While the small group will meet for just seven consecutive weeks, the actually name of what is happening is called "discipleship" and it involves a process that will last well beyond the seven weeks.
Discipleship is the process of becoming a disciple. While there were many disciples of Jesus, people often think of the 12 and were also called "Apostles". However, in the Book of Matthew, just before Jesus ascended into heaven He gave us what is referred to as the "Great Commission". Jesus said,
"All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth. Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age." (Matthew 28:18-20)
There are two important parts in this discipleship process. One is the "teacher" and the other is the "follower". To be a fully devoted follower of Christ, we begin a process of following the teachings of Christ and reading His word so that we begin to know Him.
While many will never take a "What's Next" class or try to formalize the process there are some great tools for those that are fully devoted followers of Jesus Christ and are hungry to grow. One tool that I recently revisited and was pleasantly surprised at how much was available is at www.christiancourses.com
ChristianCourses is a subsidiary of RBC which has a great legacy of offering teaching resources on the radio and in print. The site offers offer free courses in a number of subjects including the Old Testament, New Testament and church history. Most, if not all, of the courses include a video lecture and multiple references and sources for further study.
How are you becoming a disciple? What road are you following?