By Becky Castle Miller
Becky Castle Miller is on the pastoral staff at Damascus Road International Church in Maastricht, Netherlands, as Discipleship Director. She is the co-author, with Scot McKnight, of the discipleship curriculum Following King Jesus,.
She conveys her five kids around town on bikes and studies New Testament in the middle of the night via Northern Live.
There shouldn’t be one.
But in practice, often there is.
With our new discipleship workbook called Following King Jesus, Scot and I are trying to close that distance. You can order it today.
I’ve seen the gap between religious identity and allegiance in practice in my own life and the lives of others. As the Discipleship Director at an international church, I focus my ministry work on helping people who want to be Christians to really live that out as faithful followers of King Jesus. It’s also the challenge for me every day: am I being a good student of my Teacher?
In coordinating our church’s small groups for the past seven years, I’ve tried all sorts of Bible studies and group guides, but the discipleship curriculum I was looking for just hadn’t appeared. I wanted something with solid Christology, rooted in the Bible, offering a call to discipleship, and full of practical application for life in the church. And I wanted it to be written in an easy-to-read way that Christians new to theological study could understand and enjoy.
As I’ve studied with Scot at Northern Seminary, I’ve gotten insight into his particular skill at writing for the church. In his many books, he’s covered a broad range of Christian topics with humor and clear communication. A couple summers ago during a week-long Romans intensive class, I started sketching out ideas for a discipleship curriculum based on some of Scot’s books. Scot and I discussed it over Mediterranean food on a lunch break, and he sent me home to the Netherlands with a red binder full of mildew and his dot-matrix notes from a long-ago class he had taught on discipleship.Other projects came up, and this one slipped to the back of my mind until last May, on my birthday, when Scot messaged me with an invitation.
His editor and friend at Zondervan, John Raymond, had a similar idea—what if they created a discipleship curriculum based on four of Scot’s books they had published? With excerpts from The King Jesus Gospel, The Blue Parakeet, One.Life, and A Fellowship of Differents, the workbook could teach the gospel, the Bible, Christian living, and church life—the main components of a good discipleship curriculum.
Scot had barely hit send on the message when I was already typing back, “Yes!”
Parakeet and Differents were the first two of Scot’s books I had read, and they’re part of what led me to seminary. So I was glad to get the chance to work with these books, that had so powerfully impacted my life as a disciple of Jesus, to now influence others on their own journeys.
Following King Jesus offers 24 lessons in a workbook format. Each lesson has a section for personal study and a section for a small group experience. The lessons begin with a short reading from one of Scot’s books, followed by reflection questions on the reading, a personal Bible study, a prayer time, a way to put the learning into action, and a journaling prompt to process the lesson. In the small group guide, there are questions to discuss the reading and Bible study together, an activity to do as a group, and a suggestion for a creative way to pray for each other. At the end of each lesson is a reminder to rest, a vital part of healthy discipleship.
Our hope is that Following King Jesus, will work well for you wherever you’re at on your discipleship path:
A Christian desiring to explore more deeply what it means to really follow Jesus
A pastor wanting to move your church into more active discipleship
A small group coordinator looking for material that will engage people in both personal study and group discussion
A Sunday school teacher guiding students further into the Bible and church community life
It’s available today from Amazon and other booksellers. Let us know what you think and how you’re using this book.