“Come, Follow Me: A Disciple’s Journey Through Lent” – a five-part sermon series with an accompanying adult discussion guide – offers an opportunity to delve into Christian discipleship by looking at five moments in the ministry of Jesus.
The sermon series and discussion guide – written by a diverse team of clergy from the South Carolina Conference of the United Methodist Church – are designed to be used in tandem. Materials are available for downloading at umcsc.org/comefollowme. Print versions will be available by Jan. 24.
“The writers emphasize how a congregation can grow more into the likeness of Jesus so they can serve others,” said the Rev. Jim Arant, the congregational specialist who helped coordinate the series. “The study guide provides a way for a small group to discuss each sermon topic, and each week, a spiritual discipline is introduced that, if practiced, will enhance the disciple’s journey in the faith.”
The Rev. George Donigian, pastor of Shiloh UMC in Piedmont, served as the primary editor on the project.
“Christian discipleship is a lifelong journey of going wider and deeper,” Rev. Donigian said. “We move wider by our ministry and service. We move deeper by our study and learning.
“This sermon series and discussion guide offer the opportunity to delve into Christian discipleship by looking at significant moments at the beginning of Jesus’ ministry.”
The series provides a sermon and study guide for the first five Sundays of Lent:
Wilderness and Temptations of Jesus (Matthew 4:1-11) – Following the baptism, Jesus went into the wilderness. There he experienced severe temptation concerning his identity. What are the challenges to our identity as Christian followers? How do we face such temptation? Writer: The Rev. Erik Grayson, pastor of Aldersgate UMC in North Charleston.
The Beatitudes, Salt and Light (Matthew 5:1-16) – A crowd gathered to hear Jesus, who gave them a basic understanding of life within God’s kingdom. How are we embracing and living these values of God’s kingdom? Writer: The Rev. Zachary Dillard, pastor of St. John UMC and Wesley Chapel UMC, both in Darlington.
Prayer and Attitude (Matthew 6:1-18) – Jesus continues to teach about the Kingdom of God and different facets of discipleship. How are we engaged in the work of introspection, prayer, and fasting? Writer: The Rev. Emily Scales Sutton, pastor of Bethel UMC in Rock Hill and Philadelphia UMC in York.
Healing, Exorcism, Service, Following (Matthew 8:14-27) – Jesus and his disciples engage in hands-on ministry. What is our ministry? How are we following Christ in ministry and mission? Writer: The Rev. Dr. Robin Dease, superintendent of the Hartsville District.
The team intentionally did not include a sermon for Palm/Passion Sunday because of the many different congregational traditions on that day – knowing that a local church’s traditions also guide the formation of disciples.
The Lenten series follows the initial “Come, Follow Me” sermon series/study guide, released in 2018, which centered on stages of growth in Simon Peter and offers an opportunity to delve into Christian discipleship. Materials for that series also are available at umcsc.org/comefollowme.
To request print versions, email Rev. Arant at firstname.lastname@example.org.