Transformed People Transform Cities

Context: The following is a discipleship lesson focusing on a core value of being an authentic disciple of Jesus. These build on the foundation laid in our resources for Exploring Christianity and Mentoring a New Christian. You can see the Table of Contents for this lesson series here

Big Idea: As we are transformed by the Gospel, we are used by God to transform cities.

Part 1: Discovery

Read and reflect on these Scriptures:

Old Testament Reading: Jeremiah 29.4 “Thus says the Lord of hosts, the God of Israel, to all the exiles whom I have sent into exile from Jerusalem to Babylon: 5 Build houses and live in them; plant gardens and eat their produce. 6 Take wives and have sons and daughters; take wives for your sons, and give your daughters in marriage, that they may bear sons and daughters; multiply there, and do not decrease. 7 But seek the welfare of the city where I have sent you into exile, and pray to the Lord on its behalf, for in its welfare you will find your welfare.

New Testament Reading: Acts 1.8 But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you, and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth.”

Gospel Reading: John 4.39 Many Samaritans from that town believed in him because of the woman's testimony, “He told me all that I ever did.” 40 So when the Samaritans came to him, they asked him to stay with them, and he stayed there two days. 41 And many more believed because of his word. 42 They said to the woman, “It is no longer because of what you said that we believe, for we have heard for ourselves, and we know that this is indeed the Savior of the world.”

Questions For Discussion: 

1. What are these passages saying in your own words? 
2. How do we see the beauty and majesty of Jesus in these passages?
3. What does this passage teach us about life?

Part 2: Nurture

Now that we have discovered truth about Jesus with our minds, we want to nurture these truths in our hearts. 

Questions For Discussion:

1. How does the Gospel transform us? List a few ways. When it transforms us, how does it transform the way we live and work in our cities? 

2. Who is someone in your life that has lived this theme (Transformed People Transform Cities) out? How did it impact you or others? 

3. What has this looked like in your life? 

4. What might it look like to experience more of this value in your life? What fruit would this bear in your life and in our world? 

Part 3: Apply

As we have seen from the Word that disciples make disciples and now that we have nurtured this truth in our hearts so that we not only see it, but savor it, what are practices we can incorporate in our lives in order for this to be a growing part of our lives? 

Before we look at the practices, remember:

1. Remember that spiritual practices are not the answer for a disciple, but they lead an authentic disciple to The Answer Himself.

2. Embracing a life of spiritual practices doesn't keep us from the spontaneous leadership of the Spirit, they actually sensitize and make us aware in a greater way in our day to day lives and the situations we encounter.

3. Also, a common mistake disciples make in being intentional in embracing spiritual practices is taking on too much at once, getting discouraged and quitting. As you look at these practices be in prayer about what step the Holy Spirit is calling you to take and become consistent with.

Practice:

1. Gather: Gather in your Lifegroup and discuss ways you can be a part of seeing the city transformed with the Gospel. 

2. Serve: Join a regular service project like our Heart For The City service days, Austin Street Center or Forerunner Mentoring.

For Discussion:

1. How have these practices been a part of your discipleship to Jesus? 

2. After taking some time to pray, how do you sense the Holy Spirit leading you to respond in regards to what we have talked about today?