Joshua 23 Study Guide

Continuing our “Taking Ground” series, this past weekend Pastor Doug explored Joshua 23, where we saw Joshua deliver his farewell address to the people of Israel. In this message, we discovered the importance of investing in and discipling the next generation, as well as the dangers of dropping the baton like Joshua did by failing to train up a successor as Moses did with him.

Watch the video below to see a few highlights from the teaching and share it with your friends via social media. To watch the message in its entirety, click here.

For the Note Takers

Here at Calvary, we want to be a church that passes the baton . . .

Who’s next? Every leader is an interim leader, there for a season until the Lord calls them out or calls them home. At one point, we all received a baton, and at some point, we will all have to let it go. The question each of us has to wrestle with is, “Will I pass the baton or drop it?” As disciples and disciple makers, as leaders holding the baton, we need to find someone to invest in, disciple, and prepare as Moses did with Joshua.

Every generation has a choice . . . Will we develop the Joshua generation to come up behind us and do even greater things than we did or will we fail in our responsibility to develop the next generation and see the Judges generation who “knew neither the Lord nor what he had done” to follow us? The fact is you can take ground and not keep it. The Israelites took ground in Joshua’s generation and lost most of it in the Judges generation.

How are you protecting what you’ve fought for? If you don’t develop the people behind you, the ground you took will be taken back once you move on. If you’re not preparing the future leaders to continue the legacy of the gospel that was entrusted to you, if you’re not discipling and training someone (or a group of people) to take the baton and go, then it doesn’t matter if you’re as faithful and successful as Joshua in our time . . . your’re still running the risk of seeing all the ground you took get lost by those who follow you. In the end, it’s all about the people you develop, not the ground you take.

What’s your legacy? What are you passing on? To whom? Jesus left no buildings or money, just a clear mission and 11 equipped and empower disciples who were filled with the Holy Spirit! He poured so much into them, He prepared them to take the baton and run with it after His work was done. His three years of ministry with them, teaching them and equipping them, allowed Him to say, “Very truly I tell you, whoever believes in me will do the works I have been doing, and they will do even greater things than these” (John 14:12–14 NIV). His formula was simple . . .

I do . . . you watch . . . we talk.
I do . . . you help . . . we talk.
You do . . . I help . . . we talk.
You do . . . I watch . . . we talk.
You do . . . someone else watches.

Quote to Remember: The fact is you can take ground and not keep it.—Doug Sauder


As you think about this weekend’s teaching, here are a few questions to reflect on and consider on your own, with your family, or in your group.

1. Who are you currently discipling to carry the baton after you? How are you training them?

2. How have you seen this passing of the baton done well? How have you seen it fail? What were some of the key differences in those situations?

3. Why was Jesus’ model for discipleship so effective?

4. What will it take for your leadership to impact a third and fourth generation?


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Join us on Wednesday as Pastor Duane Roberts from our Boynton Beach campus dives deeper into the importance of mentoring and discipleship for the health and growth of the Church.

Then on the weekend, we’ll close out our series through the Book of Joshua as Pastor Doug shares from Joshua 24. As we take communion and prepare to embark on our 21-day fasting journey, we’ll have the chance to explore Joshua’s final words and see ourselves reflected in them.

About the Author

Danny Saavedra

Danny Saavedra is a licensed minister who has served on staff at Calvary since 2012, managing the Calvary Devotional and digital discipleship resources. He has a Master of Arts in Pastoral Counseling and Master of Divinity in Pastoral Ministry from Liberty Theological Seminary. His wife Stephanie, son Jude, and daughter Zoe share a love of Star Wars, good food, having friends over for dinner, and studying the Word together as a family.