Disciplemaking - Lesson 16

Using Your Gifts as Witness

Joe Handley describes the exciting next section of this course, where he delves into the idea of being a disciple of Jesus and how it can be reproducible among others. The passage he discusses is from the Gospel of Luke, where he explores miracle stories and how sharing one's life with others can touch people in miraculous ways. Joe shares from his own personal experience and provides tools for participants to look at their gifts and talents and use them to be a witness in their daily lives as disciples of Jesus.
Taught by a Team
Taught by a Team
Lesson 16
Watching Now
Using Your Gifts as Witness

I. Introduction

A. Importance of being a disciple

B. Using gifts as a witness

C. Passage from the Gospel of Luke

II. Tools for Deploying Gifts as a Disciple

A. Bob Logan's book

B. Identifying talents and gifts

III. Sharing One's Story

A. Importance of sharing one's story

B. Different methods of sharing

1. Using social media

2. Examples of compassionate prayers

IV. Impact of Sharing as a Disciple

A. Dialog with people

B. Healing moments

  • 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, PhD
Using Your Gifts as Witness
Lesson Transcript

Well, we've had a good few sessions so far. And this this next section that we just opened is really exciting for me as we talk about ourselves being a disciple, moving from becoming to that of being and how that is reproducible amongst others. And the passage we want you to dig deeply in is from the Gospel of Luke, this time talking about miracle stories. And while not all of us have the gifts of miraculous touch on people, in essence, the way we share our lives with others can touch people in miraculous ways. It may not be astronomically incredible, right? A healing somebody, but it can be a very moving way to interact with people. And so we want to give you some tools to kind of flesh out what it means to be a witness in the life of being a disciple. It's that idea of how do you take what God's filling you with and let it flow into your neighborhood, let it flow into your workplace, let it flow into ministry or the life of your church. And what I'd like you to do is, you know, look at the Bob Logan's book in chapter nine. Page 141 is a set of tools to kind of look at your talents, What are your gifts and talents and how can you best deploy them as a disciple of Jesus in whatever context you're in. So again, Bob Logan's book, Chapter nine, page 141, is a great resource that you can use for me, one of my talents, one of the few talents I have. I often say my wife is multi-talented. I basically have one talent and that's my mouth. Speaking is about all I can do well, and what I try to do and I think what one of the tools you can use is how to share your story. Mary Jo has been letting us give us a little glimpses into that, and I mentioned the story of my wife using tea ceremonies as a way to share the story for me. One of the ways that I share my story is through compassionate prayers, and I'll give an example of that in a minute. But as I pray for people, it really touches their lives and they want to engage. And I'll give you the example is in essence, I've decided or started using social media as a means of reaching out to people. And I have a, you know, a group of people that are my friends on whatever medium it is, Instagram, Facebook, etc., Twitter. And in they're following me one of the greatest hits I get or likes or whatever is when I tell people I'm praying for them. And it is amazing how many people either private messaged me or post on their Facebook page or wherever Instagram that they need prayer for something or other. I would say a good number of people post it publicly, but a few send me private messages and when I pray for them, it's fascinating the dialog that that opens up. Sometimes I'll have people a few days later or even weeks later, send me a message. Joe, Thank you for praying for me. I really appreciate that. And surprisingly enough, a lot of the people that follow me on these mediums are not necessarily followers of Christ. And so it's in the dialog that ensues, even not verbal, just typing one another in text message type formats where you get to really touch people and give glimpses of what it means to be a follower of Jesus in it. And in some of those cases it's a healing moment because as you pray for people, it really touches their heart. If they've had a loved one who's sick and you've prayed for them and God brought them through sometimes or it carried them through a season where they lost a loved one, Sometimes that's just very touching to people. And so it is in those engagement points where you really get to see the life of being a disciple outflowing into your community and into your friendships. One way to look at this is a Japanese concept with what's called, well, black Prince. So the Japanese have an art form that is amazing called Ukiyo E and in Ukiyo E, what they do is they have layer upon layer of these prints and each layer is a different. Print that. Layers one on top of another, on top of another. And there are different blocks that you put on this print. And at the end of it, it makes a beautiful tapestry, an amazing art piece of art. I've seen tons of these pieces and they're stunning. And the way that gospel witness works is really it's a layering of seed planting. For instance, with the social media idea I mentioned. I reach out there via step one is I'm praying for you. How can I pray for you? Step two is an engagement point, right? Layer two is when they reach out and say, Please pray for whatever it is. And I take that next step of engagement. That's another layering of witness. Stage four is following up with them or having them respond to me. And the interaction that's going and just one layer upon layer upon layer of interaction is a way to spread the love of Christ, amongst others. And so I really love this concept of Ukiyo. E And hopefully you'll see some of these slides as I'm speaking that show the progression of the art and how beautiful these pieces can be. Another thing we recommend is Matsuo Fukuda's book. I highly recommend you read that, especially there's a section in there where he talks about having a three-minute testimony. So for instance, here you have what in business they might call an elevator speech. You're in an elevator, you only got a few minutes or you only got 30 seconds. How can you share a point of light in the midst of that situation? What is something that might be encouraging to someone you're interacting with? And that can be a pointer to Christ? Just a simple way to say, you know, here's where I was, here's what God's done in my life, and here's what the after effect has been, or here's how my story has been. If you can get that into a three-minute setting and the way he frames, it's quite amazing. He talks about upward, inward and outward, so much like the abiding Christ metaphor that we talked about earlier in the course we look up to God and receive from Him in that we go inward and deeply learn how are we becoming that disciple from abiding to becoming and then moving from becoming to the being part What we're talking about in this section, and that is outward to our community, upward, inward and outward. One final story to kind of pull all this together. One day a friend of mine and I were in a taxi. He's from Japan and I'm from America. And we happened to be in Malaysia at the time. And in the car was somebody from India. The driver was from India. And he had this very interesting little piece on the front of his dashboard. It was fascinating. And that piece was one of these superheroes. I forget the name of the movies, but these hero action figures and it was kind of dog laying there on his on his dashboard. And right next to him was a Hindu god. So he had this Hindu God next to a superhero. And I asked him, what caused you to put those things next to each other? Because they seemed kind of strange, you know, Why would you put your you're one of your idols or gods next to a superhero? And so he explained to me why he did that and what he liked about this particular God and what he liked about the superhero. And I said, Wow, that's fascinating. You know, it led me to ask him a little deeper question about his life. So we had like this hour and a half taxi ride, and I said, you know, tell me more about this. Why do you respect this? This God? What's he do for you? What's he provide for you? And he described, well, this is a god of this. And it does this for me. And I said, well, are there other gods? And he said, Oh, yeah, there's thousands of gods in our pantheon. And I thought, Wow, that's pretty amazing. Well, how do you know which God to go to win? And he goes, Oh, that's complicated. And I said, Well, you know, it's interesting. It just so happens my friend here is from a Buddhist background, Japanese person, and they have lots of gods. Maybe you'd like to hear his story. And he goes, Oh, yes, I'd like to hear his story. And so my friend. Talked about his story of how did he know which God to follow. And he ultimately came to a point in his journey where he realized that Jesus was the God who answered all of the questions. You didn't have to go to multiple gods for him. He found that Jesus was the answer to all. And so at the end of the taxi ride, you know, there was no amazing, momentous decision or change. But we said, What are you struggling with today? Can we pray for you? we prayed for him with some of the financial challenges he was facing. And he was so appreciative. And we said, you know, whenever you have a problem, Jesus is someone you can go to and pray for. So next time you're facing a challenge, why don't you go to Jesus and see what happens? And he said, Friends, I'm going to try that. It's just another one of those layers of witness the way, just like those Japanese block prints, you can layer witness upon, witness upon witness and learn how to share your story. And so what we want to do is give you a little assignment to take this to the next level. This might be the riskiest thing you do so far in this course. But if you're going to be if you're going to go from abiding in Christ to being are becoming a Christlike leader or Christlike disciple to actually being and reproducing, we strongly recommend and this is a required part of the course we want you to spend before you watch this next segment section. We want you to go to a neighborhood coffee shop or a place nearby that people hang out. And we want you to attempt to try to strike up a spiritual conversation. And it can be as simple as what I did in the taxicab. You know, you may notice something that that triggers an idea. And so we want you to practice this to just get a feel of what this part of being a disciple is like. You don't have to totally share the gospel in that sense, although you never know if that might happen. But we want you to just try to strike up a spiritual conversation, see if you can engage somebody with a conversation about Christ in ways that can be useful in this is maybe you could help somebody. Maybe somebody has dropped something and you help pick it up for them. Or maybe somebody you can tell their needing somebody to listen to. And so you can go listen to their story. What you're doing is planting seeds for the gospel and just opening a spiritual door for the Holy Spirit to work. You know, it's not our responsibility to make everything happen. Really, like we said before, it's about our abiding and Christ in the spirit comes through us. And it is in that that we live out into the community. Like mid-summer, Fukuda said, upward, inward and then outward. And so this week, we before you watch the next video, I want you to head to a local coffee shop or a local grocery store, wherever it is that's convenient for you and spend some time just trying to strike up a spiritual conversation. And we'd love to you to reflect on that. We want you to reflect and write this. What was your what was the experience like for you? Was it was it nerve wracking or were you anxious? Was it pretty natural? Did you find it getting easier as you started talking with people? What was that experience like for you? Secondly, what did you learn? What did you learn from that experience and address the fears you might have in that situation? What are you seeing before and after? So before you had that experience, what's your sense? And then afterwards, what was it like? Do a reflection on it. And then you may want to discover, you know, I'm primarily talking about the ways to use your verbal witness skills. But what is a talent you have? Maybe one of your talents is actually serving people. And so one of the ways you can witness is helping out in the neighborhood is coming alongside and serving one another. You may remember the story I told earlier in the course about I just happened to stop by a car that was broken down and helped out that day. That's more of a servant like experience. So maybe your talent is serving people. So discover what? Are your talents. Look at that chapter in Bob Logan's book and find out what are the top three or four talents that I have and how can I live into them? How can I be a light for Christ in my neighborhood or my community or my church? And then what are some of the gifts that you have? What is it that God's what's in a God inspired gift? What are your spiritual talents? Or, you know, what kinds of things are in your hands that you can use to reach out to other people? So this week, give it a try. Go out and try to engage a spiritual conversation and dig a little deeper into what that means to be a disciple.