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Disciple Study Series Program.  A Five (5) Part program that includes "Jesus In The Gospels" study program, currently being offered at Mathews United Methodist Church ...


"Therefore go and make disciples of all nations teaching them to obey everything I have commanded…" - Matthew 28:18-20

66 books written over a period of a thousand years represent the beliefs and history from the beginning of time.  Those 66 books were solidified into what we now call the Bible.

Why do we encourage study of the Bible?  As followers of Christ, we study to follow God's guidance and counsel through his word.  However, our real motivation is to encourage those seeking so they may find deeper meaning through study and life application.

The DISCIPLE Bible Study program is designed to develop strong Christian leaders in local churches through the in-depth study of Scripture.  Through DISCIPLE, persons are strengthened in their faith and guided into service and ministry.

A Bible Study Series Aimed At Transformation - Not Just Information

The entire series includes these courses



A thirty-four (34) week study that moves through the biblical story from Creation to the New Jerusalem.   The hoped-for results of the program are to develop biblically nourished persons committed to live as disciples.  Beginning with Genesis and continuing through Revelation, participants will read approximately 80% of the Bible during this life-changing study.  Students have daily assignments in the Bible and study manual and they discuss these assignments in their weekly group meeting.  Each of the thirty-four (34) chapters in the study manual has a theme word and a theme verse that provides a perspective from which to read and think about the Scripture readings of the week.  Come to this study prepared to spend forty-five  minutes to one hour in discipline daily study as you prepare for the ninety minutes to two-hour weekly class meeting.  Come also prepared to dialogue and interact with a group of people who are just like you who are seeking to go “higher up and further in” on their journey of faith.

“Jesus said, ‘If you hold to my teaching, you are really my disciples. Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.” - John 8:31-32

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A thirty-two (32) week study of Genesis-Exodus and Luke-Acts prepared for adult and youth graduates of DISCIPLE I: BECOMING DISCIPLES THROUGH BIBLE STUDY.  This study emphasizes the rhythm of coming to God and going for God, of being in the Word and in the world individually and corporately.   Genesis and Exodus are foundational books of the Bible that cover creation, Noah and the ark, the call of Abraham, the stories of Moses, the Ten Commandments and much more!  The writings of Luke, who wrote both Luke and Acts, cover more of the New Testament than any other single author including Paul.  From the first chapter of Luke through the last chapter of Acts, the Holy Spirit is active in a very powerful way.  These writings are very readable and convey information and an excitement about the early church that are not to be found anywhere else in the Bible.

The emphasis of this 32-week study is both to understand the text (Into the Word) and to allow the text to challenge and inspire the student to respond in practical ways (Into the World).  In addition to the Bible study, each lesson identifies one spiritual discipline to experience during the week.


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A thirty-two (32) week study of The Prophets and The Letters of Paul available to adults who are graduates of DISCIPLE I: BECOMING DISCIPLES THROUGH BIBLE STUDY.  It calls clergy and laity to disciplined Bible study that will result in a ministering community nourished by Scripture.

The Prophets in the Old Testament, from Isaiah to Malachi and the Letters of Paul in the New Testament are the books read in DISCIPLE III.  By studying the prophets and learning of the mistakes made by God’s people in the past, we can hopefully avoid making those same mistakes going forward as the church of Christ.  The writings of Paul are instructional, challenging and thought provoking for the serious Bible student.

“Those who wait for the Lord shall renew their strength, they shall mount up with wings like eagles, they shall run and not be weary, they shall walk and not faint.” - Isaiah 40:31

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A thirty-two (32) week study of Old Testament Writings and the Gospel of John; 1, 2, 3 John; James; Jude and Revelation in the New Testament.  This phase of Disciple is available to adult graduates of DISCIPLE I: BECOMING DISCIPLES THROUGH BIBLE STUDY.  It continues to call clergy and laity to serious, disciplined Bible study that will result in development of biblically nourished servant-leaders.

"Being faithful community, we freely choose to be bound together as the people of God.”  This is an example of one of the “Marks of Faithful Community” from DISCIPLE IV.  As the Writings in the Old Testament (Esther, Nehemiah, Psalms, Proverbs and more!) and the writings of the apostle John in the New Testament are read, students are constantly reminded that life lived in faithful community is the answer to the “Human Condition.” 

“ Let anyone who has an ear listen to what the Spirit is saying to the churches.” - Revelation 3:22

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This 32-week study is written by Dr. Leander Keck and is designed for those who have completed the first four levels of DISCIPLE Bible Study.  Each Gospel has it distinctive way of portraying the mission and message of Jesus and this study is designed to help readers listen more attentively to each witness.  


At first glance, the title of this study JESUS IN THE GOSPELS is obvious: Where else would you find him?  Yet the title is deliberate and accurate.  Instead of looking for Jesus behind the Gospels, we will look at Jesus in the various ways the Gospels present him.

Each Gospel has its own way of portraying Jesus and expressing his significance. So each Gospel deserves to be heard in its own right.  So you might call JESUS IN THE GOSPELS a “hearing aid,” carefully designed to help all readers listen more attentively in order to hear each Gospel story’s witness to Jesus.

The overarching aim, of course, is the same as in previous DISCIPLE studies—to deepen discipleship through better understanding of the biblical texts and their message. JESUS IN THE GOSPELS offers the opportunity to let each Gospel’s Jesus story challenge us in its own way. The Gospels were, after all, written to let Jesus and his significance come through. So by our listening to them, Jesus may well find us.

—Leander E. Keck
Writer of JESUS IN THE GOSPELS Study Manual


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Study of Jesus in the Gospels keeps the work of ministry aligned with Jesus’ mission and message.

IMAGINE . . . congregations equipped for ministry by a deeper understanding of the Jesus who heals the sick, feeds the hungry, brings light to the blind, forgives the sinner, and welcomes the outcast.

IMAGINE . . . congregations challenged in their discipleship by the Jesus who emerges from the distinctive narratives of all four of the Gospels.

IMAGINE . . . congregations gathered for worship week after week, with a clearer understanding of the Gospel readings proclaiming Jesus’ life and ministry, his teaching and deeds of power, his death and resurrection.

JESUS IN THE GOSPELS, the first study in the DISCIPLE Second Generation Studies line, carries forward the philosophy and the ideals that shape DISCIPLE — high commitment, long-term, disciplined study.



This study concentrates on the portraits of Jesus that emerge from the four Gospels. This thirty-week study is intended for graduates of DISCIPLE: BECOMING DISCIPLES THROUGH BIBLE STUDY.  Training is required for this next generation of Bible study.  It takes critical scholarship seriously and therefore requires of participants skill in comparing and analyzing various Gospel passages, and biblical knowledge that enables them to place particular New Testament passages about Jesus in their Old Testament context.

As a cornerstone provides stability for a structure, so this study fixes participants firmly in the witness of the four Gospels and holds them accountable to the Jesus who emerges from it.

“When the men came to Jesus, they said, ‘Are you the one who was to come, or should we expect someone else?” - Luke 7:20

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The goal of CHRISTIAN BELIEVER is to make available to people the substance of the Christian faith that the church has confessed as a way of connecting to God and living faithfully.  It is a thirty-week study with daily preparation and weekly two to two and one-half hour group sessions. The course integrates Bible study and study of the basic beliefs of the Christian faith.

The DISCIPLE Bible Study program can:
  Deepen Faith
  Vitalize Worship
  Activate Leadership 
  Encourage Stewardship
  Create Fellowship 
  Increase Membership
  Transform Lives
"If you make my word your home you will indeed be my disciples." - John 8:31 

For more information e-mail Mathews United Methodist Church or call the church office at 227 - 2963.

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Last Revised On 25 October 2008