Join us this Sunday! In-Person 9:00am & 10:45am, Online 9:00am, 10:45am & 5:00pm

Join us this Sunday! In-Person 9:00am & 10:45am, Online 9:00am, 10:45am & 5:00pm

Join us at the next Sunday worship service:
9:00am & 10:45am,
Online 9:00am, 10:45am & 5:00pm




Religion says, change and you can join us. Jesus says, join us and you will change. There’s a huge difference. Jesus doesn’t expect you to be perfect. He wants you to follow Him. Being a sinner doesn’t disqualify you from following Him. Being an unbeliever doesn’t disqualify you from following Him. Following almost always begins with a sinner taking one small step.

Something To Talk About:

The question isn’t where you are on some continuum of spiritual maturity. The question is, Are you following Jesus? That doesn’t mean radical change all at once. It means taking the next step.  Consider the following four steps:

  1. Gather information: It seems strange that the disciples would drop everything and follow Jesus. No questions asked; they just left. They didn’t help their father bring in the boat or finish the day of work or anything…they left immediately. Why? In hindsight we can say, “well it was Jesus, of course they would follow him.” But while Jesus was well known at this point, He may have been considered just another rabbi and probably wasn’t considered the son of God by these people. So what caused them to drop everything and leave? Following Jesus begins with information, learning, and listening before leaving your world behind. To follow Jesus, we need to learn to listen to His voice. Faith is built around content and getting your questions answered. Luke tells us that the boats pulled up to the shore, and the disciples left everything and followed Him. The way it’s written makes it seem like, at that moment, James, John, and Simon just abandoned all their stuff and walked off into the horizon with Jesus. But it’s more likely that Luke is telling us that this moment made the men decide to follow Jesus.
  2. Inconvenience: Peter and Andrew were small businessmen. They ran their family business and had to work long hours to make ends meet. But this all changed one day when Jesus came along and asked them to follow me. There must have been a moment of dilemma for these fishermen. “Now?” Perhaps they wondered, “It’s hardly a good time now!” But follow they did. Following Jesus is to live a life of inconvenience. It does seem that Jesus often – if not usually – interrupts a person’s life when it is most inconvenient.  It can be inconvenient to walk through life with Jesus.  There is a cost to following Jesus, and that cost is often convenience.
  3. A different approach: After teaching, Jesus turns to Simon and tells the fisherman to put down his nets for a catch. Simon has already been very accommodating. He was trying to clean his nets of all the debris they had picked up after working all night when Jesus showed up and commandeered his boat. Now He wants Simon to drop his nets again? It’s already been a long, fruitless night. Simon complains a little but ultimately does what Jesus asks. When they drop the nets, they’re filled with so many fish that they begin to break. The fact that the nets start breaking helps demonstrate how big of a haul this was. Luke then hammers home just how big of a catch this was by telling us that Simon had to signal to his partners James and John to bring the other boat to help them gather these fish. Ultimately, both boats struggled under the weight of all these fish, nearly sinking. They follow Jesus as an act of faith. Religious feelings may accompany our life of faith, and religious thoughts may bring us closer to the world of faith, but to be able to get to know God, step by step, in his majesty and glory, it is necessary to act in faith, which sometimes takes a different approach.
  4. Surrender: The disciples were also great examples of living a surrendered life. They gave up everything to follow Jesus. They left their families (Luke 9:59-62), their homes (Luke 9:58), and their jobs (Matthew 4:18-22). In Mark 10:28, Peter said “We’ve given up everything to follow you.” These disciples gave their lives to God – not only when Jesus was with them, but after He returned to His Father. That is what true surrender looks like. As we surrender to the Lord, our giving up is replaced by His lifting us up: “So humble yourselves under the mighty power of God, and at the right time he will lift you up in honor. Give all your worries and cares to God, for he cares about you.” (1 Peter 5:6-7).  In surrender, God may—or may not—give us what we want. But when we surrender, He always wants to give us Himself. When we surrender, we always receive what is best: the Lord Jesus.

Discussion Questions:

  1. Talk about one of your favorite bosses, coaches, or teachers. What made it easy for you to follow that person?
  2. What does it mean to you to follow Jesus?
  3. Talk about a major goal you’ve achieved in your life. When you first set that goal for yourself, did it feel unachievable? How did you go about pursuing it?
  4. What risks do you associate with following Jesus? How do those risks cause you to hesitate?
  5. In the message, Marty discussed four stages of following Jesus: listening and learning, taking a small, inconvenient step, allowing Jesus to do something unusual in one area of your life, and surrendering all aspects of your life to him. Which stage best describes where you are right now?
  6. Why is it important to gather information?
  7. Why is it inconvenient to follow Jesus?
  8. When is it wise to try a different approach?
  9. When or where are you most surrendered? What needs to be surrendered?  
  10. Based on where you are right now, what is your next step in following Jesus?
  11. What can this group do to support you? What is one thing you can do this week to begin to follow Jesus or to follow him more closely?
  12. What was your main takeaway from this week’s message?

Take One Thing Home with You:

How do I apply this message to my life today? It would be awesome if Jesus physically walked up to me and said, “Follow me.” As children of God and believers in Jesus Christ as the Son of God and His sacrifice that saves us all, we are called to follow Jesus. We are called to follow where He goes and leave all else behind.

It doesn’t mean that God will lead us to quit our jobs, sell our houses, and head out into the mission fields overseas….but He might. It might mean that God has already led us to our mission field and be the light where we work today, where we live, in our own community and neighborhoods. He may be leading us to be like Him with our co-workers, our friends, and our families. We just need to be prepared to follow Him wherever He leads.