Luke 13:6–9 (NIV) Then he told this parable: “A man had a fig tree growing in his vineyard, and he went to look for fruit on it but did not find any.  So he said to the man who took care of the vineyard, ‘For three years now I’ve been coming to look for fruit on this fig tree and haven’t found any. Cut it down! Why should it use up the soil?’  “ ‘Sir,’ the man replied, ‘leave it alone for one more year, and I’ll dig around it and fertilize it.  If it bears fruit next year, fine! If not, then cut it down.’ ”

  1. In order to grow, a tree need soil and water and sunshine. What else does it need?
  2. What do we need to grow spiritually? Is time of one the ingredients?
  3. Why is time a necessary ingredient to spiritual growth?
  4. How long does it take to become a disciple?
  5. Are there any shortcuts on the road to discipleship? Are there any ways to microwave the process?
  6. Do you ever get impatient with your growth in Christ? Do you feel you should have made more progress? What to do when we feel like that?
  7. I sometimes get impatient with myself. Do you think God ever gets impatient with us? Does God think we should have made more progress than we have?
  8. Hebrews 5:12 (NIV) “In fact, though by this time you ought to be teachers, you need someone to teach you the elementary truths of God’s word all over again. You need milk, not solid food!” What should time have done for these believers?
  9. What keeps us from making more progress more quickly?
  10. Psalm 1:1–3 (NIV) “Blessed is the one who does not walk in step with the wicked or stand in the way that sinners take or sit in the company of mockers, but whose delight is in the law of the LORD, and who meditates on his law day and night. That person is like a tree planted by streams of water, which yields its fruit in season and whose leaf does not wither— whatever they do prospers.” What do we learn about the time it takes to become a mature disciple from this passage?
  11. Spiritual growth takes time. How does this truth affect the way we relate to fellow believers?
  12. How can we pray for each other?