Participants in Disciple IV Under the Tree of Life will recognize the familiar rhythm and requirements of daily Scripture reading and note taking in preparation for the discussion in the weekly group meeting. The study manual guides daily study of the biblical text and calls for written responses that become grist for discussion in the weekly group meeting.
Two new elements in the study manual format represent special emphases in this study – the Psalm of the week and the radical disciple. The Psalm of the week will lead people into a deeper life of prayer using Psalms as a guide. It is to be prayed aloud both daily and weekly in the study group session. Study manual suggestions on experiencing the Psalm of the week pay attention to feelings as well as words.
The radical disciple focuses on thoughts or actions relevant to the weekly theme. Whether praying or taking steps toward radical discipleship, participants know they are not alone – the community is there.
Each member of the group needs a study manual and a Bible. The Bible is the text for the study and the study manual will guide group members in their study and preparation for the weekly group session. The study manual also includes suggestions for individual research and study-related activities. Space is provided for taking notes while reading Scripture, for recording thoughts and questions arising out of daily study, and for notes during the weekly group session.
The titles of the sessions along with theme words and theme verses, and major persons, events, and topics will set the sequence of the biblical story in the minds of the participants. The principal Scripture for each session follows the chronological movement of the biblical story.
Disciple IV Under the Tree of Life is the final study in the four-phase
The study concentrates on Old Testament Writings, the Gospel of John, the Epistles of John, James, Jude, and finally, Revelation. Emphasis on the Psalms as Israel’s hymnbook and prayer book leads naturally to an emphasis on worship in the study. Present through the entire study is the sense of living toward completion – toward the climax of the message and the promise, extravagantly pictured in Revelation. The image of the tree and the color gold emphasize the prod and promise in the Scriptures. The word under in the title is meant to convey invitation, welcome, sheltering, security, and rest – home at last.
Commitment and Time Involved
- 32-week study
- Three and one-half to four hours of independent study each week (40 minutes daily for leaders and 30 minutes daily for group members) in preparation for weekly group meetings.
- Attendance at weekly 2.5 hour meetings.