Head-Heart-Hands | Foundation

Conforming to Jesus

(Becoming Like Jesus)

Conforming to Christ means imitating him in our thoughts, attitudes, and actions as we surrender to him and obey him.

Conform:​​ to act in accordance with an example; to show obedience; to become the same in form.

Followers of Jesus are called to conform to his teaching (by obeying him) and to his example (by imitating him). Conforming flows out of abiding. The more we abide in Jesus, the more we will conform to him and the more God will transform us into new people.

Look at the Head-Heart-Hands model and you’ll see that the center core includes love, trust, surrender, and obedience. Remember that abiding overlaps with love and trust. As we spend time with Jesus, we love and trust him more and more.

Conforming overlaps with surrender and obedience. When we begin following Jesus as Lord, we willingly surrender to his authority because he is our faithful King, and we joyfully obey his commands because he is our loving Savior. As we begin to willingly conform ourselves to Jesus Christ, his Holy Spirit transforms us into new people who become more and more Christlike in their thoughts, attitudes, and actions. That’s where we get our simple definition of discipleship: becoming more like Jesus.

The process of becoming more like Jesus is slow work. It’s not flashy. It won’t gain you fame or fortune. It is humbling because it means putting Jesus first instead of ourselves. It can be difficult because it means living differently than the world does.

But it’s so worth it because it leads to deeper life with Christ, the kind of life we were created and designed for.

Today’s world is full of influencers whose main object is to collect as many followers as possible (people they will never know personally). More followers leads to more recognition, power, and money. More recognition, power, and money leads to more influence. More influence leads to more followers. It’s a never-ending spiral. Followers begin to imitate the influencer, believing it will make them happier, more popular, more attractive, more powerful, more successful, or more something else.

There is only one influencer worth following and imitating. His name is Jesus, and he is Lord, Savior, rescuer, friend, and King. He is worth imitating — every day, all the time, in our thoughts, our attitudes, and our actions.


Begin with a conversation starter,​ then use some of these warm-up questions.

  • What influencers do you follow? Who do you (try to) imitate? How and why?
  • What are some ways you try to influence others?
  • Who have you been influenced by in a good way? In a not-so-good way? How?
  • Many people want to both be a unique individual and also be like someone they admire or follow. Why do you think that is?
  • Jesus was fully human but also fully divine (God), so are there things about him we can’t imitate? What are some of those things?
  • Think of the stories you already know about Jesus. What are some specific things about him that his followers can imitate?
  • Think of someone you know who lives a “Christlike” life. Describe something about them that is Christlike.

Read & Reflect

Read John 15:1-17. Choose a few of these questions to talk about.

  • Copy verses 9-12. Talk about something you noticed after writing those out.
  • What are the two specific ways Jesus says we should imitate him?
  • What do you think it means to live an obedient life?
  • When is it hardest for you to obey Christ?
  • What do you think it means to be a loving person?
  • When do you struggle to love others? Why?
  • How can you conform your thoughts (head) to Jesus?
  • How can you conform your attitudes (heart) to Jesus?
  • How can you conform your actions (hands) to Jesus?
  • Read some of the extra verses below out loud together. What catches your attention? What is God saying to you through these verses?

Some Ideas About How to Begin Conforming to Jesus

  • As you read your Bible and listen to people teach about Jesus, write down the things Jesus said and did. What’s one way you could begin conforming to Christ by obeying his teaching or imitating his attitudes or actions?
  • Pray: ask God to help you become the person he created you to be. Invite the Holy Spirit to give you the desire and power to conform to Jesus' teaching and example.
  • Ask another follower of Jesus to pray with you about this and to check in with you to see how things are going.


Student Card

Capernaum Version

More verses about how to begin conforming to Jesus

“I have given you an example to follow. Do as I have done​ to you.” (John 13:15)

For God knew his people in advance, and he chose them to become like his Son, so that his Son would be the firstborn among many brothers and sisters. (Romans 8:29)

Don’t copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person​ by changing the way you think. Then you will learn to know God’s will for you, which is good and pleasing and perfect. (Romans 12:2)

So all of us who have had that veil removed can see and reflect the glory of the Lord. And the Lord—who is the Spirit—makes us more and more like him​ as we are changed into his glorious image. (2 Corinthians 3:18)

All who have been united with Christ in baptism have put on Christ, like putting on new clothes. (Galatians 3:27)

Throw off your old sinful nature and your former way of life, which is corrupted by lust and deception. Instead, let the Spirit renew your thoughts and attitudes. Put on your new nature,​ created to be like God—truly righteous and holy. (Ephesians 4:22-24)

Imitate God, therefore, in everything you do, because you are his dear children. Live a life filled with love, following the example of Christ. (Ephesians 5:1-2)

You must have the same attitude that Christ Jesus had. (Philippians 2:5)

Put on your new nature, and be renewed as you learn to know your Creator and become like him. (Colossians 3:10)

For God called you to do good, even if it means suffering, just as Christ suffered for you. He is your example, and you must follow in his steps. (1 Peter 2:21)

Remember your leaders who taught you the word of God. Think of all the good that has come from their lives, and follow the example of their faith. (Hebrews 13:7)

But those who obey God’s word truly show how completely they love him. That is how we know we are living in him. Those who say they live in God should live their lives as Jesus did.​ (1 John 2:5-6)

Dear friends, don’t let this bad example influence you. Follow only what is good.​ Remember that those who do good prove that they are God’s children, and those who do evil prove that they do not know God. (3 John 1:11)

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Unless otherwise indicated, all Scripture quotations are taken from the Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright © 1996, 2004, 2007, 2103 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.

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