Disciplemaking - Lesson 13

Group Discussion 2 - Becoming a Disciple

In this Disciplemaking session a group of students and the instructors are discussing the Sermon on the Mount and what it means to be a disciple of Jesus. They discuss the Beatitudes and how they describe characteristics of people who are typically marginalized or pushed to the side. They also talk about how Jesus is telling ordinary, marginalized people that they are the salt of the earth and the light of the world. The students discuss the challenge of comparing the vision of the Kingdom of God to what they experience in the world and how it is important to focus on what is different in the vision rather than what is the same. They encourage each other to embrace their value and importance as disciples of Jesus.
Taught by a Team
Taught by a Team
Lesson 13
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Group Discussion 2 - Becoming a Disciple

I. The Beatitudes

A. Overview of the Beatitudes

B. Analysis of the Beatitudes

C. Implications for becoming a disciple of Jesus

II. Being the Salt and Light of the World

A. Meaning and significance of being salt and light

B. How to be salt and light in the world

1. Being authentic

2. Doing good works

3. Letting your light shine

C. Challenges of being salt and light

III. The Kingdom of God

A. Jesus' vision of the Kingdom of God

B. Contrasting the Kingdom of God with the world

C. Characteristics of the Kingdom of God

IV. Conclusion

  • 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 and Mary Jo Wilson
Group Discussion 2 - Becoming a Disciple
Lesson Transcript

Mary Jo Wilson [00:00:01] How about Maggie? Could I ask you to read for us? The Beatitudes two, verse 12 three, two, 12, three. The 12?

Student 1 [00:00:08] Yeah. Blessed are the poor in spirit. For theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted. Blessed are the meek, for they will inherit the earth. Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled. Blessed are the merciful, for they will receive mercy. Blessed are the pure and heart. For they will see God. Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God. Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness sake, for theirs is the kingdom of Heaven. Blessed are you when people revile you and persecute you and utter all kinds of evil against you falsely on my account, Rejoice and be glad for your reward is great in heaven. For in the same way we persecuted the prophets who were before you.

Mary Jo Wilson [00:01:02] Say thank you and then what you read for us first 13 to 16.

Student 2 [00:01:07] Sure you are the salt of the earth, but if the salt has become tasteless, how will the meat be made salty again? It is good for nothing any more except to be thrown down and trampled underfoot by men. You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden, nor do men light a lamp and put it under the pack measure. But on the lamp stand and it gives light to all who are in the house. Let your light shine before men in such a way that they may see your good works and glorify your Father who is in heaven.

Mary Jo Wilson [00:01:45] Thank you. So in this next section we're really focusing in on as a disciple of Jesus, connected here to the vine, how we are formed in Him, in Christ like this, and how that changes us and is shown to the world. So in the first one in this passage that we read, or you can refer to anything in the Sermon on the Mount, but specific these passages, what about that vision? Because he gives them this is the treatise on the Kingdom of God. What in this vision do you find challenging or you find like hard to manage or something that you are drawn to in this vision for the Kingdom of God? Anything in there? It's all kind of hard. I don't know.

Student 3 [00:02:45] Well, I think I think where I'm starting with this new process of looking at the vision of the Kingdom of God, first I start with what is different here than what I experienced today in the world. Okay. Because we are looking at a vision of something that is unseen. And I compare it to kind of what we experience daily from what we read or what we observe in our lives. All of them are in contrast to what we see today in the world. All of them? And all of them are almost not celebrated today in the world. So when you look at that, what the vision is of the kingdom of God, it's what is the opposite of what we see in the world. Right. And only in certain pockets do we actually experience these things in our lives. Maybe we have a supportive family member who is willing to listen to things that you're going through, and then you experience a little bit of the grace, I guess, that you receive from that, where you're having a really difficult day and you feel really poor. Well, actually, you're not in a bad place because the Beatitudes say that if you're poor in spirit, you will inherit the kingdom. And so I don't know if there challenge I don't feel the challenge of these as much as I feel them as being a relief. Mm hmm. That's. That's kind of how I see it.

Student 2 [00:04:40] But it looks like he's taking characteristics of people that have marginalized or pushed to the side. And they're not as important as me being this great priest or pastor or some important president. And he's taking the lonely people and actually lifting them up. And those who are in that way are actually closer to God than the ones who seem on the outside to be close to God. So he's actually lifting up these human characteristics and turning everything upside down. Really?

Mary Jo Wilson [00:05:19] Exactly. Yeah.

Student 2 [00:05:22] But because man looks on the outward heart, the God looks on the inside. So man looks at our appearance. We can fool each other but we can't fool God.

Student 1 [00:05:37] Actually, that's really interesting because that's hitting harder now, like after what you just said and then not reading the salt like portion. You are the salt of the earth. You are the light of the world. Like Jesus is telling that to people who are very ordinary, like marginalized. And it's like they're probably like, Are you kidding? Are you telling me that I'm a light, I'm a salt? Like, I actually mean something in this world, not just the leaders and the people who have been impressing us. And. Yeah, but like I, I can actually shine. And actually, it's really funny because Matthew 515, it's actually been very meaningful to me and it was one of the verses that kind of really brought me back to God actually, because I always was hiding like, you know, like I knew God had like me this light inside of me, but I was just always constantly trying to hide it and then finally got to kind of push me forward. It's like you need to play. And so I'm like, I don't want to saying, but all right. So just trying to like, you know, be obedient to what he's calling me to do and being a part of different ministries. I was like, okay, I'll be obedient to it. But yeah, it is so weird because like, you know, when I look at me like there's things that I'm shameful about, there's things that I still feel like I'm struggling with and, you know, like I'm not perfect, but I'm also thinking I see so many other people who seem better off than me. It's like they're the ones who should be doing stuff and I'm just going to be in the background. But yet God is wanting those like, you know, he's looking at like you're saying inside, I'm hoping I'm going to like that. You know, he wants me to be out there to shine light just me this little, you know. And, and I know that just really.

Student 2 [00:07:20] That that's what's important, right? Because if you if you then say, well, I'm not as important as Joe or Suzy, you then take your value and you're telling God why you can't use me because I'm not as important. But he's saying, No, you are important. Wake up. I need you now, you know. Yeah.

Student 1 [00:07:45] So and I think that's also really interesting is like, I would imagine, you know, Pharisees like at that time, the priests and the Pharisees are probably like a limited group of numbers of them, whereas you now have like all the people in each of these cities are getting out, gathering around, and Jesus is telling them like, you guys are the ones who are going to shine. How much more bright or the light would shine rather than if it was just the Pharisees, you know, just the duchesses. And so I don't know, I just now, that was so cool. Thank you for having that, because that was like, Whoa.

Student 4 [00:08:18] I'm just inspired with all three of you, what you just said, because just the last couple of days with my accountability group, we are going through this book about rehashing your pain from the past, which is like, did you really want to do it? So I just start feeling like just qualified from, you know, I talk about feeling poor in spirit, but it's like, well, God is not saying you're disqualified. He is saying that, no, you still are salt and light. I still want you. And so that is just like I was praying this morning. I said, Lord, please come to me. Tell me it's okay. And so he did.

Student 2 [00:08:59] Yeah. So.

Mary Jo Wilson [00:09:05] So, yes, anything from the vision here of the Kingdom of God. Look, we can keep going. Jo, do you have anything?

Joe Handley [00:09:13] I just am reminded of Samuel Clemens. Look at the Bible, and he says to himself, It's not the things I don't understand that scare me. It's the things I do understand that terrify me. Right. And as I think of this, I think we all put ourselves in that boat. I'm not qualified. I'm not good enough. And then you get to Matthew seven and it says, you know, not everyone's going to make it. You might be surprised. And yet here, you know, Jesus does look at the lowly. Right. And that last session section we talked about abiding, but we realize it's really not about me. It's about him shining through me. And I think when I look at the Sermon on the Mount, I think that's impossible, Right? When I look at the Beatitudes, that grand visions. Amazing. But I can never be, you know. And so that abiding is where that fruit comes from. Yeah.

Student 3 [00:10:20] You know, in business, you have people who are helping training and coaching people up to become leaders. And one aspect of that is, you know, act it until it becomes true and trying to kind of become someone by kind of, you know, imagining some endpoint and trying to get there and just acting like it until you're there. And maybe there's some aspect of that. That's true. But I think the authenticity of the fact that we're all for and we all mourn is more attractive to me and, you know, might be a better road to a place where we become art, where our identity ultimately is in Jesus. Because if we are trying to fake it till we make it, then our identity is in us trying to get there. Right. So I think that this actually is, like you said, by flipping it, it actually becomes a comfort. Hmm.

Mary Jo Wilson [00:11:27] That's so core, isn't it? Yeah, yeah, yeah. And that dependance and so releasing all those expectations and being. Yeah. So I as you said, you know, I don't feel like I'm there. Yeah. It's like, well, then you're right place. And we go from here because.

Student 3 [00:11:43] I'm sorry. I just want to just follow up by saying it's the default at work. At work. You are expected to be at a certain level of confidence where you do not show don't show weakness. Yeah, these things. But you know, you don't show it necessarily your need. It's not a very professional, you know, the workplace is not your therapy. Yeah. Right. And so you basically pull back from those things where you actually feel like you're out on a boat. Yeah. Without a word. But I think that having a group that is similar to this allows you to kind of connect the dots and say, You know what? It's still okay that you feel these things because they actually are the road to your life. So, yeah. I'm sorry, I cut you off.

Student 4 [00:12:34] Oh, no, that's okay. I just think that, you know, as we're real. Really? Isn't that what is more appealing? That that is what draws people to Christ? Not. Not the perfect looking people. Yeah. Because then. Then when we see that, I think that that actually probably people feel more like I can't measure up.

Mary Jo Wilson [00:12:54] Right. Right.

Student 4 [00:12:54] But as we just are willing to show our brokenness or our grief or whatever, then are then, you know, we can really Christ can shine through us.

Student 2 [00:13:11] Yeah. And no one likes holier than thou people. Yeah. Yeah. Well, you know. Yeah. And so being with them, being the normal person is actually a breath of fresh air, like you're saying. Yeah, I'm okay. And I fit in this group. Yeah.

Mary Jo Wilson [00:13:30] What were you saying?

Student 5 [00:13:32] Being authentic. Yeah. Yeah. To present yourself as you are. Yeah. And then. And observe how it changes everything. So I can't hide my cancer, but being there and presenting it and sharing the gospel and how Jesus changed my life and that tells volumes rather than if I'm putting a vague and projecting as I think has happening in.

Student 2 [00:14:01] Yeah.

Student 1 [00:14:02] I think that's. Even going back to John 15, it's like, you know, there is no need to talk about pruning. But, you know, because we we're starting from a place where we are broken. We all have things that we are dealing with. And so and I actually if you I think it was verse three, it's like Jesus was telling his disciples who had already been cleansed, which means that's our starting point. Like we didn't do anything for ourselves to be at the place to serve. He did something for us. We've been cleansing that, and we're still in that process of pruning. So even as a sultan like, we're not going to have everything together, but we're still going to get to the Sultan like because Jesus already did the cleansing for us. And so now we get to take every opportunity that comes towards us. And I thought that was great.

Student 2 [00:14:50] And that's the whole purpose of God, to want to work in the holy people.

Student 3 [00:14:56] I think something that I want to share here is as I'm reading these things. So my daughter was just baptized this year and she's 19 years old and she went through the baptism class a month before the country was locked down from Covid. And so they waited a whole year and several months. And then finally they said, okay, now we're ready to baptize these young adults. And she was one of them. I was. So it just meant so much to me to hear her testimony that she gave. It really touched me. And I see that's the one that reminds me of her the most is blessed are the pure in heart. She has that quality about her. And maybe it is an invitation to, you know, to do something about that where I can basically share this is I thought of you today because we were studying this passage and you came to mind on this particular verse. And to me, that's better than okay, daughter, let's get together and study the Bible. Now, you know, kind of a thing, because I think that we're at a point a relationship where we're both adults now, right? And there isn't this kind of, you know, let me be the father. And, you know, and I'm sure there are times for that when that time's appropriate. But maybe this is the kind of interaction that can help us get past, you know, or get us further along in this discipleship relationship I'm trying to make.

Mary Jo Wilson [00:16:48] That's beautiful.

Student 4 [00:16:49] It makes me think of the word organic instead of just trying to, like, impose, like, okay, I'm going to do this. I'm going to, you know, make it happen instead of just sort of like, you know, you know, ask for the Lord to give me his eyes to see where is he leading instead. And then, yeah, you know, share that, because that just sort of just naturally came up instead of how I would be uncomfortable to try to, like.

Student 2 [00:17:20] Fabricate it.

Student 4 [00:17:21] Yeah.

Mary Jo Wilson [00:17:23] Megan, I heard that in yours when you were saying God nudging you, I want you to shine. Yeah. And so he gave you the inspiration, and the means was just stepping into that. And for you, it sounds like you took some steps and. But you really heard that and ran with it. And so.

Student 1 [00:17:44] Yeah, it's weird because for me, I had a dream that where the word Matthew came up in the numbers, 515 came up and then my pastor preached on it, you know, soon after. And I was like, okay, wait, what? This really happened? And so and at that point I was still trying to figure out my way back to God. Even the gods are with me. But, you know, I'm still trying to like, yeah, can I lay my whole life down before you really like, or can I really trust you again, or can I really make this commitment? And so having that happen was very surreal. And then and then realizing, okay, I need to step into this, but then how do I do that? And then the opportunities, I was just kind of waiting for the opportunity to come up and eventually did like I think it was like the next spring an opportunity came up for me to step into a leadership role. And so I was like, I don't I'm not ready for this. But it was very clear that, you know, I think I was definitely moving in that situation saying, No, this is for you. So I took it. And then after that it just been like it has been one opportunity after another. And so and it's not like I'm on this huge stage or whatever. It's not that, but it's just for me, it's just being called in to these roles that God knew that I could thrive in and growing. And because it wasn't just about my gifting or being perfect for this role and, you know, everything's cool. It was growing in it painfully sometimes, and but also walking together with the people that I was with that community learning together and growing together. So and, you know, that's kind of what I wanted to also share the practical, you know, like how do you apply it in verse 16, you know, in the same way that your like chamber for others so that they may see your good works and give glory to your father in heaven. And so it's, you know, Jesus is kind of like, Hey, go shine, you know, it's okay. Like you don't have to be timid. And I think sometimes we talk about like false humility. And so but I think in this case, it's like if you recognize the gift things that are in you or that someone else's help confirm, like these are the gifts that you're sharing, you know, and you see the opportunity, like, don't hesitate. Go for it, you know, because God's going to you're still going to grow through that experience. It's not going to be perfect to grow through it and then to be ready for the next, you know, place that God has molded up for you. And I think also just for me, I think I've been in this season of my life. It's about taking the opportunities that aren't necessarily like created like it's it wasn't very clear to me that God wanted me to do this, but it's like my gift is actually to kind of sit like this. This is what would work and to still go after that, you know, like sometimes we don't feel that that's for God, but it's, you know, that this is how God's created you. It's still going to go back to giving that glory because you're using it for God. So by using your gifting. But I don't know. Yeah, it's, it's, it's a very strange experience, but it's got me going to go back to the original part of the story of it. Yeah.

Mary Jo Wilson [00:20:57] Yeah. But that's. Yeah, that's great stepping out.

Student 3 [00:21:00] Can I just say that if you were to come up to me and say, You know what, I had a dream and, and, and these two verses came to mind and then I thought of you, I would be like really.

Student 2 [00:21:14] Freaked out.

Student 3 [00:21:15] No, I'd be like, Tell me more. Yeah, and I think that maybe that's the saltiness of our reaching out to other people because it's not something that you kind of fabricated. It was something that happened to you and you're just passing it along. Yeah. So I think that that's one of the things that I've been learning on the Missions team that Andy and I are on. We have a lot of. Really important work that's happening in God's name around the world. And there are a lot of needs and we want to do something about it. But the light bulb just kind of went on one day when we were looking at one of them, and it was very clear that God was leading us down this road because something's happened with Monica. And then I put two and two together and it was like, Oh, you mean there are all of these things that are out there, but God is actually leading us down one of these paths because he's encouraging us by these other signs. And I think that that was a huge lesson for me because, you know, I just thought as a Christian, you just try to do everything, you know, and if it fits the profile of good work, then do it. But in a way, maybe that's where, you know, Jesus says that, you know, that his joke is what is that? What is the piece? Is this burden is light. Yeah, but that just came to mind as like, if you were to tell me that, I would go to tell me more. I'm interested to know is.