Spiritual Growth Resources
Discipleship & Evangelism

Topic for this week: Discipleship & Evangelism

Theme for the month of February: Love

The Carmichael SDA Church is providing spiritual growth resources for individuals, couples, families, and small groups as an extension during this pandemic for a church that is scattered like salt and to indeed be salty; to be light and receive another infusion of power. Pick and choose from these resources for your spiritual growth, whether it’s during your time of personal devotions or family worship or small group gathering. The 10 options include:

Intro & Video

This week’s topic includes two elements: discipleship and evangelism. Are they the same thing? Are they different? Are they two sides of the same coin? What comes to mind for you when you hear the word “discipleship”? Christ had 12 disciples who joined him as interns for three-and-a-half years. If you have a full time job, does that mean you can’t be a disciple unless you make this your employment?
What comes to mind when you hear the other word, “evangelism”? Is that for preachers who invite the “lost” to be “found”? Is it for all Christians? Should that be allocated for those who might have the spiritual gift of evangelism, but not the rest of us?
Our topic for this week combines both words, and this comes under the February theme of Love.

Bible Dialogue

The Gospel of John presents Christ’s ministry and passion much differently than the Synoptic Gospels of Matthew, Mark, and Luke. Half of the book of John covers Christ’s final days—the second half of John. Only John records the foot-washing service in the upper room. John recorded the “I am the vine, you are the branches” analogy Christ’s last night in the garden. John inscribed, “Let not your heart be troubled. You believe in God, believe also in me. In my Father’s house . . .” John records much more about the promise of the coming Holy Spirit. And John 17 includes Christ’s intimate prayer. Analysts point out that verses 1-5 are about Jesus himself, while verses 6-19 focus on his disciples at that time, with verses 20-26 expanding to all who would come to believe in Jesus. Our “Bible Dialogue” segment will focus on just verses 11-21.


Who’s praying for you? 
For whom do you pray?

Read JOHN 17:11-21

  1. What did Jesus leave behind when he left earth?

A. Nothing.
B. A mess.
C. The explosion of the early Christian church (read Acts).
D. He showed what God is like and was a role model for us.
E. His death and resurrection.
F.  Trained disciples—12 of them; make that 11.
G. A message and a mission.
H. The Holy Spirit.
I. Other.

2.  What’s it mean for God to “keep” or “protect” us (vs. 11)?

A. God will shield us from all harm.
B. God will shield us from most harm.
C. We will be resilient.
D. The assurance we are in God’s hands.
F.  The assurance we are in God’s plans.
G. Supernatural powers.
H. Life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.
I. Christ’s followers can expect opposition.
J. Other.

3.   How successful was Jesus with his 12 disciples?

A. Better than 90%.
B. All 12 were about to desert him.
C. They had come a long way during Christ’s ministry.
D. There was simply no chance with Judas.
E. Jesus empowered his disciples to do many miracles.
F.  More was still to come (the book of Acts).
H. It was a roller-coaster ride.
I.  They kept returning to Christ after their blunders.
J. Other.

4.  What makes Christ’s followers pure and holy (vs. 17)?

A. Obedience.
B. Scripture.
C. Fullness of joy.
D. God’s presence in one’s life.
E. The Holy Spirit’s actions through Christ’s followers.
F. Freedom from a sinful environment.
G. Holy living.
H. No devil in the vicinity.
I. Other

5.  Why does Jesus send his followers into the evil world?

A. It’s what Jesus did, and with his Father’s approval.
B. God loves the people in the world.
C. To save those in the “evil world.”
D. To share good news with all people in the world.
E. To shape his followers to become more like Christ.
F.  The world isn’t evil.
G. To reveal God and serve others, like Jesus did.
H. God is on a mission; his disciples make this their priority.
I. Other.

6.  How can Christ’s prayer for the unity of believers happen?

A. It’s a vision, not a reality.
B. This would necessitate a miracle.
C. It will happen only If human egos submit to Christ.
D. Consistently spend time with God
E. Shift the focus from self to God and others.
F.  Put everyone’s energies into evangelism.
G. With Christ as the focus, everything else fades.
H. Other.

7.   When do you believe a promise? When do you not believe a promise?

8.   What promises has God made to you? What promises have you made to God?

Prayer Experiences

Read the full prayer of Jesus recorded in John 17. As you do so, put yourself in the place of Jesus, knowing that your time with your disciples is just about over, and consider where they are in their development. Remember, this prayer begins with Jesus and his father, then moves to praying for his disciples, and concludes with prayers for those who came to believe in Jesus later—us!

Read through the prayer again, but put it in today’s terms. Without being Jesus yourself, place yourself in the first portion of the prayer. For the next section, place the members of your church as Christ’s disciples. And end with prayers for those who will come to believe in Jesus because of Christ’s ministry through you and your church.

Go on a prayer walk. You can do this spontaneously or create it for yourself and others to experience. A prayer walk involves observing your surroundings as you walk. Let what you observe spark your conversation with God. You might take a special emphasis as you walk and talk with God, such as, “God, please show me on this prayer walk what you desire as I walk with You.” Then be open for promptings from what you see as you walk. Let there be an on-going conversation between you and God as you are walking. Feel free to have moments of silence and also listening as you walk. You may choose to do this in your neighborhood, in a park, along a busy street, in a commercial area, or someplace else.

You could also do a prayer walk with a different emphasis, such as evangelism. Ask God, “Please show me what you want me to say and what you want me to do in order to share You with others.” You might do this prayer walk with your conversation just between you and God in order to give you direction. Or, you may be talking with God and let him lead you to someone or someplace where you can take action right during your prayer walk.
Video | Bible Dialogue | Prayer Experiences

Discussion Questions

Select from these questions, or let them prompt your own questions. You can reflect on these by yourself, or discuss them with another person or group of people.
1. When does discipleship begin? When does it end?
2. In what ways do “love” and “discipleship” relate to each other?
3. If you are a disciple (student or follower), who is your teacher or mentor?
4. Which of Christ’s 12 disciples do you identify with more than the others?
5. What spurs discipleship in your life?
6. How did you find out the “good news” about Jesus?
7. With whom have you shared the “good news” of Jesus?
8. When it comes to evangelism, which makes more of an impression: words or actions?
9. When it comes to evangelism, what is God’s part and what is your part?
10. Do you prefer to participate in evangelism one-to-one, in a small group, or in a large group?
11. After a person becomes a Christian, what comes next?
12. When a person has been a Christian for years, what’s the next step?
13. In what ways have you changed because you follow Jesus? What changes would Jesus like to see in you now?
14. Which spiritual disciplines do you utilize as a disciple of Christ?
15. In what ways would a disciple today be different from a disciple when Jesus walked the earth? In what ways would they be the same?
16. Should we plan evangelism/outreach or is it more authentic if it’s spontaneous?
17. What impact does evangelism have on those who aren’t followers of Jesus? What impact does it have on those who are followers of Jesus?
18. What evangelistic strategies do you think would be most effective today?
19. Is evangelism like manna—share what you have today and trust God for more tomorrow; or is it more like a gold treasure to hide in a field?
20. What is it about Jesus that you are most passionate to share with others?

Application Ideas

Discipleship has as its root word discipulus which is Latin for: student, pupil, or follower. We often think of Christ’s 12 disciples who followed Jesus and learned about him and the kingdom of God. Christ empowered them to do the same types of things he did. Following Christ’s death, resurrection, and ascension, the Holy Spirit came on the disciples in a tangible and powerful manner. From that point they became known as apostles (ones sent) as they began what later became known as the Christian Church.

We get the word “discipline” from the same root word for disciple. While some think of punishment or marine-type training, discipline is something all of us experience. Parents discipline their children in ways they think will help their children grow into the people God wants them to be. Christian teachers do the same thing in their sphere of influence. And both parents and teachers have in mind that young people will become increasingly self-disciplined so they won’t need external motivators to continue on a positive pathway.

Consider the discipline of practicing music or a particular sport. People will practice and practice to improve their performance. Not every practice is fun or rewarding. But the disciplined person sticks with it and improves, making their “performance” better and better. Yes, there are setbacks. But that simply returns the disciplined person back to more practice. It might include some special coaching. You could do this with work tasks, food preparation, video games, and a host of other “disciplines.”

Make the analogy to your spiritual realities. Who is your coach? Do you follow an invisible God or a visible God? Do you have others who assist you? Who are your teammates? What do you “practice”? What progress do you see? How do you handle setbacks? Try this with spiritual disciplines such as reading Scripture, different types of prayer, worship, and sharing with others. You can access a variety of spiritual disciplines via the Spiritual Disciplines Handbook by Adele Ahlberg Calhoun, available as a workbook and even downloadable in PDF format at https://www.pdfdrive.com/spiritual-disciplines-handbook-practices-that-transform-us-e195129642.html.

The application of evangelism has, at its heart, sharing the good news of Jesus with others. Look below under the “Sharing Options” for more on applying this element of the “evangelism” portion of our topic for this week.

Sharing Options

When it comes to evangelism, we simply share “good news” with others. We do this type of things all the time, whether it’s something personal like, “_____ and _____ just had their baby!” or something more general like, “Did you hear that these last few storms haven’t taken us out of a drought for Northern California this year?” It’s news, or maybe just chit chat.

In the first century, Roman domination included sharing the Gospel (Greek euangelion literally means “good news”) about each Roman conquest. The early Christians co-opted the term “Gospel” to mean the “good news” of Jesus. Today when people hear about “the Gospel” they think of the story of Jesus, not some Roman conquest.

What is your Gospel—your “good news” about Jesus? If you don’t have any, or if it doesn’t mean as much to you as the other “good news” you’re sharing, then it’s not likely to be good news to anyone else. If you want to identify the Gospel of Jesus for you right now, ask Jesus! Yes, make that a matter of prayer. Listen for impressions from him. And read Scripture to identify what he has already communicated. Read the “Gospels” of Matthew, Mark, Luke, and/or John. Some find the Gospel in Romans or a shorter book like Galatians or Ephesians. Others hit pay dirt with 1 John. It could be a matter of looking for Jesus in your everyday life. At the end of the day, complete this sentence: Today I saw Jesus when . . . This is your Gospel to share with others.

You can hand out small printed tracts or other books, and some people still do. Videos and apps are being produced these days for sharing the good news of Jesus since those are a more common medium of communication nowadays. But it’s far more personal and real when you can actually dialogue with a person. It might be that you need to do more listening than talking. The “good news” for the moment might be that Jesus is present because you are the ears and heart of Jesus for that person at that moment. It might be that you are called to be the voice of Jesus. That can deepen your dependence of God to speak through you—know what to say and what not to say and how much to say (or not say)! But that’s true with all good news, isn’t it?!

And here’s one more sharing option. Please share your experimenting with these Spiritual Growth Resources with Pastor Pedro Trinidad. Phone or text at 925-951-7041, or email at ptrinidad@carmsda.org.

Bible-In-My-Head, Heart, and Hand

What were the parting words Jesus gave his followers before he returned to heaven? According to the Gospel of Matthew, it is the Gospel Commission, which includes both discipleship and evangelism. If you haven’t done so already, memorize these two verses, and put them into practice. Those last two verses in Matthew 28:19-20 (NIRV), read:

“You must go and make disciples of all nations. Baptize them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit. Teach them to obey everything I have commanded you. And you can be sure that I am always with you, to the very end.”


Enjoy the variety of music that speaks of God's Presence

Kids of All Ages by Pastor Melissa

“It’s a boy! You have a baby brother!” mother announced joyfully.

Wanda pressed the telephone closer to her ear as she shouted, “Wow! A brother - FINALLY! After four sisters, I actually have a baby brother!”

Wanda was the oldest of 4 kids, and all those kids had been girls, up until today. Today, the very first baby boy was born to her family. Wanda knew how much this meant to her Father, who wanted a boy to carry on the family name. She knew how much this meant to her sisters and her - a brand new baby brother, something none of them had ever had before. “A brother!” Wanda cheered. “I have a baby brother!”

As soon as Wanda ended the phone call with her mother, she quickly thought about all the friends she wanted to share her good news with. Where were all her friends? Who would she tell first? She left the front desk office, where she had been working at the phones, and ran down the hall to find somebody - anybody - to share the good news with. She ran into Amy first.

“Amy! It’s a boy! I have a baby brother!” Wanda exclaimed.

 “We know!” smiled Amy, “Congratulations! You sound so happy.”

Wanda kept running, but inside she wondered - wait - how did Amy know? Had she been talking that loudly in the front office?

Next she ran into Kara. “You’ll never guess what!” she shouted.

“You have a new brother! That’s awesome!” Kara replied happily.

This was strange - how did Kara know too? But Wanda kept running. Down the stairs, into the lobby. As she passed friends along the way she shouted, “I have a baby brother!”

“We know!” They would always respond.

 “That’s so great!”


“We heard - congratulations!”

Wanda was confused - how did EVERYONE seem to know her news? But she kept going - she knew exactly where she was headed. Finally she burst into the room of her best friend Sophie. Sophie was quietly curled up on her bed, reading. At last, thought Wanda - someone will be surprised to hear my news.

 “Sophie, guess what - I have the best news!”

“I know,” Sophie smiled. “I heard - you have a baby brother! It’s about time, after all those sisters!”


“Because,” Sophie laughed, “you came over the intercom. You had the microphone on when you took the call from your Mom - the message was sent into every room on every hall. Everyone in the whole entire building knows you have a brother!”

That baby brother was my Dad, and our family still loves to tell the story of how Aunt Wanda accidentally blasted her news throughout the whole entire girls dorm that day.

When we have really special, exciting news, one of the best parts is to get to share it with our friends and family. We can’t wait to get home and talk about the game we won, the test we aced, the part we got chosen for in the school play - whatever it is - good news is ALWAYS better when we get to share it.

Before Jesus left, He taught His followers that they would have very important jobs: they would be his disciples, or evangelists. Those are big words, but what they mean is a simple concept: they would be the people in charge of sharing the good news about Jesus. The good news that He loves us, He died to save us, He rose again, and He’s coming back. This is the best news in the whole world! Being a disciple or evangelist wasn’t always easy. But the story never got old - it was always so exciting to get to tell someone new, that Jesus died to save them.

What about us? Does our world still need this good news?  How could we still be sharing this good news today?

Family Talk Time:

  1. Think of a time when you had super good news to share with the family or with your friends. What was it? How did it feel? Is it easy or hard to share good news?
  2. Who should be disciples and evangelists - just pastors, just people who have that special gift, or everyone? Why?
  3. In your own words, how is the story of Jesus “good news” for you? How would you share it with someone?
  4. How could this family share the good news with someone else this week?