We’ve had a blast helping people to discover and discipling people to Jesus around the table.
But it started out with having a problem to solve. We had a bunch of people open to exploring who Jesus was. And they were keen to gather with us around the table for a meal, but what next?
Some had never opened a bible in their lives and weren’t sure if Jesus was a historical or a fantasy figure. But they were open to finding out. So we invited a bunch of people around for a meal and a chat as we explored who Jesus was from one of the 4 biographies written about him.
As the weeks went by, the penny began to drop that we needed to introduce people to who Jesus was before we could properly lead them to him or start discipling them.
The paradigm shift was that we discipled people to faith rather than leading them to faith and then trying to disciple them.
As we met for the meal, we’d talk about how we were all going and what was news in our lives. Then after the meal, we’d take turns to read from a chapter in one of the gospels. Then we’d get discussion going.
“What did you like about what we just read?” “Is there anything that sticks out that you want us to discuss?” “Whats the biggest question you have from the reading?”
Sometimes the discussion went far and wide!
When a spiritually open person is exposed to the Jesus we read about in the gospels and then explores what the passage or story says and is stimulated to ask questions, the Holy Spirit teaches and bring awareness and understanding. John 14:26 tells us that “… the Holy Spirit…will teach you all things and will remind you of everything I have said to you.”
After perhaps an hour of discussion as the evening was drawing to a close, we would always come to the sharp point of application or decision. “Whats the main takeaway you have from tonight?” “What are you going to implement from what we have discussed?” “What decisions have you made as a result of what we’ve discussed?”
Then we’d close with prayer, with the prayer linking pack to the discussion we had earlier over the meal, praying specifically for any needs mentioned.
The next week over the meal we’d generally ask about these needs and celebrate any answers to prayer.
So what’s the fruit of looking at the life and person of Jesus in this way? Some have been baptised. Some are soon to get baptised and some are a still on the journey.
If you want to unpack more about how you can lead others to discover Jesus around the table, you can look at some thoughts on whether it’s best to work your way through a gospel or whether a list of stories I’ve compiled from the gospels will be a better option.
And I’ve also put together some more thoughts on how to effectively run a discovery bible discussion like we’ve talked about here with the aim of introducing people to Jesus and discipling them to him.