DCL 5.5 Inspiration | Leading People to the Prodigal God

Outline of Session

  • The Key to Spiritual Renewal
  • Who the Parable of the Prodigal Son is Meant For
  • The Focus of the Parable
  • Truth About the Elder Brother
  • The True Gospel
  • Source of Spiritual Deadness
  • What to Do About Spiritual Deadness
  • How Church Renewal Happens


Conference Session by Tim Keller.

(Try and make space to watch this video in one sitting)



1.  Personal Reflection:  Write down the key insight from this session that you can personally take away.


2.  In the parable of the Prodigal Son, both brothers, younger and elder are alienated from the father, who represents God.

Read the two statements below and spend some time reflecting or journaling your thoughts.

  • Elder brothers obey God to get things – but gospel believers obey to get more of God.
  • I obey therefore I am accepted by God – I am accepted by God through the work of Jesus Christ – therefore I obey. 


3.  At one level we believe the gospel, but persistently our hearts go back to religion – we go back to being elder brothers.  Elder brothers, (and here’s the source of spiritual deadness) believe they’re getting leverage over God.

Elder brothers get angry when their life doesn’t go well

When elder brothers are criticised they either attack back or are demoralised

There is no intimacy in an elder brothers prayer life

Elder brothers have a sense of superiority because of their good works

  • Place a mark next to elder brother behaviours where you find yourself.
  • How does this affect itself in your leadership?  If comfortable, share your answers with your team.


4.  Spiritual renewal begins with you.  We must own the gospel in our hearts.  Then we must lead spiritual renewal in those we lead.  Consider the next step you can take to instill this.


DCL Meditation and Inspiration Media and Notes © Willow Creek Association.
DCL Instruction Media and Notes © EQUIP Million Leaders Mandate Volume 2