Disciplemaking - Lesson 19

Multiplication & a Culture of Discipleship

In this lesson on Disciplemaking, Joe Handley reviews the importance of reproducibility and multiplication in discipleship, and creating a culture of discipleship. He emphasizes the concept of being reproducible in one's lifestyle and creating a context of reproducibility. The goal is to take the small kernel of faith and see it grow into a flourishing tree, by being salt and light in the community. Joe presents a case study of a church in India that has adapted to the pressures of the religious and government environment by rethinking what it means to be a church. The church has shifted from meeting only on Sundays to planting churches in homes, creating small points of light throughout the community.
Taught by a Team
Taught by a Team
Lesson 19
Watching Now
Multiplication & a Culture of Discipleship

I. Introduction

A. Importance of multiplication in the growth of the church

B. Acts 1:8 and its relevance to the essence of the book of Acts

C. Jesus' parable of the mustard seed (Matthew 17:20)

II. Reproducibility in the Kingdom of God

A. Moving from abiding in Christ to being a Christ-like disciple

B. Creating a context for reproducibility

C. Emphasizing a culture of discipleship

1. Systematic approach to life to influence those around us

2. Investing in others and being invested in

3. Micro church as a new form of church for a new generation

4. The concept of lycian: being part of a community of disciples

  • 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
Multiplication and a Culture of Discipleship
Lesson Transcript

Well, this has been a fun course this week, and I hope you're enjoying it. This section, you know, we're talking about reproducibility and the importance of multiplication back to that passage and acts that you're reading about and reflecting on the growth of the church is because of reproducing disciples. Acts one eight really captures the essence of much of the book of Acts that the Gospel, as we're empowered by the Holy Spirit, we then take the Gospel, empowered by Him into our Jerusalem, our Judea, as are some areas in the uttermost parts. And so now we want to talk a little bit deeper about what it means to be in a multiplying mind frame. And I think of that passage in Matthew chapter 17, particularly verse 20, where Jesus has this parable of the mustard seed. And even though it's such a small seed, it can grow to this huge, amazing tree. And in life we often say at age and access that small is big. And it's interesting that Jesus spent a great deal of his time in predominantly 12 people and said, Go and reproduce yourself. And so we want to focus here on this reproducible aspect of the kingdom of God After we, you know, start abiding in Christ, we become like Christ. We start flowing with him being a Christ like disciple. We move from that to this reproducibility aspect. And it's not just something that we do alone individually, but something that we create a context. So maybe you're a pastor at a local church or perhaps you're in a business setting or a student at university. We all have a community that we're a part of and how can we be salt and light in the midst of that community? How can we take this small mustard seed kernel of faith and see it grow into a huge flourishing tree? That's what we're talking about with the Kingdom of God. And so we want to emphasize what we would call a culture of discipleship, a systematic approach to life where you can influence those around you. In my case, I've been in several settings, a university for a while, a local church, and most recently with Asian access, working with leaders across Asia. And in each of those settings, I have been in a context or a local group of some sort where I've been able to invest in others and I've had people invest in me. And so I hope that you're capturing this idea of what it means to be a reproducible in your lifestyle. I think of my friend David Allen. He's practicing something these days that is pretty powerful. It's basically very appropriate for this season in the life of the church worldwide. So David's context is just outside of New Delhi, India, but my context, his here in Los Angeles, and yet I find it very similar. It's a context that requires us to think small and think reproducible. For instance, much of my life I've been in either a small church or a larger church setting, and most recently I've seen remarkable reproduction happening across Asia through what I call micro church. It's a new form of church for a new generation. It's kind of going back to that idea of the Bible. If you study Greek, you know, the word for church is ecclesia. And this is the idea that the church is a community, it's a body, it's a it's a group that grows together as we become disciples. We become a part of a community of disciples. And this is the concept of lycian. Sometimes today we can get confused and we think, what is a church? And we think, Oh, that's that building on the corner that we go to on Sundays. But in reality, in the Kingdom of God, the church is the body of Christ. Believers everywhere spread out as salt and light amongst the community and neighborhood. And so this whole section that we're talking about here is this idea of being Alysia being the light of Christ in our community. And in David's case, as I was mentioning him earlier, his church has had to make a huge pivot over the last four or five years. They realized first by the owner of their building, their church build. Saying that they could no longer sustain that presence in that place for the same price point and everything. So they had to find a new way of operating in in his country in particular, there is pressures, either of the religious pressures or government pressures. And so he's had to really rethink what does it mean to be church today? And for him, he went back to the Gospels and back to the Book of Acts, looking at this idea of ecclesia. And he thought, you know, we need to take the gospel, We need to take our church back into our neighborhoods, back into the homes in which we live. And so he started moving from a place that just met on Sundays to a place that still meets on Sundays for equipping, but also has the real life in the reproducibility of planting churches in homes within their church. And it's a really powerful model. So now they meet all over the city, all over his suburb, outside of New Delhi and even in within Delhi itself. They have these little small points of light. And those are easy places to invite your neighbor. And interestingly enough, I just moved back to Los Angeles myself. I've been living in Japan the last five years or so. And in this move I thought, how can we better address the needs of the future of the church in America? And I thought what my friends are seeing happening in Asia might be helpful for the American continent. And so my wife and I, we've decided to partner with our home church, which is a large church in a suburb, some suburban part of Los Angeles. We're partnering with them, but we're doing micro church gatherings. And it's a it's a small ecclesia small fellowship where we're reaching out to those in our neighborhood, those that probably wouldn't even want to go back into the doors of a church. But it's our way to be salt and light into the community. And so this is this is a ways to be reproducible because in our church or in our ecclesia, in our micro church, we only have the capacity in a small room in our house to grow to only a certain size. So at a certain point it has to become reproducible. And so as we build up disciples in our local church context, it's not going to be long before we're going to have to take a few of those people and launch a whole new site altogether. And that could be in somebody's home, it could be in a coffee shop. Even one of my friends and I were talking about doing this in the context of his local business. And so Ecclesia, the idea of church as we look at the New Testament, is completely different than this mindset we have of four walls and a building that we go to on one particular day. Reality is making disciples can flow into the life of society through coffee shops, through my home, through my friend's local business. And as we invest in others, we can reproduce and the Kingdom of God will grow. And this is this idea of reproducibility. So as we as we finish this segment of what we're doing for this section, I think you're really going to Joe enjoy. Mary Jo will be fleshing this out for us into very practical, tangible manners, particularly when it comes to small groups. So pay attention as we head into this next segment of this section and you'll listen to R carefully. And I want you to reflect deeply on those passages from acts that we've asked you to read about this week. And I also want you to look at that idea of the mustard seed, how it can be very small but very powerful. And so let's grow together as we look to the future and influencing our society, our country, our culture, the nations in which we serve. As long as we are living out that model where Jesus said, go and make disciples of all nations, it's meant to be reproducible. The idea of making disciples is meant to continue on, to be ongoing, to be sustainable so that it influences the rest of the world.