Disciplemaking - Lesson 1

Introduction to Disciplemaking

In Introduction to Disciplemaking, Mary Jo Wilson and Joe Handley introduce themselves as leaders from Asian Access and express their excitement about embarking on a discipleship course with their audience. The course focuses on Jesus, loving him, and following him wholeheartedly, and aims to transform the lives of participants and enhance their relationships with God. Wilson and Handley bring their diverse backgrounds and experiences, including church planting, leadership development, and cross-cultural ministry, to the course and hope to challenge and encourage their audience to deepen their relationship with Christ and serve their ministry contexts better.
Taught by a Team
Taught by a Team
Lesson 1
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Introduction to Disciplemaking

I. Introduction

A. Welcome and Overview

B. Introductions

II. What is Discipleship?

A. Defining Discipleship

B. Characteristics of a Disciple

III. The Call to Discipleship

A. The Great Commission

B. Examples from the Bible

IV. The Process of Discipleship

A. Stages of Discipleship

B. Principles of Discipleship

V. Making Disciples Today

A. Opportunities and Challenges

B. Models and Strategies

VI. Conclusion

A. Key Takeaways

B. Next Steps

  • Mary Jo Wilson and Joe Handley introduce themselves and express their excitement about the upcoming discipleship course, which aims to enhance participants' relationship with God and their work in the world, and encourage them to bring transformative change to their church and ministry.
  • Joe Handley outlines the elements that they will be covered in the Disciplemaking course: what is a disciple, the great commandment, becoming a disciple, being a disciple, fruitfulness, and multiplying disciples.
  • The lesson discusses the approach to discipleship, which is focused on the four gospels and building obedient disciples through the seven obedience; it emphasizes a holistic approach to following Jesus and the informed imagination, and the course will focus on the gospels of John, Matthew, Luke, and Mark.
  • Mary Jo Wilson emphasizes the importance of understanding the role of suffering and persecution in discipleship, as it is a recurring theme in the Gospels and is also a part of the early church experience, and discusses how enduring such hardships can be a formative experience for Christians.
  • The lesson discusses the importance of abiding in Christ as the key to joy in life, bearing fruit in one's life, and becoming a disciple of Jesus through a deep and communal relationship with Him.
  • Discipleship is not a program but a relationship. Abiding in Christ is the key to joy in life and bearing much fruit and is achieved through having a deep communal walk with Jesus and allowing Him to prune us to make us stronger.
  • Mary Jo Wilson discusses the importance of a posture of repentance and dependence on the Holy Spirit in the discipleship process, and highlights the work of the Holy Spirit in convicting of sin, guiding in decision making, and forming believers into Christ.
  • The instructors and students discuss their thoughts and experiences on what it means to be a disciple, including the importance of maintaining a growing relationship with God, the internal aspects of discipleship, abiding in God, the role of inviting God into everyday life, and the significance of pruning.
  • This session discusses the importance of becoming a disciple of Jesus and our identity in Christ, illustrated through the example of churches in Japan becoming centers for relief goods after the 2011 disasters and being seen as representatives of Christ by the community.
  • By taking this lesson, you will gain knowledge and insight into the relationship between the Sermon on the Mount and the Kingdom of God, including the importance of Jesus' teachings in the Sermon on the Mount and how they relate to the mission of the church and the call to discipleship.
  • The lesson discusses the Sermon on the Mount in Matthew 5-7, where Jesus describes the Kingdom of God and how his followers are to live as salt and light in the world, raising the bar on the interpretation of the Old Testament law and calling for inner righteousness, forgiveness, and love for enemies.
  • This lesson reviews the importance of becoming like Jesus and displaying his characteristics, such as humility and generosity, to become authentic Christ-centered people in our communities, and emphasizes the need for communal support to grow in our faith.
  • In this group discussion about discipleship and the Sermon on the Mount, the students and instructors reflect on the Beatitudes and how they challenge and contrast with the values of the world, and discuss how Jesus lifted up marginalized people and called all his followers to be salt and light in the world.
  • In this lesson Mary Jo Wilson and Joe Handley discuss transitioning from becoming a disciple to being a disciple who makes disciples, with a focus on the overflow of abiding in Christ into the lives of others.
  • Mary Jo Wilson discusses the importance of spiritual conversations and how to approach them in our daily lives through the example of Jesus' encounter with the Samaritan woman at the well in John chapter 4.
  • Joe Handley discusses the idea of being a disciple of Jesus and how to share one's story and witness through different tools, including prayer, social media, and engaging with others through layering of interactions.
  • The class discusses the story of Jesus and the Samaritan woman, highlighting how Jesus approached the woman with humility and respect, treating her like a real person and engaging in a conversation with her, despite social and cultural barriers. They also discuss how Jesus challenged his disciples to adopt a Kingdom way that breaks down barriers and recognizes the value and dignity of all people.
  • This session focuses on the importance of reproducibility and sustainability in disciple-making, drawing on examples from the book of Acts and personal anecdotes.
  • Joe Handley discusses the importance of a reproducible culture of discipleship in the Kingdom of God, drawing on the idea of the mustard seed and how small actions can have a big impact, and provides examples of how this can be implemented in different contexts such as micro churches.
  • This lesson provides information on small groups in discipleship, including their definition, anatomy, purpose, characteristics, steps for starting one, the role of the leader, the discipleship process in small groups, and their importance in discipleship in general.
  • Instructors Joe Handley and Mary Jo Wilson discuss with students their visions of the Kingdom of God, with one sharing their goal of sharing their story to help others understand the word of God, while another likens the planting of seeds to the growth of faith, stressing the importance of patience and trust in the process of nurturing them.
  • Joe Handley and Mary Jo Wilson discuss the importance of creating a practical plan for discipleship and ministry, encouraging listeners to reflect on what they've learned, and write a strategic personal plan for following through on their learning.
  • This lesson teaches how to pull together the different sections of a discipleship plan using the model of vision, intent and means, and suggests including a vision, introduction, conclusion and rule of life, while encouraging reflection and sharing with others.
  • Joe Handley discusses the importance of creating a "rule of life" as part of a personal discipleship plan, which helps to balance and organize different areas of life, including spiritual, social, intellectual, and physical aspects.
  • Joe Handley and Mary Jo Wilson close their discipleship course by expressing gratitude for the opportunity to learn and grow together, and offer a prayer of blessing for their students to continue on their lifelong journey as faithful followers of Jesus.

In this class, you will explore the foundations, methods, and models of disciplemaking, drawing from biblical principles, historical perspectives, and theological insights. You will examine the disciplemaking approaches of Jesus and Paul, as well as modern examples and strategies. Additionally, you will learn how to develop a personal disciplemaking plan through the assessment of spiritual gifts and identification of ministry opportunities. Finally, you will delve into disciplemaking in the local church and beyond, including church-based strategies, cross-cultural disciplemaking, and equipping and multiplying disciplemakers.

Joe Handley & Mary Jo Wilson
Introduction to Disciplemaking
Lesson Transcript

Mary Jo Wilson [00:00:07] Welcome. We're excited to have you with us in this discipleship course. It's quite a journey. And of course, being about discipleship, this is really about Jesus and loving him and following him with all our hearts. And so I'm excited that you have this interest and hunger and that we're allowed to journey with you in this. So a little bit about myself. My name is Mary Jo Wilson, and I'm vice president for missional engagement with Asian Access. I've been with Asian access quite a while, and my background is in church planting and leading church planting networks in Japan. And so I've been blessed to have ministry in another language. And that will also bring a bit of that intercultural cross-cultural view to the to the program. And I've also invested in developing leaders in Asia. And I love, I'm especially passionate about, investing in younger leaders and seeing how God is working in them and just how those younger leaders can serve in ways that are exciting and just expansive and way more than I can do. So I love doing that and we're really excited to be sharing with you about discipleship, and I'll let Joe introduce himself and tell you more.

Joe Handley [00:01:24] Yeah, we're really thrilled to be with you throughout this course. The next few days. It's going to be fun. We're going to learn together. We're going to talk about what our lives are like growing in Jesus. That's what discipleship, in essence, is all about, and I think you're going to enjoy it. It's going to be a privilege to work together with Mary Jo. Again, my name is Joe Handley. I have the privilege of serving as the president of Asian Access. We work together there. My background in history is I grew up in churches in the Southern California area, all sorts of different types of churches. And so bring some of that discipleship flavor to this course together. In addition, I worked at a Christian university for a while and then a local church as a pastor, so some of that flavor will come in as well. And then, of course, the last 13 years we've had the privilege of working together with Asian access, working with leaders all over the eastern half of Asia. And what a joy that's been for us. I think, at least for me, I have learned so much from brothers and sisters in countries like India or Japan, and we want to bring that into this course. And so I think you're going to enjoy that. So I'm really excited to work with you. Mary Jo. There's going to be a lot of fun the next few days.

Mary Jo Wilson [00:02:47] Yeah, I'm very excited and we love that holistic approach and you'll hear different voices and we really want to challenge you. There will be some things you're just drawn to, other things that will be stimulating in new ways, and we hope to just encourage you. And also, this isn't an academic exercise. It's really something that we hope you'll bring in and it'll be transformative and will enhance your relationship with God and your work in the world, your formation and even your church. And so we love it if you're doing it in small groups. And so we just hope that this will bless you and bless the church and really see it expanding.

Joe Handley [00:03:28] We're thrilled with this opportunity to be with you these next few days. I pray you will do a deep dive and really go significant moves with Christ in your life. And then think about that for the context of ministry that you serve. I think together we're going to learn a lot and it's going to be a lot of fun. So dive in with us. Let's journey together.