Disciplemaking - Lesson 24

Developing a Rule of Life

In this lesson, Joe Handley explains the concept of a "rule of life" and its importance in creating a balanced and purposeful life. The rule of life covers several areas of life, including spiritual, social, intellectual, and physical, and helps to keep one on track with goals and achievements. Joe shares their own experience with creating a rule of life and emphasizes the importance of finding a partner to journey with in the process. Overall, the video encourages viewers to reflect on what they have learned in the course and incorporate it into a personalized discipleship plan that includes a rule of life.
Taught by a Team
Taught by a Team
Lesson 24
Watching Now
Developing a Rule of Life

I. Introduction

A. Importance of having a discipleship plan

B. The concept of a "rule of life"

II. The Purpose of a Rule of Life

A. Definition of a rule of life

B. Benefits of having a rule of life

III. The Components of a Rule of Life

A. Spiritual life

B. Social life

C. Intellectual life

D. Physical life

IV. Developing Your Own Rule of Life

A. Setting goals for each component

B. Tips for creating a rule of life

V. Conclusion

A. Recap of the importance and benefits of having a rule of life

B. Encouragement to create a rule of life and find a partner to journey with

  • 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
Developing a Rule of Life
Lesson Transcript

Well, Mary Jo just talked about the discipleship plan that we have created for you to kind of pull everything together. What you've learned in this course and what your map of your own personal discipleship program or life will be like in the coming years. We really do encourage you to do that. And a key part of that really is what we call rule of life or what is called a rule of life. And I wanted to just unpack that for you a little bit about what that looks like in my life and how to incorporate that into your discipleship plan. Prior to doing that, though, I want to strongly emphasize something that Mary Jo mentioned just briefly. This idea of finding someone to partner with you, to journey with you, to kind of oversee your life and journey in this process. You may remember earlier in the course I talked about having a Paul, a Barnabas and a Timothy in your life, a Paul, someone more seasoned or mature than yourself to invest in you. A Barnabas is someone that comes alongside your equals, so to speak, and then a Timothy, the someone you'll actually pass this, you know, life on to, someone you'll pass discipleship on to the next generation. For me, I have that at every level. I have those seasoned leaders who speak into my life, those Barnabas friends that we just, you know, carry each other. And then I try to pass that on to the next generation and in some cases, the next generation actually reverse mentors me. I learn things from them as we go forward. But for now, we want to talk about what is this idea of a rule of life? A lot of people have not heard of that. And as a part of your discipleship plan, I strongly encourage you to write something that we would call or that is called a a rule of life. What is this? Several years ago, when I was in the process of being licensed and then ordained to be a pastor, I was encouraged and introduced to this concept of a rule of life. And it's essentially a way to kind of organize your life so that you stay balanced in everything. It's a way to keep steady in life and to keep on target and on track with what you want to achieve. And your purpose is as well as just to stay kind of even keeled in everything. And what this rule of life does is it covers several different categories, different components of who we are as a person. And the way it was framed to me was that it covers your spiritual life, your social life, your intellectual life, and your physical life. And for instance, when I wrote My Rule of Life, I had goals in each of those four areas. How do I want to grow spiritually this year? How do I want to grow spiritually in the next five years of my life? And so I mapped that out, goals that I had for each of those areas. And then socially, you know, I'm married and have children, so I want to make sure that they're incorporated into my plan. How do I plan to have vacations in my life and take time with family and spend time with my wife and my kids as well as friends? You know, friendships are a critical part of our journey together. And so part of my own rule of life included. How much time am I going to spend with friends and how do I make sure to incorporate that into my life? Because in ministry, it's easy to get consumed with the ministry aspects of life and forget that we have social needs as well. Finally, physically, that may be my biggest challenge in my rule of life is what's my plan to stay physically strong? What? What do I plan? How do I plan to eat? How do I plan to exercise? What's my. Do I just sit in front of a computer all day, or do I get outside and enjoy the sunshine and get to experience life? And all those things? Help us stay strong, stay fit for a lifetime of ministry and a lifetime of discipleship. And so it's really important. And then finally, mentally, how do I stay on top of things mentally? What are the things in my life that want to keep me engaged? So I keep growing, You know, we want to keep growing in our lives. And so part of that for me is, is some of the spiritual aspects of what I do. But another. Part of it is just the components of my career. So, for instance, on the spiritual side, what am I going to do in my discipleship plan to stay strong in Jesus? How do I incorporate daily rhythms of my life, of time in God's Word, time of prayer, kind of this rhyme and reason of life to stay spiritually fit. And then, like on this past year, I happened to do a Ph.D. over the last several years, but I completed it, and that was a part of my intellectual journey growing. And so we want you to map out a rule of life for yourself. How are you going to stay fit spiritually, emotionally, socially, physically and mentally? I kind of combined emotional and social there, but that's all a part of a rule of life. And so as we pull this course together, we've really enjoyed being with you. We strongly urge you to reflect on everything you've learned throughout these sessions and pull them together as a part of this discipleship plan for your life that includes this rule of life.