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Encarnacao Alliance Grass Roots Trainers Training Discipleship Creating a discipling community? Bryan Johnson
The Church is a discipling Community n n n The foundations of the Church are; Jesus Christ is the chief cornerstone – Eph. 2 v 20 The other foundations stones are; Faith – Col. 2 v 5 Hope – 1 Thess. 1 v 2, 3 Love – I Cor. 13 v 13 n n The ministry of establishing the Church is done through and in the grace of God – Eph 2 v 8; God’s grace is not only His unmerited favour But also His enabling power And His extravagant forgiving love.
Questions about discipleship? 1. What is the aim of discipleship? 2. Who is an example of a discipler? 3. Who can disciple others? 4. How many disciples should I disciple at once? 5. What is the attitude of the discipler? 6. How can we measure progress in disciplemaking? 7. Why is it important to make disciples? 8. What do we teach disciples? 9. How do we teach disciples? 10. What do disciples do?
1. What is the aim of discipleship? n n For disciples to become like Jesus Christ. That the disciples will help extend the rule and reign of the Kingdom of God over all the earth. To multiply the number of disciplined believers in Jesus Christ in caring communities of disciples. To fulfill the command of God when God created mankind. Genesis 1 verse 28. “God blessed them and said be fruitful and multiply, fill the earth, and rule over it. ”
2. Who is an example of a discipler? Jesus Christ discipled 12 Galileans. Mark 3 verses 13 – 19. 11 were successful in their ministry as disciples of Christ. 1 failed. n The Apostle Paul discipled Timothy, John Mark, Silas, Lois, Eunice, Philemon, Apphia, Archippus, Artemas, Tychicus, Carpus, Crescens, Titus, Zenas and many others. Several of Paul’s disciples failed as well, they were Hymenaeus, Philetus, Demas etc. n
3. Who can disciple others? n Do I have to be perfect before others? - No, not even the Apostle Paul was not perfect, see Phil. 3: 12 -14 - Grace is God’s enabling power to do what he has called us to do for Him. See James 4: 6. We receive grace and bestow grace. - Always be a humble learner. n n Those who have a learning attitude! To disciple others you only need to be one step ahead of your disciples Be a person with the goal to be like Christ, Phil. 3: 13 -14 Be a F. A. T. person, Faithful, Available, and Teachable. These qualities are those that make a great teacher and disciple-maker.
4. How many disciples should I disciple at once? n n n Jesus Christ was able to disciple 12 at once. He was doing this full-time. His ability was greater than ours. A small group/community is ideal for the process of discipleship. Timothy seems to have discipled two to four disciples at a time. His mobility probably limited the number he could disciple at any one time. The Apostle Paul discipled two to eight at any one time. Paul understood the need to disciple groups.
5. What are the attitudes of the discipler? n 1 Thessalonians 5 verses 11 - 14. “ Therefore encourage one another, build up one another, just as you are also doing. Appreciate those who diligently labor among you, and have charge over you in the Lord and give you instruction, and that you esteem them highly in love because of their work. Live in peace with one another. We urge you brethren, admonish the unruly, encourage the fainthearted, help the weak, be patient with all men”.
6. How can we measure progress in disciple-making? n Disciple making produces outcomes in the lives of the disciples. These are measured by the Apostle Paul as character qualities that will lead to the disciples becoming deacons and later elders in the Church. See I Tim 3: 1 -13. These qualities are; marriage fidelity, integrity, temperance, prudence, respect, hospitality, teachable, not a drunkard or a fighter, gentle, uncontentious, free from materialism, manages his household well, dignified, not conceited or proud, good reputation, truthful in speech, a clear conscience, faithful servants of Christ, generous, caring for people.
7. Why is it important to make disciples? n n To fulfill the command of Jesus Christ in Matt 28 verses 18 -20. The disciples of Christ are the earthly agents the Holy Spirit uses to bring the will (kingdom) of God on earth. Matt 6 verse 10. The family of God – the Church needs disciplined leadership for the family to function properly. Disciplined leadership in all areas of human endeavor will be a blessing to mankind and bring Christ’s rule in the hearts of mankind and over all creation. Genesis 1: 28.
8. What do we teach our disciples? n The Great Commission gives us a clue? “Teach them to observe all that I commanded” Matthew 28: 20 What did Jesus command – search the scriptures - Love God, love one another: 2 great commands - Preach the gospel of the Kingdom of God - Go to all nations and peoples, baptize, heal the sick, cast out demons, exercise authority in Christ’s name. - Make disciples of all converts ready to be taught. - Expect signs and wonders to accompany this ministry.
How do we teach disciples? The context? n n In joy-filled small groups building strong loving and caring relationships By building a joy-filled community that invites the presence of God into its midst n In an oral and interactive style n By being an example through our lives n In informal settings, and while ministering
What do disciples do? n n n Obey the commands of the Master Cooperate in unity with their leader and his team seeking to grow in Christ Observe closely the ministry style and attitude of the leader seeking to implement that style Minister in the power of the Holy Spirit out of a servant heart with compassion for people Allow the leader to critique their ministry and take notice of their helpful suggestions Seek to develop as a disciplined leader
The discipleship methods of Jesus n n n n Selected men willing to leave all and follow him Expected them to obey His commands Developed faith in their hearts Taught them the gospel of the kingdom of God Taught them to pray Taught them to suffer with grace and humility Spent time in informal settings telling them stories n n Encouraged them to minister at the earliest opportunity Evaluated their successes and failures, and encouraged them to keep growing strong in the Lord Prayed all the time for them to be protected from the enemy Taught the that the power of the Holy Spirit would dramatically change their lives
What was the result? n n 25% of the Mediterranean world were Christians by 300 AD and part of an urban house based movement. Thousands of Christians had suffered and died as martyrs, but the Church still grew Thousand of Christians found that the Holy Spirit was the greatest person and power they had ever encountered and they gave their total allegiance to Him. Disciples were made in all Mediterranean nations and many of those disciples understood that they were disciples because they made disciples and multiplied the Church and the influence of the Kingdom of God bringing dramatic social reforms in many cultures and nations.
Jesus implemented a unique strategy for world evangelization n Preach the gospel of the Kingdom Make disciples that would make disciples and multiply the preaching of the kingdom of God to all creation and form them into joy-filled, caring, informal communities. Teach, baptize, command, observe, obey, cast out demons, perform signs and wonders, heal the sick, and prepare them for the return of Christ by ensuring that every nation, tribe and tongue hears the gospel before Christ shall return
The eschatological implications of making disciples n n n The disciples of Christ shall also be the Bride of Christ on His return. Rev 21: 2 The disciples of Christ are His Body on earth until He returns. Romans 12: 4 The disciples of Christ will be drawn from very tribe, tongue, race and nation by the time Christ returns. Matt 24: 14 We will all live with Him in an Heavenly city for eternity after His return. Rev 21. This city will be located in a new heaven and a new earth. Rev 21: 1 -2
Disciples of Christ are His Body on earth n The Apostle Paul taught that the Body of Christ was; a) Diverse, many members with many gifts b) Many parts making a whole c) Stronger the more often they met in joyfilled community d) Responsible to minister to one another
Community life is most effective in small groups n The Immanence of God is expressed in small caring groups. These small groups facilitate friendship, relationship building, community life, loving care for one another and a sense of God’s nearness. n n n Key elements in this process are; Intimate sharing of life related events Each ministering what God has spoken to them Ministering to one another Practical care for one another
Small groups build community life n n Too often Christians are program focussed and program our Bible Study groups where the Bible is the focus People touching God’s presence needs to be the focus of small groups that build a strong loving, caring, joy-filled community life n n People attend meetings and observe a program but still do not make friends Small groups must develop a family atmosphere where people are ministered to and built up in their faith through friendship, and personal ministry.
Communities are stronger social units than individuals n n n Western society has proven the destructive and costly nature of individualism God has put the solitary in families so they may be strong, caring for one another The variety of gifts in a community makes possible a variety of ministries n n n Loving caring communities are attractive to the isolated and uncared for Human development needs immediate family and a wider extended family for all round health God bestows His blessing/joy on caring communities
Discipleship is the foundation for leadership in caring communities n n n Every community is strong when it has disciplined leadership The qualities of discipleship make for excellent community life Communities based on Jesus Christ’s example of leadership are strong and cohesive n n The urban poor need to develop a strong community life, to break strongholds/vices in their lives, for their communities to function and prosper The needs of the whole community are more important than the agenda of individuals
Encarnacao Trainers need to train and make disciples in this context n n n Trainers must trainees or disciples in the context of small group communities The training method needs to be a reflection of the goal of the training It is easier to reproduce things you have experienced n n The experience of trainees in a small group community must be such that the trainees will want to, and know how to reproduce it Quality community life is essential to the training of workers among the urban poor.
How do Trainers develop this community life? 1. By using the small interactive groups of 6 -15 in the training sessions that; a) always start with greetings and the sharing the life experiences of the last week by group members b) include everyone in the sharing time – this develops everyone’s oral communication skills c) respond to needs shared with prayer and ministry and practical help if possible d) include a game or fun activity to help build relationship and assist each member to get to know the others in the group e) use the customary way of creating a relaxed atmosphere of acceptance and friendship
f) accept each persons contribution with warmth and commendation g) move on to worship after each one is sensing acceptance and warmth in the group h) deliver the teaching session in an interactive manner allowing opportunity for participants to share their experience of the topic. Adult learning should build on experiences of the participants and not assume that they know nothing of the topic. i) Don’t preach a sermon. Focus on one topic and the kingdom values that can be integrated into our lifestyle through the grace of God. Get everyone to share their life experience.
j) Utilise the experience of those in the group to share the learning experience. This builds a team style of learning and community life k) Start to delegate responsibilities for components of the group meeting times to others as soon as you observe their readiness to do so. Encourage this as much as possible and always commend people for their good work. Do not take people for granted. l) Treat others as you would want to be treated yourself
2. By initiating community based business activities based around a group of 6 -25 people that; a) Develops the creative talents of the group b) Produces artifacts that are valued by the community c) Use local materials d) Creates wealth in the community by providing an above average return for their labour. e) Involves the group meeting together several times per week so they can start work with prayer and worship and have a meal together, and show caring love to one another and learn to live by kingdom values
Remember the goal! n n A joy-filled community of disciples with evidence of quality caring community life among the urban poor Disciples who are becoming like Christ in their servant lifestyle A redemptive community that reproduces itself through the ministry of its disciples in creating quality, caring, multiplying urban poor communities The extension of the kingdom of God on earth among the urban poor as an example of Christ’s love for the poor
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