Activated Disciple Series Part 1: Are You a Fan or a Follower?

Are you a fan or a follower? In this first part of the Activated Disciple retreat, Jeff discusses the difference between being a fan of Jesus and being a follower of Jesus. What does it mean to be a follower and how do we get there?

Snippet from the Show
Fans don’t change the world, but followers do.


The Activated Disciple 40-Day Challenge

Are you looking for real change this Lent? Are you looking for a structured program to guide you through Lent? Jeff Cavins invites you on a powerful journey to become an activated disciple this Lent. Starting February 25th, Jeff will be guiding you in The Activated Disciple 40-day Challenge through weekly podcast episodes throughout Lent.

As Catholics, we often find ourselves going through the motions. We believe our faith but struggle to put it into practice; we are not the activated disciples we are called to be. An activated disciple is someone who strives every moment of every day to imitate Jesus, someone who desires such a close relationship with God that every area of his or her life is transformed. The Activated Disciple 40-Day Challenge will help you become more like Christ as you cultivate the eight characteristics that are the most important in the life of a disciple:

  • Love
  • Forgiveness
  • Humility
  • Patience
  • Selflessness
  • Kindness
  • Attentiveness
  • Contrition

As you reorient your life toward Jesus, you will notice the profound transformation a close relationship with him brings. The Activated Disciple 40-Day Challenge will help you take your faith to the next level. In addition to the study, Jeff will guide listeners through The Activated Disciple journey in a series of podcast episodes from February 25th to April 29th. In these episodes Jeff will teach you:

  • Biblical foundations of Discipleship
  • Daily Disciplines of a Disciple
  • How to Developing your Saint Possy
  • How to Win Souls 

To prepare for this life-changing Lenten journey, purchase your study set of The Activated Disciple 

Use the code ADLENT to get 15% off your purchase

Activate Your Knowledge

We are fortunate to live in a time where there is a wealth of knowledge available to us about so many topics in the faith. There are so many good books, series, videos, and speakers to learn from. However, we cannot simply consume knowledge our entire lives. At a certain point, we must put that knowledge into practice.

Fan vs. Follower

Do you like Jesus or do you love him? If Jesus had a Facebook or Instagram, would you like what he posted each day? Do you like Jesus because of his ideas, or what he says, or how he acts? Well, at a certain point, there must be a decision to either just “like” Jesus or go beyond that to loving him. So, instead of just liking what he does or says, you want to become like him. You want to respond to his call and follow him.

Becoming a Polished Arrow

  • Arrows in the Bible
    • Isaiah 49:2 says, “He made my mouth like a sharp sword, in the shadow of his hand he hid me; he made me a polished arrow in his quiver he hid me away.
  • Process of Arrow-making
    • The Pruning: Cut away the obvious imperfections of a dead branch.
      • Everything on a perfect arrow must be perfectly conformed to the arrowhead. Jesus must be the point of our life.
        1. Romans 12:2 “Do not be conformed to this world but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that you may prove what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.”
        2. Hebrews 12:1 “Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with perseverance the race that is set before us”
        3. 2 Corinthians 3:18 “And we all, with unveiled face, beholding the glory of the Lord, are being changed into his likeness from one degree of glory to another; for this comes from the Lord who is the Spirit.”
        4. 1 John 2:3 “And by this we may be sure that we know him, if we keep his commandments.”
        5. John 3:3 “He must increase, I must decrease
        6. Romans 6:12-14 “Let not sin therefore reign in your mortal bodies, to make you obey their passions. 13 Do not yield your members to sin as instruments of wickedness, but yield yourselves to God as men who have been brought from death to life, and your members to God as instruments of righteousness. 14 For sin will have no dominion over you, since you are not under law but under grace.”
      • This is the process of sanctification
    • The Sanding: The sanding away of the more subtle imperfections that appear small but keep an arrow from hitting its mark.
      • These are the imperfections that might be hidden in our hearts.
      • 2 Corinthians 12:20-20 “For I fear that perhaps I may come and find you not what I wish, and that you may find me not what you wish; that perhaps there may be quarreling, jealousy, anger, selfishness, slander, gossip, conceit, and disorder.
      • 1 Peter 2:1 “So put away all malice and all guile and insincerity and envy and all slander.
      • Sin causes one to “miss the mark”
        1. Torah comes from the Hebrew word yarah, which is an archer’s term for instruction that leads one to hit the mark
        2. The Hebrew word for sin means to “miss the mark”
        3. God’s word leads us to hit the mark, while sin causes us to miss the mark
    • The Fletching: The placing of feathers on the side of the arrow that stabilize it in flight by giving it balance
      • The feathers are from one side of the bird or the other for consistency’s sake
      • We need to be all or nothing for Christ
      • John 14:25 —Jesus told us that he would give us someone to help guide us
      • John 16:13 —When the Spirit of truth comes…
      • Ezekiel 36:26 “A new heart I will give you…”
    • The Cresting: The marking of an arrow in order to identify to whom the arrow belongs
      • Do people look at you and know that you belong to Jesus Christ?
      • John 13:35 “By this all men will know that you are my disciples: if you have love for one another.”
      • Exodus 21 — master and slave relationship denoted by a slave’s earring
      • Galatians 6:17 “Henceforth let no man trouble me; for I bear on my body the marks of Jesus.”
  • The Mark of a Good Arrow
    • Jeremiah 50:9 “For behold, I am stirring up and bringing against Babylon a company of great nations, from the north country; and they shall array themselves against her; from there she shall be taken. Their arrows are like a skilled warrior who does not return empty-handed.
    • An arrow cannot make itself
    • It has a notch (a space at the end of the arrow so it can be placed on the bow by the archer)
    • A good arrow speaks of balance
      • If the arrow goes to the left, the arrow is not flexible enough—we have to be flexible in the hands of the Lord
      • If the arrow goes to the right, the arrow is too flexible
      • It bears good fruit—it hits the target intended by the archer
      • It is resting in the archer’s quiver—we need to rest in the Lord so that we are always ready to be used by him at any given moment
      • The most important thing (38:00)—Can the arrow withstand the power transferred to it by the archer?

Meditation Questions

1. Take some time this week and meditate on your relationship with the Lord. If you could follow Jesus as a disciple, what would you imagine that would look like?

2. Think about your relationship with the Lord. If someone were to follow you around for a week, would they conclude that you were a disciple of the Lord or someone who was interested in Him?

3. What obstacles do you see in your life that hinder you from living a life with Jesus that deep down inside you dream of? Think in terms of relationships, time, or weaknesses you perceive you have.


Ascension is pleased to offer our new and improved online bible study programs and sacramental preparation programs digitally to help you minister with flexibility. Go to to view all our offerings.

Meet Your Host: Jeff Cavins

Jeff Cavins is passionate about helping people understand Scripture and become disciples of Jesus Christ. Though he was born Catholic, Jeff went to Bible school and served as a protestant minister for twelve years before reverting to the Catholic Faith. Jeff then received his MA in Theology from Franciscan University of Steubenville. Since then, he has become a leading Catholic evangelist and author.

Jeff created The Bible Timeline learning system, which revolutionized Catholic Bible Study for millions of Catholics. Since its introduction, Jeff has developed The Great Adventure series of Bible studies to help people better understand Sacred Scripture and its meaning for their lives. 


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