Disciplemaking - Lesson 17

Group Discussion 3 - Making Disciples

Joe Handley and Mary Joe Wilson have a discussion with the students about Jesus' encounter with the Samaritan woman at the well, as described in the Gospel of John. The participants discuss different aspects of the story, including Jesus' approach to the woman, the barriers he breaks down, and the vision of the Kingdom of God that is revealed. They note that Jesus treats the woman as a real person, despite cultural and societal expectations, and engages her in conversation rather than preaching at her. They also discuss the way in which Jesus challenges his disciples to adopt a different way of thinking and living that breaks down barriers and sees all people as equals. The participants find this vision of the Kingdom of God to be powerful and transformative, and they see it as a model for how to engage with others in spiritual conversations.
Taught by a Team
Taught by a Team
Lesson 17
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Group Discussion 3 - Making Disciples

I. Vision of the Kingdom of God

A. Importance of Spiritual Conversations

B. Jesus' Approach in John 4:1-30

II. Characteristics of Spiritual Conversations

A. Humility

B. Engagement

C. Respect

III. Impact of Spiritual Conversations

A. Personal Transformation

B. Building Relationships

C. Sharing the Gospel

IV. Practical Tips for Spiritual Conversations

A. Listening

B. Asking Questions

C. Sharing Personal Experiences

D. Responding with Empathy

  • 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
Discussion 3 - Making Disciples
Lesson Transcript

Student 1 [00:00:00] The woman said, I know that Messiah called Christ is coming. When he comes, he will explain everything to us. Then Jesus declared, I'm the one speaking to you. I am. Okay.

Mary Jo Wilson [00:00:16] All right. Then we start out with the vision. So I'm sure you see some vision of the kingdom of God in this. And specifically, we're looking now at spiritual conversations as we're living in the kingdom of God and how we're bringing that into our world. That is quite in contrast to that. So anything you see in terms of the vision of the Kingdom of God or of spiritual conversations in that respect.

Student 2 [00:00:54] The thing that I. Notice is that Jesus is approaching the woman asking for something, actually. So he's not offering something initially, you know. So that's sort of an interesting thing to think about that. You know, I think oftentimes we think I'm going I'm going to be the one to provide something. But when to be a much more humble stance to come and ask for help in some way. I just thought that.

Joe Handley [00:01:35] Maybe beyond the humble brilliance yet. Posing the question is a better way to engage. Perhaps so in one way humble, but in another way. Genius, you know, as opposed to. I'm here to preach to you. I'm just here asking for something.

Student 3 [00:01:57] He set up a situation that she needed to respond to. What am I going to do this?

Student 4 [00:02:08] Kind of explains how to reach the unreached and how to engage. With them in a conversation. And this clearly tells. The approach that which can be used in order for us to spread the gospel.

Student 3 [00:02:26] Well, he's treating her like a real person, Jesus. He's not saying, Well, first of all, you're not Jewish. Like, I really should be talking to you. And then again, you're a woman, and I really shouldn't be talking to you. He created her. So why wouldn't he talk with you? She loves her just as he loved anybody else. But she had these ideas that he shouldn't be talking to her for those very reasons. But he again, turns it upside down. Like he's very good at doing and makes it so that she then has to have a conversation with him.

Student 5 [00:03:06] Yeah, I love the dialog that they're having is that, you know, he does point out like he had five husbands, which is like how I think culturally for them at that point. It was also still like, you know, she's she ends up being a marginalized one, not always perfect Samaritan, but also for having both husbands. And yet he follow up to her response to not tell her, well, you know, this is how you should be living your life. This is what you should be doing so that you avoid having a seventh husband or six others, you know. But instead, he talks to her about worship. And I think this is where, you know, like going back to the Old Testament stories and then, you know, seeing the connection here, how the Samaritans weren't able to go to Jerusalem because, you know, the kingdom divided. And in that way, I can also see that the kingdom vision of reconciliation. Right. Like being able to break down those barriers that had been set up between the Jews and the Samaritans. But also between like, you know, for women, for a guy, for a man to talk to a woman, especially Samaritan woman thing. So even that wall was being broken down. But I also love not just the you know, it's like the outsider perspective, right? So she's like she's the outsider. And yet, like you're saying, Jesus still spoke with her. And it reminds me of God encountering Hagar, like back when she was trying to run away from Sarah and like, yeah, of all people, like, it wasn't Abraham, it wasn't Sarah. God is encountering an exception slave. You know, and she's in, like, the worst situation ever. And yet he took the time to see, like, I'm like. I see you just as what Jesus was doing here for the summertime. I see you. And, like, it's so powerful. Like to see how God connects with us in our humble places. Yeah.

Mary Jo Wilson [00:05:06] And that is a whole different way. The Kingdom of God. It's a whole different way that just breaks down those barriers. We're all on equal footing here.

Student 3 [00:05:14] That's right.

Mary Jo Wilson [00:05:15] And so it's just living that out in in spaces where it's not allowed.

Student 3 [00:05:23] And he knew that to her, she would attract all kinds of people to come back and probably talk to him. Those I don't know if it's written in their food.

Mary Jo Wilson [00:05:35] He was challenging his disciples. So he was also showing his disciples the kingdom way that God is not always using the 12 Jewish leader guys, this woman who we don't know why she said, we're out here at noon, but she's got five husbands and she becomes the evangelist that he was trying to train them to be. And so that's quite a dramatic line.

Student 3 [00:05:59] And he showed them that here are all these people already. They want to know me. I mean, they're coming out to see the Messiah. Yeah. So why aren't you working? Let's go.

Student 2 [00:06:13] Just going back to that verse yet to verse 23 at a time is coming and has now come when the tree worshipers will worship the father and spirit and truth, for they are the kind of worshipers a father seeks. It's really about our heart. It's not about what it looks like, not the outward trappings, whether it's like, Well, you have to go to church to be to fit. You know, And so I think that that can play with our minds a little bit because we're so used to. Well, well, what are the statistics? You know, our church is growing even or, you know, but it's like, well, is it filled with people who are worshiping? True, true. Or maybe are the people out there the one you know, would we be surprised to, you know, to discover who really is seeking the Lord?

Mary Jo Wilson [00:07:12] You know, and we kind of want to put the box around that sometimes to find that.

Student 2 [00:07:17] Yeah. So maybe for me, it challenges me to to look outside of, you know, my ideas of what it looks like to be a a good Christian, I guess, and to just find, you know, take advantage of every opportunity to have a spiritual conversation.

Student 3 [00:07:47] And I think a lot of those conversations happen. And you are expecting you know, you have a conversation with someone you were you were maybe even trying to have a conversation, but also that happened and you found that that God was doing something through you or, you know, having mutually encouraged each other or, you know, your instincts are right. It's not like you planned it at 2:00. I'm going to go out there and it was stand right there and that you don't know anything but God strikes and situations.

Mary Jo Wilson [00:08:23] You love those moments. Those love the you know, we have the word serendipity.

Student 3 [00:08:28] The God of God moments.

Mary Jo Wilson [00:08:30] And I love that. And I find that sometimes it's that margin where we have a little space. I guess sometimes it comes when we don't have time, but we take time. We have a moment because you sense the spirit working and yeah, beautiful gifts in our day.

Student 1 [00:08:51] I think I had more flames than the other passengers. So. But I'm trying to see what it is. What in what what's in here? That when I read, it makes me kind of step forward and kind of look like, Huh? I can picture myself doing this. Mm. And. And I think that I've always had a very natural a desire to reach out to people who maybe in society didn't have a position, but I wanted to honor them. But the hard part for me is going from there to leading people one step closer to Jesus. Mm hmm. And so I think that maybe the part that might be missing is the it's one thing to have a human connection with somebody else and say, I just want to value you. I see. To the next step, which is. You know, I hope you see Jesus in this encounter in some way and just kind of plan to see him. And so I think that that might be something that in this day and age in which we are told to kind of respect other people's beliefs more respect mine. You know, that's the part I think that maybe it's a more difficult challenge for us to do.

Mary Jo Wilson [00:10:38] Does anybody have thoughts on that? How you had spiritual conversations were expressed the way we express our spiritual life in a way that felt comfortable or natural? It's a hard one. It is in today's climate, and not just here. I mean, there are places in the world where it's hard.

Student 2 [00:11:02] I think, Steve, I can resonate with what you're saying because there are often times that I feel like, oh, I think I was, you know, connected with someone or I felt like, oh, I did, you know, was successful in making them feel valued. But did I go the step beyond that to introduce them to Jesus or some as a cat? I don't know how to to jump to that.

Mary Jo Wilson [00:11:24] Well, when the dynamic is you can't even say Merry Christmas without shooting somebody. But I hear even what I have heard people recently say, God bless you for such a blessing. Using that word of blessing just casually in conversation, I think that says God, Yeah, God, I see God in my life. And in that blessing is a simple way that can, can, can spark. And sometimes it's not just one conversation, but it's a series of just being is one thing and then praying is another thing that I am seeing. Maybe it seems kind of bold. But to get his permission when someone's in a hard place to mind. If I prayed with you just briefly and just say a really, really simple prayer that I'm not trying to give you answer, you know, answer that totally, but just kind of as a really a gentle way of being, but bringing the spirit and the pain. And then I find there are ways that we can kind of press and check for openness, readiness and the spirit. And then sometimes that will open. I know a girl that I walk with sometimes in my neighborhood who is, as she's told me, she's not. She's had faith before, but no thank you now. But she knows that I believe. And how much faith has been part of my journey. And so sometimes you're just gentle ways where I just share my story. It's really embedded. It's not a preaching. It's not I read in the Bible search. And so really I share a bit of my story and then allow her to kind of open let me know if she wants more. And honestly, she has pretty much said to me, I like your spirituality. That is not that I'm trying to frame it. So, you know, just, you know, be something that I think she'll like, but just being Jesus Christ. So, yeah, we have a journey.

Student 3 [00:13:29] You're real to her. You've brought God to her, to a place of reality for her.

Mary Jo Wilson [00:13:36] Well, and I share more than I just not talking about spiritual things all the time. We talk about gardens, we talk about dying, we talk about a lot of different things.

Student 3 [00:13:42] That are real.

Mary Jo Wilson [00:13:43] And a real person. We've been talking about politics, which is.

Student 3 [00:13:45] So and.

Mary Jo Wilson [00:13:49] So.

Joe Handley [00:13:53] I think for me the intention and means sort of blend together in this passage a little bit. It's interesting. Started with Silk's comment when we started our conversation, how Jesus approach is just a question for water. And I think it's interesting that that is inspiring because the pressure is a lot easier to just ask for water, you know, just asking for something, right? Yeah, But then he, he, he goes from asking something to wooing her. I have something better than this water. Right. So it goes from a simple request to a there's a living water out there. Right. And then. And then it moves to a prophetic moment where he says, Yeah, you have more than one husband. Right? And how often in the church world that we may live in, we start with a prophetic moment. The world's screwed up. You're going, you know, nowhere or whatever. And so it starts with this creating walls as opposed to the means. For me, it's inspiring because the means is very it's a smooth it's a it's a nice river, you know, simple question wooing. And then I've earned the right to speak prophetically.

Mary Jo Wilson [00:15:31] Right, Right.

Joe Handley [00:15:32] And then, wow, he knows everything about me. Yeah. And I'm going to tell the world, right? And she becomes the great evangelist, not him. Right? Isn't that's inspiring to me? And it to me, it's a means. It's a it's like a I mean, I don't like the five step things, but it's there is a there is a river. Our progression there, Right. That's very powerful.

Student 3 [00:15:58] I think the story doesn't say. And he went into Samaria and preached for three days. To talk to the water and they talk. Yeah, that's right. That. That was his means.

Joe Handley [00:16:11] Yeah.

Mary Jo Wilson [00:16:15] I think two of the is just to listen to you. The power of the living water, the freedom of worshiping and spirit of the truth. I mean, I just think of the just in just a few verses. But the kingdom of God, the vision he was giving her, because that's what it was. He was showing her glimpse of the kingdom of God. And there was so much power just packed in there.

Joe Handley [00:16:41] Yeah.

Mary Jo Wilson [00:16:41] And I'm just wondering, you know, in my words as I bring it, you know, the kingdom of God. Am I expressing that power? And then you know what I mean? And so just yeah, that far gospel that we share is a more transactional or more. Yeah. And just that power that because there's always the gospel is something a powerful remedy to what we are what ails us, the people, the desperate need we have. But anyway, just being able to capture that, you know.

Student 3 [00:17:17] But it's the Lord that pulls that from you. It's not what you're thinking is going to be the power moment. It's but the Lord is going to be pulling. And if you're talking to me, I might have captured what you were saying here when you thought B was what you wanted to be talking about. But I'm already hitting on A, you know, wow, That was deep, you know.

Mary Jo Wilson [00:17:39] That's the beauty of the spirit.

Student 3 [00:17:40] Yeah, exactly. So it's being in tune with the spirit of God. Yeah. That you're saying what he wants you to say. And if he never got to your B statement, then okay. Yeah, Because it was right.

Mary Jo Wilson [00:17:53] Yeah, yeah, yeah. Right. Any more means before we. Because there's a lot here. I really appreciate all of you sharing. It's been really beautiful. And so I think that's a great kind of initial introduction to this and really appreciate it.