Courtesy of Erik Fish http://erikfish.com/
[pocket] Disciple guides you through seven experiences with Jesus.
Do each experience over drinks or a meal with a group of friends.
Following Jesus is best experienced with others!
Sixth Experience [gather]
GOAL – Remember Jesus with others over a meal.
For where two or three gather together as my followers, I am there among them.
– Jesus, Matthew 18:20
CARING FOR ONE ANOTHER
- What are you thankful for this week?
- What has been challenging for you recently?
- Who did you tell about the things you experienced in the last section? How did it go?
For a goose, perhaps the only thing better than flying is being able to fly in a flock. In a flock, a goose manifests the beautiful, God-designed imprint of its nature. A flock is a powerful picture of interdependence, where each individual goose is empowered to fly higher and farther than it could go alone.
In a similar way, one of the great joys of following Jesus is banding together with others who follow him.
As you journey through the experiences in Pocket Disciple, you are learning a pattern for
encountering Jesus while gathering with others. Like a goose in a flock, you can repeat this pattern throughout your life as you follow Jesus with trusted friends and spiritual family.
In this section, you will learn a bit more about what Jesus has to say about “flocking together.” We’ll start with a story describing some of the experiences of the early disciples as they gathered together to remember Jesus.
READ AND DISCUSS — Underline any phrases that catch your attention.
That day about three thousand took him at his word, were baptized and were signed up. They committed themselves to the teaching of the apostles, the life together, the common meal, and the prayers. Everyone around was in awe—all those wonders and signs done through the apostles! And all the believers lived in a wonderful harmony, holding everything in common. They sold whatever they owned and pooled their resources so that each person’s need was met.They followed a daily discipline of worship in the Temple followed by meals at home, every meal a celebration, exuberant and joyful, as they praised God.
People in general liked what they saw. Every day their number grew as God added those who were saved. (Acts 2:41-47, The Message).
- What characteristics do you see for how the new followers of Jesus related to each other?
- What habits did they practice together?
GOING DEEPER — Read, underline, and discuss.
And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds, not giving up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging one another—and all the more as you see the Day approaching.( Hebrews 10:24-25, NIV).
“I am the living bread that came down from heaven. Whoever eats this bread will live forever. This bread is my flesh, which I will give for the life of the world.”
Then the Jews began to argue sharply among themselves, “How can this man give us his flesh to eat?”
Jesus said to them, “Very truly I tell you, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink his blood, you have no life in you. Whoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood has eternal life, and I will raise them up at the last day. For my flesh is real food and my blood is real drink. Whoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood remains in me, and I in them. Just as the living Father sent me and I live because of the Father, so the one who feeds on me will live because of me.” – John 6:51-57 (NIV)
When the time came, Jesus and the apostles sat down together at the table. Jesus said, “I have been very eager to eat this Passover meal with you before my suffering begins. For I tell you now that I won’t eat this meal again until its meaning is fulfilled in the Kingdom
Then he took a cup of wine and gave thanks to God for it. Then he said, “Take this and share it among yourselves. For I will not drink wine again until the Kingdom
of God has come.”
He took some bread and gave thanks to God for it. Then he broke it in pieces and gave it to the disciples, saying, “This is my body, which is given for you. Do this to remember me.”
After supper he took another cup of wine and said, “This cup is the new covenant between God and his people— an agreement confirmed with my blood, which is poured out as a sacrifice for you.”
- Why do you think Jesus taught his disciples to remember him over a meal with bread and wine?
MAKE IT PERSONAL
Remembering Jesus with other disciples over a meal, or with bread and wine (or juice), is sometimes called “The Lord’s Supper” or “communion.” Sharing a Jesus-focused meal together is a simple and meaningful way to remember Jesus with others whenever and wherever you gather. It doesn’t have to be somber or formal—just as in the Scripture example, it is a gathering of friends who love Jesus and each other.
ACTION – Share a Jesus-focused meal together.
If you don’t have bread and wine, just use whatever food or drink you can find. Take a few
moments to remember Jesus together.
Here’s a guide to help you:
- Read the Scriptures about The Lord’s Supper (on previous page) or another Scripture the Holy Spirit brings to your mind.
- One or more of you might say out loud (in your own words) what the body and blood of Christ mean and what they do for you.
- Eat and drink together as a way of remembering Jesus.
- Spend a few moments saying words of thanks to God. If you want to, sing a worship song or pray together for a few moments.
GROWING A GROUP
Wherever two or three gather together as my followers, I am there among them. – Jesus, Matthew 18:20
Many times, followers of Jesus will gather together regularly to remember Jesus over a meal, love each other, and follow God’s words together. This is a church in its simplest form. When a group becomes too big for everyone to interact meaningfully, sometimes a group will decide to multiply into more groups.
Any follower of Jesus can start a group with their friends or family. When you gather together here are a few things you can do to grow a simple church community:
WORD – Read and discuss God’s Word as the Holy Spirit leads you. Share each week the ways you are acting on those words. The seven chapters in Pocket Disciple are a good place to start.
WORSHIP – Spend time loving God out loud through prayer and worship.
FELLOWSHIP – Remember Jesus over a meal and drinks together. Have meaningful conversation. Share in the joys and challenges of each other’s lives. Encourage one another.
GIVE IT AWAY
Sharing with others what you’ve received from God is the greatest blessing.
- Who do you know who needs to hear what you learned from God in this section?
To read more on this topic, you can look up:
I Corinthians 12:12-27
I Corinthians 14:26