Disciplemaking - Lesson 18

Introduction to Multiplying Disciples

Joe Handley and Mary Jo Wilson discuss the importance of reproducing disciples and the sustainability of the systems used to create them. They focus on the ongoing influence disciples have as they become and are being disciples, emphasizing Jesus' intention for his followers to go and make disciples. The discussion also touches on the power of small groups and the impact they can have on personal growth and faith. The speakers share an anecdote about a challenge posed to Irwin McManus regarding his church's ability to make disciples, highlighting the importance of having a reproducible model and lifestyle.
Taught by a Team
Taught by a Team
Lesson 18
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Introduction to Multiplying Disciples

I. Becoming a Reproducing Disciple

A. Importance of reproducibility and sustainability

B. Acts 1:8 and the reproducible atmosphere

II. Reproducible Lifestyles and Systems

A. Importance of small groups

B. Story of Irwin McManus and the importance of disciple-making systems

  • 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
Introduction to Multiplying Disciples
Lesson Transcript

Joe Handley [00:00:00] Well, we're back together again and excited for this next section. We're into our fifth session together. Imagine that. We've made a lot of progress, and it's really fun working together with Mary Jo, and I hope that you're learning a lot. I know that I am. As I say, listen to Mary Jo and kind of reflect on many of the questions we're posing in this section. We're actually going to talk about the ongoing influence we have as disciples, as we become disciples, as we are being disciples. At some point, we've become a reproducing disciple. That was the intention of Jesus when he said, Go and make disciples. So it's not just about us becoming, but us stepping out and reproducing. So this is about reproducibility and about sustainability. So we'll be talking a little bit about sustainability in this section, and it reminds me of the passage in Acts one eight and I think acts as one of the passages you'll be reflecting on in this section x18, the Holy Spirit comes upon us or upon them at that time, and they go from there to from Jerusalem, Judea, Samaria to the ends of the earth. It's meant to be this reproducible atmosphere. And so with that, I think it's going to be fun to work with Mary Jo, and I think we're going to learn together how do we move into reproducible lifestyles and reproducible systems?

Mary Jo Wilson [00:01:35] Yes, and it's such an important space for making those disciples and how we are disciples together and how God just meets with us there. And personally, I love small groups, and that's been a real formative place in my life and a place to see people change and thrive in their faith as we work together. And I'm in a small group right now, I have to say it's the highlight of my has been the highlight of this last year and just so powerful to see how we can come together and God's spirit work and investing in one of those lives and getting the kind of nitty gritty that God working in that space, learning and growing together.

Joe Handley [00:02:11] So cool. You know, this all reminds me of a story of a friend you might have heard of him name Irwin McManus. And we were on a board together at a university, and one day we were talking about discipleship and the importance of the systems we recreate for that. And speaking of small group systems, he was challenged by some a student at this university saying, Oh, you know, Irwin's church, they're there, they're good at evangelism, but they they're really terrible at disciple making. And so Irwin, of course, was like, what? You know, Oh, so he said, hey, okay, you're critiquing us and discipleship. He says, I tell you what, Saturday, let's have a challenge. You bring ten people you've led to Christ and I'll bring ten people I've led to Christ. And we'll give them your test. We'll let you set up the test of what it means to be a disciple. And we'll give your ten people the test and we'll give my ten people the test. And let's see where disciples are being made. The guy never showed up and but it's an example of a reproducible model or system and lifestyle. And I love that about Irwin and what he's doing. And so in this section, I think you're going to really enjoy learning about reproducible systems and what it means to be sustainable as a disciple maker.