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A Disciple's Heart Leader Guide with Downloadable Toolkit: Growing in Love and Grace

A Disciple's Heart Leader Guide with Downloadable Toolkit: Growing in Love and Grace

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A Disciple's Heart Leader Guide with Downloadable Toolkit: Growing in Love and Grace

164 Seiten
1 Stunde
Feb 3, 2015


Discipleship in the Methodist tradition affirms that there is always more work for God to do in the human heart. A Disciple's Heart attempts to reclaim and, in a sense, reinterpret for today John Wesley’s understanding of this transformation of the heart, which he called “Christian perfection,” with the goal of equipping participants to continue to grow into the likeness of God’s love in Christ.

Designed to be used in a small group and, if desired, a congregation-wide emphasis, the Leader Guide equips group facilitators with tips for leading a group plus six ready-to-use session guides. An Online Toolkit of downloadable leader helps, such as sample e-mails, handouts, sermon outlines, images for promotion, and customizable media templates that can be modified for any congregation, are accessible with the purchase of the Leader Guide.
Feb 3, 2015

Über den Autor

Justin LaRosa is a United Methodist Deacon and a licensed clinical social worker. He has served Hyde Park United Methodist Church in Tampa since 2005, first as the Minister of Discipleship and now as the Director/Minister of The Portico, a community gathering space where people come together for conversation, connection, and community change. Justin has co-authored three studies for Abingdon Press: A Disciple’s Path: A Guide for United Methodists; A Disciple’s Heart: Growing in Love and Grace; and Sent: Delivering the Gift of Hope at Christmas. He and his wife Caroline have a daughter, Isabella, and a son, Russell.

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A Disciple's Heart Leader Guide with Downloadable Toolkit - Justin LaRosa




Growing in Love and Grace

Leader Guide

Justin LaRosa


Copyright © 2015 by Abingdon Press

All rights reserved


No part of this work may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying and recording, or by any information storage or retrieval system, except as may be expressly permitted by the 1976 Copyright Act or in writing from the publisher. Requests for permission can be addressed to Permissions, The United Methodist Publishing House, P.O. Box 17890, 2222 Rosa L. Parks Boulevard, Nashville, TN 37228-7890, or e-mailed to

This book is printed on elemental, chlorine-free paper.

ISBN 978-1-63088-259-4

Scripture quotations unless otherwise noted are from the Common English Bible. Copyright © 2011 by the Common English Bible. All rights reserved. Used by permission.

Scripture quotations marked NRSV are taken from the New Revised Standard Version of the Bible, copyright 1989, Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

2015  2016  2017  2018  2019  2020  2021  2022  2023  2024—10 9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1



How to Use This Leader Guide

Helpful Hints for Leaders

Introductory Session: An Overview of A Disciple’s Path

Luke 10:25-28

Session 1: Where Do We Go From Here?

Mark 1:16-20

Session 2: Walking the Way of Salvation

Ephesians 2:1-9

Session 3: By the Power of the Spirit

Acts 1:1-11; John 14:1-21

Session 4: The Company of the Committed

Luke 6:12-16

Session 5: On Fire with Holy Love

2 Timothy 1:1-7

Session 6: All the Way to Heaven

Philippians 3:7-14

Twenty-two Holy Club Questions

List of Weekly Scriptures

Using A Disciple’s Heart in a Church-wide Initiative

Leader Toolkit Contents




A Disciple’s Heart continues the journey we began in our previous study, A Disciple’s Path, by providing a framework for ongoing growth in discipleship in the Wesleyan tradition. It builds upon two assumptions: a disciple is a follower of Jesus whose life is centering on loving God and loving others, and discipleship is an ongoing process of heart transformation. This transformation of the heart—called Christian perfection or sanctification—happens as the love of God that came among us in Jesus takes up residence in us, enabling us to become agents of God’s transforming love at work in the world. Together your group will dive into Wesleyan theology, engage key discipleship questions, and explore ongoing actions for further spiritual growth.

Acknowledging that group members will be at different places on the spiritual journey, A Disciple’s Heart provides a six-week experience in which all have the opportunity to respond to Jesus’ invitation to follow him on the road of discipleship as they engage in spiritual disciplines or practices that foster growth. Each week participants will practice one or more of these spiritual disciplines in Christian community with other disciples who are walking the same path. (Note: If group members have not experienced A Disciple’s Path prior to this study, you may want to hold an introductory session that highlights the way in which we grow as disciples in the Wesleyan tradition, extending the study to seven weeks. See pages 15–26 for the Introductory Session outline.)

The following components are provided for your journey together:

Daily Workbook: Five daily readings with reflection questions, meditative prayer practices, and suggestions for action for each week of study. This material is to be completed by participants prior to each weekly group session and becomes the basis of discussion, sharing, and accountability in the group experience.

Companion Reader: Biblical, historical, and practical insights on each week’s theme from a distinctively Wesleyan perspective. Participants are encouraged to read the corresponding chapter in the Companion Reader before the group session to enrich and deepen their understanding of each week’s topic.

Leader Guide with Downloadable Leader Toolkit: Complete session outlines for each week of study, plus other leader helps. The downloadable Leader Toolkit includes tools for facilitating a group or congregation-wide initiative, including art, sample e-mails, handouts, PowerPoints, sermon and worship helps, and more. Download from (also available on a flash drive included in the Leader Kit.)

You can use these components to lead a study in an ongoing or new class or small group, or to conduct a church-wide initiative (see the tips on pages 89–93). However you use the resources, be sure to have copies of the Daily Workbook and the Companion Reader available for participants prior to Session 1. If you plan to hold an Introductory Session, distribute the books at that time, or make them available for participants to pick up at a designated place and time prior to Session 1.

An Overview

As group leader, your role will be to facilitate the group sessions. (Note: Ideal group size is from eight to twelve participants.) All groups are different in composition. Some group members have followed Christ since they were children, while others may be brand-new followers who have had very little experience with Christ or the church. Most of the group members will have made a profession of faith, but some may be exploring and may not have made this commitment. No matter where your group members begin, we believe that every follower of Jesus is involved in an ongoing process of transformation.

Below is an outline of two format options for structuring your group time. You may wish to follow one of the proposed formats, or you may choose to adapt them to meet your unique needs. The times listed are estimates and can be altered according to the flow and pace of your group. (Note: The Introductory Session, which is 60 minutes, follows a slightly different format—see pages 15–26. If you choose not to have an Introductory Session, you will need to allow an additional five minutes for Session 1 in order to include introductions—for a total of either 65 or 95 minutes.)

The more prepared you are as the leader, the better the experience will be for the group. You may want to consider enlisting the help of a coleader. Sharing the planning, preparation, and facilitation of the session can enrich the experience for both you and the group.

Familiarizing yourself with the various elements of the session format or plan will help you to design the flow for your group sessions. Let’s walk through the elements of the group session together.


This section provides instructions for planning and preparing for the group session. Prior to the session, read the five daily readings and complete the activities in the Daily Workbook. You also will find it helpful to read the corresponding chapter in the Companion Reader, highlighting the things that impact you. Review the session outline, make copies of any handouts included in the Leader Toolkit, and follow any other suggested preparation steps.

Welcome / Objectives

Each week have group members sign in and pick up a name tag. The first time you have folks sign in, ask for their names, e-mail addresses, and phone numbers so that you can create a group roster (a sign-in sheet is provided in the Leader Toolkit). The following weeks they may simply check their names on the roster to sign in. Even if you have participants sign up online or pre-register for the group in some other way, signing in each week will help you to keep track of attendance so that you may follow up with those who have missed.

After welcoming everyone, say a brief word about confidentiality, which is of paramount importance for this group. Be sure to remind the group each week that what is said in the group stays in the group (with the exception of anything related to harming oneself or others). This is especially true if you are engaging the Holy Club questions.

Next, provide a verbal outline of the objectives for the session (you also might choose to write these on

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