Disciplemaking - Lesson 21

Discussion 4 - Multiplying Disciples

Instructors Joe Handley and Mary Jo Wilson and students are discussing their visions for the Kingdom of God. One student talks about sharing their story and how their faith has developed over the years, with the intent of sharing the Word with others. Another student compares the planting of seeds to the growth of God's Kingdom, saying that the process of changing lives is still God's work to do. They suggest that planting and nurturing seeds may take time and patience, and that it is important to trust in God's work. They also discuss how not all seeds may grow and how it can be hard to discern what is good, but that faithfulness is still necessary.
Taught by a Team
Taught by a Team
Lesson 21
Watching Now
Discussion 4 - Multiplying Disciples

I. Sharing Stories and Reading Scripture

A. Sharing Personal Stories

B. Reading Scripture with the Intention of Sharing

II. Understanding the Kingdom of God

A. Planting Seeds as a Celebration of the Kingdom of God

B. God's Work to Change Lives

1. Planting Seeds and Scattered Seeds

2. Nurturing Seeds and Seedlings

  • 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 4 - Multiplying Disciples
Lesson Transcript

Student 1 [00:00:02] But for me, it's not just about doing things like being part of the different ministries in the church, right? But also sharing my story now that I have a story to share so that I can through that story, I can also share the wood you that I have been reading Scripture, not to read for myself, but also how can you share the word to other people. So I am reading the word for what it is before. It's only for me, but I can get through this and how to get by each day and in struggles. But now for me, the intent is to the vision is to read the Scripture and how can I share this and how my faith has been developing during this past few years? Yeah, and that's my vision.

Joe Handley [00:01:01] As powerful as.

Student 2 [00:01:06] I want to say that this is actually a difficult passage to really struggle with. And so that's why I feel like I'm having trouble verbalizing what it is. But if we kind of go by what we've been trying to do, which is what is the vision that we see of the Kingdom of God that's being displayed here, it must be like. You know, heaven. I guess the Kingdom of God must be celebrating the planting of a seed, no matter how big or small. You know, the that first act is the planting of the seed. And in the same way that you know, Andy, you're saying you have a garden. You probably aren't vegetables. Not every seed that you plant is going to sprout and grow.

Joe Handley [00:02:04] Yeah.

Student 2 [00:02:05] And there has to be the environment. And so, you know, when you're gardening, there is there is a sense that there is nothing that you can do to cause anything to happen. It just happens. So I guess in this day and age where, you know, we have the power of the Internet and have lots of power at our fingertips because everything is digital.

Joe Handley [00:02:33] Yeah.

Student 2 [00:02:33] We feel like we can make something grow or make something happen. Hmm. The whole process of changing lives, you know, is still God's work to do, I guess is maybe one of the first things that comes out of this. And if that's the case, you know, I think that maybe it does take a little bit of the pressure off, you know, to just maybe see what part that you can play in planting the seeds or scattered seeds.

Student 3 [00:03:15] I don't know if I'm pulling what's not here, but I'm also thinking about then nurturing the seeds that sprout. And so that that can take a lot of time because of how slowly plants and people grow. I'm just.

Student 2 [00:03:34] Except zucchini.

Mary Jo Wilson [00:03:36] Yes.

Student 2 [00:03:38] Because zucchinis grow fast. But anyways, I'm sorry.

Student 3 [00:03:42] And so I you know, I think in you know, like you had also said, how, you know, try to minister in our own families can even be harder, even though we may have greater expectations for ourselves and how we what should we be doing to reach out to them. But I my sense is that just to be patient and to just keep, you know, either sowing the seeds or nurturing the little seedlings that come up and don't expect to do something huge because we because we are not in control and we really do not know whether our words or actions, how they're landing on other people. So we we just have to trust.

Mary Jo Wilson [00:04:33] Do you mind if I read this this terrible right before that is basically say this beautiful. Yeah. He also said Jesus also said this is what the kingdom of God is like. I mean, scatter seed on the ground night and day, whether he sleeps or gets up, this seed sprouts and grows. So he does not know how. All by itself, the soil produces great first stock than the have in the full kernel and as soon as the greatest right he puts a sickle to it because the harvest has come. Wow. What a reassurance. You know in this. Yeah.

Student 4 [00:05:06] God seems to grow on all my weeds this year. Exceptional amounts of weeds. So those seeds worked but not my seeds.

Student 3 [00:05:18] But, you know, that does make me think, though. Am I like, I don't want to do something that's causing the weeds to grow or I don't want to that.

Student 4 [00:05:29] Help that you don't know what seeds are going to grow. Yeah you know you plant and I think there's another part where there's the different soil soils. Right right. And then one above you allow the, the good ones to grow amongst the tares and after judgment they'll be separated out. And that's hard to, to fathom that, you know, you get the start of it's really bad but don't take it back because you hurt the good ones. Yeah. Yeah. Know. But you don't know what's good. Yeah. You just have to still be faithful to the facts. Yeah, well, God, trust me. That's right.

Joe Handley [00:06:11] Yeah. The vision of the sower and the vision of the seed really poignant, I think, in this passage, as we. As we consider the vision. What inspires you here as we look to that intent? Heart. What? What's inspirational to.

Student 4 [00:06:34] I think the inspiration I get from this is that there's life and there's life in that little seed. And they say they have found 3000 year old bean seeds and they've grown them out of Egypt. And there's somehow that seed, even though super dry when put in the soil with water, decides to grow. Mm. Now how. I don't know, but it does. So I see it that that's inspiring to me that, that there's life that God breathes into that little seed's life from him comes all life anyway. Yeah. So it's, it's, it's just that's what the kingdom's about. Right. And that's what's inspiring me. Stuck inside continues to produce like this Earth is always created, set in motion and it's constantly creating. Yeah. It's beautiful.

Student 1 [00:07:38] And yet there is hope. Hope in this world.

Joe Handley [00:07:43] Yeah. Yeah. Because it, it. It oftentimes can feel like a very hopeless place. You know, whatever we're seeing on the news or or in society, it feels polarized. It just seems so difficult. And yet here, even when there's thorns and it's rocky soil and it's on the path that God is still working on, there's a sense of hope, you know.

Mary Jo Wilson [00:08:14] Well, I'll be back to her faithfulness, I think. You know, I think just really hopeful that it's not it's not rocket science. So I don't know. It's like it's not easy. It's not meant to be easy, but it's simple. Yeah. The way. So I guess the simplicity of it is so refreshing. We can get excited about the next shiny thing and to go, I'm even as Christians. Yeah, but that the core of this this remains the same. So simple. And I sense God's gentleness in that. Yes and tenderness in that. And at the same time that there's that fire, that challenge.

Joe Handley [00:09:03] Right.

Mary Jo Wilson [00:09:05] Yeah. It's a wonderful say scary. Yeah. But I'm going with God because you don't know what he's going to put you. He's going to push us out. There's times you're like, I don't want to go in right now, but yeah, just being really committed to that and saying, This is my life.

Joe Handley [00:09:25] Yeah.

Mary Jo Wilson [00:09:26] Just thrilling. And it's thrilling for me to see others come along and how God's doing, You know, we did that book together and just see how God takes that and then, you know, multiplication and that. So yeah, it's been very encouraging.

Joe Handley [00:09:43] Good. Personally, yeah. And for me, I think I come from that similar kind of framework you describe where I went. I'm the microwave generation, you know, I want things to go fast. You know. I want to see exponential growth. Right. And and it's just really powerful today to be reminded of God's process. And it doesn't have to go fast. And just reflecting on how Jesus chose the most, you know, inaccessible period in history, you would think the best in a few people and Palestine and look where it is today. And that's so powerful. Those images of those parables really speak to me. And so I think that's my biggest wow factor. My biggest encouragement is it sounds like I remember someone at the beginning of our day saying, you know, it's really hard to define disciple making. I don't remember. One of you said, okay. And then now, now at the end, we you're talking about actually being able to have a plan of that. And to me, that's encouraging for those who are listening that maybe we can move from this, you know, a really fuzzy idea to a roadmap for our future. And I hope that's an encouragement to the folks that are, you know, listening to all of you and they're all learning from you. So I think on behalf of our listening audience, watching audience, thank you for coming today. What a joy to learn from you, to grow together, to be a part of this experience.

Student 4 [00:11:34] Thank you.

Student 1 [00:11:35] Thank you. Thank you.