Path of the Disciple
Hymn and Praise Singing
"Sing to the Lord No Threadbare Song” CCS 111
"Now Sing to Our God" CCS 108
Call to Worship: Micah 6:8, adapted Congregational Shout
Explain that this is not a responsive reading but a responsive shout. Ask the congregation to shout each phrase after you. Then ask the right side to question and the left side to answer. Repeat, switching sides.
What does God want you to do?
To seek justice,
to love kindness,
to walk humbly with God.
Welcome and Announcements
Congregational Song: "Take the Path of the Disciple" CCS 558
OR "We Are Companions on the Journey" CCS 552
Consider using a violin response, a drum response, or a children’s choir singing "Where He Leads Me, I Will Follow."
Scripture Drama: Matthew 4:18–23 (see below)
Ministry of Music: "Tú Has Venido a la Orilla" ("Lord, You Have Come to the Lakeshore")
This hymn is found in both Spanish and English in the United Methodist Hymnal, #344, (Nashville: The United Methodist Publishing House, 1989.) If possible, have the hymn sung in both languages.
Sharing along the Path
Give each participant a footprint with a number between one and six on the toe and a number between one and six on the heel. Ask congregants to find someone with the same toe number they have, and share with them one blessing God has given them. Allow five minutes for sharing. Then ask congregants to find someone with the same heel number they have, and share with them one thing they think God calls them to do in following the path of the disciple. Allow another five minutes for sharing. Then invite the congregation to sit down once again.
Hymn: “Christ Has Changed the World’s Direction” CCS 356
OR “Community of Christ” CCS 354
Disciples Generous Response
Blessing and Receiving of Mission Tithes
Ask for four volunteers to come forward and call off the number on the heel of their footprint. As each number is called, ask for a volunteer whose toe number matches to come and connect by holding hands. Then call the new heel numbers, and ask for matching toe numbers to connect. Make several links in a chain in this way. Then invite the remaining congregation to stand and join the human chains being formed as an expression of community connection and support as we journey the path of discipleship together. With hands joined, sing the closing song.
Closing Hymn: "I Have Decided to Follow Jesus"-Campfire Song
1. I have decided to follow Jesus, (three times)
No turning back, no turning back.
2. Though none go with me, still I will follow (three times)
No turning back, no turning back.
3. I have decided to follow Jesus (three times)
No turning back, no turning back.
Scripture Drama: Matthew 4:18-23
In this impromptu drama, only the story-teller and the prompter do advance preparation. Both should become familiar with the lesson and plan ahead how to adapt the following script and suggestions to the local worship setting. You will need a space for movement, six chairs, and some blue or green crepe paper streamers that can be moved gently for waves on the Sea of Galilee. Other props, such as nets, are optional. All actors are chosen from the congregation during the worship service, just prior to the scripture drama. Consequently, they will primarily be pantomiming action and repeating set phrases during the drama. Ask for volunteers to help act out the Gospel story for today. Read the following descriptions of the people involved in the drama and recruit the characters. Choose individuals from a variety of generations and genders, regardless of the age and gender being portrayed:
- Fisherman Simon Peter: a strong, impulsive leader-type
- Fisherman Andrew: a friend to all and brother to Simon Peter
- Fisherman James: ambitious and smart, argues a lot with his brother John
- Fisherman John: tender-hearted and giving, argues a lot with James
- Zebedee: father to James and John. He calls his boys the "Sons of Thunder"
- Zebedee’s hired helper: Zebedee is rich enough to hire helpers
- Jesus: has just settled in Capernaum near the Sea of Galilee after being away in Judea for a while
- Four people to gently move the ends of long crepe paper streamers to represent calm waves on the Sea of Galilee
Set the stage by designating where the shore ends and the Sea of Galilee begins, the location of Simon Peter’s boat (with two chairs for Simon and Andrew), and the location of Zebedee’s boat (with four chairs for Zebedee, James, John, and Zebedee’s hired helper). Jesus will be coming from Capernaum, so point to where Capernaum is in the distance, and ask Jesus to enter from that direction, walking along the lakeshore.
Storyteller: One day, Jesus was walking along the shore of the Sea of Galilee. (Encourage Jesus to begin walking, if he has not done so. Wave-makers should gently move the streamers to simulate water.) In the distance he saw a boat and two fishermen: Simon Peter and Andrew. They were out in a boat fishing, throwing nets into the water, and hauling them up to see what they had caught.
(Simon and Andrew should pantomime throwing nets and hauling them in.)
Jesus stopped and called to them, "Hello!" (Jesus repeats after storyteller)
The fisherman shouted back, "Hello!" (repeated by fishermen)
Jesus called, "What are you doing?" (repeated by Jesus)
Simon Peter and Andrew called back, "We’re catching fish!" (repeated)
Jesus said, "Come follow me . . . (repeated) and I will help you fish for people!" (repeated)
The two fishermen thought that sounded funny, so Simon Peter yelled back, "No! Are you crazy?" (repeated)
And Andrew said, "We’re too busy!" (repeated)
Prompter: No! Stop! That’s not the way it goes.
Prompter: That isn’t the way it happened. Simon Peter and Andrew looked at each other and immediately decided to follow Jesus. They dropped their nets and rowed to shore. That’s right, bring the boat on in. (Instruct the "waves" to quiet down so the fishermen can get to shore.)
Storyteller: You’re sure that’s how it goes?
Prompter: Absolutely. Trust me. The two brothers just dropped everything and followed Jesus. Okay, you two get behind Jesus now. That’s right. And follow him. Okay, continue.
Storyteller: All right, if you say so.
Jesus walked on and the two brothers followed behind him. Then Jesus saw James and John in their father Zebedee’s boat, with a helper. The boat was on the shore, and they were all mending their nets which had gotten ripped by struggling fish.
Jesus stopped and called to them, "Hello!" (repeated)
The fishermen shouted back, "Hello!" (repeated)
Jesus called, "What are you doing?" (repeated)
James and John called back, "We’re mending our nets!"(repeated)
Jesus said, "Come follow me . . . (repeated)
and I will help you mend the souls of people!" (repeated)
Prompter: That’s not what he said!
Storyteller: He did, too! He said, "Come, follow me!"
Prompter: But he didn’t say, "I will help you mend the souls of people!"
Storyteller: Well, he could have.
Prompter: Only God can mend the souls of people! Stop changing the story.
Storyteller: Okay, okay.
Jesus said, "Come, follow me!" (repeated)
James said, "I don’t want to!" (repeated)
John said, "Maybe tomorrow!" (repeated)
Zebedee said, "Who’s going to do all the work around here if you boys leave?"(repeated)
Prompter: Wait, stop, start over! That’s not the way it was!
Storyteller: How do you know?
Prompter: Because I’ve read the Bible, and that’s not what it says. James and John dropped their nets and followed Jesus.
Storyteller: Just like that?
Prompter: Just like that.
Storyteller: Well, okay.
James and John, you better get behind Jesus and follow him, too.
So what happened next?
Prompter: Being called is only the beginning of the story. Jesus taught them to love others and be his disciples. A disciple is a learner. They had to learn a lot from Jesus, about accepting others and helping them. (Turn to the actors, ask them the following questions and allow them to respond.) Why do you think the fishermen left their boats and nets and followed Jesus? (Actors respond.) How can you be a follower of Jesus and help others? (Actors respond.) Jesus was only one person. He called others to help him spread the good news of God’s love. First there were twelve, then more and more as they shared with others. Today, watch how quickly the good news can spread. I’m going to send all the actors back to their seats. I’d like each one to stand by their seat and touch the people within reach around them. As soon as you are touched, stand up, and touch those within reach of you. Watch how quickly the whole congregation stands! Okay, go! (Allow actors to return and watch the congregation rise.) All it takes is for us to share the good news with others, and it can spread into all corners of the world. Follow the path of the disciple. Be one of Jesus’ learners, and share the good news of God’s love.