Asbury College in Wilmore, Kentucky, I occasionally visited them. library stack While at Asbury, I loved to browse through the college library. One day, I stumbled onto a book entitled, Why Jesus Never Wrote a Book. The book was actually a series of sermons that an old time preacher compiled in the 1800’s. The first chapter was a sermon called, Why Jesus Never Wrote a Book. The chapter began, “Throughout history, almost every religious leader wrote a book, so why didn’t Jesus?” The preacher’s answer: “Because relationships change people, not books.” His point was that if you want to fill someone’s head, give him a book; if you want to change someone’s heart, make him your friend.

photo courtesy of cybrgrl

Christian discipleship

"Jesus” was God’s method to change the 12. He didn’t necessarily guide them to the right Bible curriculum, nor did he give them a book to read – he gave them himself. Jesus created a small group environment that gave his disciples a natural sense of belonging, care and accountability.

We see better than we think

In his book, What Wives’ Wish their Husbands Knew about Women, Dr. James Dobson says, “The reason the average woman would rather be beautiful than smart, is that she knows that the average man can see better than he can think.” The truth is, we all see better than we think. Jesus knew that and that’s why he wanted his followers to be with him in a variety of life settings.

Jesus taught people by spending time with them

"Jesus went up on a mountainside and call to him those he wanted, and they came to him. He appointed twelve - designating them apostles - that they might be with him." (Mark 3:13-14) The apostles were discipled through time spent with Jesus. Use your imagination. What lessons did his disciples learn when they saw Jesus let sinful people touch him? Or hold children on his lap? Or weep at Lazarus’ tomb? Or rebuke the Pharisees? Or get alone to pray? Or wash their feet in the upper room?

people walking

Time in a variety of life settings is crucial

The idea of making life the classroom was the way Jesus prepared the twelve apostles. Who are you discipling? In this discipleship process do you spend time together in a variety of life settings? People can see better than they can think.

Is relationship ministry your Christian priority?

photo courtesy of Jonathanb1989

To learn more about disciple-making in the 21st century,
check out Kingdom-Driven Discipleship

What does Jesus ask of his disciple?

Continue thinking about relational ministry through this devotional.

Author Paul Schlieker

Discussion ideas for your small group or Sunday School class:

1. What lessons did Jesus' apostles learn by being with Jesus?

2. What are the teaching advantages of friendships and relationships over a book?

3. How have you been influenced by spending time with someone?

4. Who are you discipling? What advantages do you see to spending time with this person in various life settings?

Learn more about being a disciple in a Sunday School lesson based on Luke 14.

5. How can you maximize your friendships and relationships in order to train others to be more like Jesus?

Author:Paul Schlieker

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Paul Schlieker, Platinum Author

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