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1 GO AND MAKE DISCIPLES by DOTA MANUAL 1 FOR GROUP LEADERS Third edition

2 INTRODUCTION Do you want to grow as a disciple of Jesus Christ? Do you want to help other believers to grow? Then study the four MANUALS FOR GROUP LEADERS ON MAKING DISCIPLES and practise its contents! Hereafter called: Manual 1 to 4. Jesus made disciples. He said to people, Come and see and Follow Me (John 1:39,43). And people everywhere are coming to see how he lived and what he gave his life to. They follow him in every country of the world, because of who he is and what he does. He changed their lives completely. He changed our lives completely! Later Jesus prayerfully chose twelve men to disciple and equip. He wanted these growing disciples to spend time with him, to listen to his words and to observe his life, to follow his life and imitate his ministry (Mark 3:13-15). After about two years, Jesus gave his disciples a task, Go and make disciples of all nations (Matthew 28:18-20). And they went and made disciples from Jerusalem to the ends of the earth (Acts 1:8). These disciples in their turn made more disciples and went to other yet unreached places. They passed on to others what they had learned (2 Timothy 2:2). Thus, the disciples of the Lord Jesus Christ are making new disciples in every country of the world today. The apostle Paul teaches that Jesus Christ gave to particular Christians the task to equip God s people for works of service, so that the body of Christ may be built up (Ephesians 4:11-16) The purpose of the four manuals is to help a Christian group leader to equip other Christians under his care to become disciples of Jesus Christ. A disciple is a mature Christian. This course makes the training of disciples practical by giving the group leader the following: 1. Each of the four manuals contains twelve lessons that can be completed in three months. 2. Important Bible references help the students to get to know Christ and the Bible. 3. The group leader should make use of the questions and let students read the Bible passages before discussion. 4. The notes give a summary of the answer to each question. This serves as a guideline for the group leader. 5. The training course teaches practical methods to practise discipleship alone or together in a small group. 6. Each lesson includes a preparation to do at home, which may be handed out to the students. 7. The training course is easy to pass on to others. After completion of each course of 12 lessons, those students, who will teach the training course to another small group of people, may receive a copy of this manual for group leaders. Our prayer is that the Lord rapidly increase the number of disciples in your area and that a large number of people become obedient to the faith (Acts 6:7). May the Lord be glorified! For from him and through him and to him are all things. To him be the glory forever! Amen (Romans 11:36). DOTA (Discipleship training On The Air. The name goes back to the period that this course was mainly broadcasted by radio.) 2009 (Third revised edition) COPYRIGHT The four manuals have copyright. They may be copied freely for training purposes, but they may not be sold, changed or translated into other languages without the written permission from the author. RECOMMENDATION The materials are intended to be widely used and to be a blessing to many. But because the purpose of the four manuals is to train or equip Christians, it is recommended that only group leaders of this disciple training course make exact copies of these manuals. A student should only receive an exact copy of a lesson or of a manual after he has completed the course of twelve lessons and only when he will teach it to another person or small group of people. The paragraph in this box must not be translated into the foreign language and not published in the manuals for group leaders or internet. a. The sole ownership of the four manuals for group leaders ON GO AND MAKE DISCIPLES in the ENGLISH language remains with the author. b. The manuals and the radio programme in the ENGLISH language may under no circumstances be retrieved, stored, copied, etc. in any way or passed on to anyone else, except by written permission of the author DOTA Manual 1 - DISCIPLE page 2 of 110

3 CONTENTS MANUAL 1 FOR GROUP LEADERS INTRODUCTION AND COPYRIGHT THE MINISTRY OF JESUS CHRIST HOW TO BEGIN A SMALL GROUP TRAINING PROGRAMME I A weekly programme for 3 months. About 1½ to 2 hours per week. Keep the group small about 3 to10 people. Each programme begins with prayer and ends with responsive prayer and a homework assignment. page LESSON 1 Worship (God is unfathomable) Teaching (Personal time with God. The favourite truth method) Practise personal time with God (Psalm 23) LESSON 2 Sharing personal time with God (Matthew 1:1 7:29) Memorisation (Assurance of salvation: John 10:28) Bible study (How do I respond to God s Word? Luke 8:4-15) LESSON 3 Worship (God is great) Sharing personal time with God (Matthew 8:1 11:24) Teaching (Gospel. Concepts of the gospel part 1) LESSON 4 Sharing personal time with God (Matthew 11:25 14:36) Memorisation (Assurance of answered prayer: John 16:24) Bible study (Where do I come from? Genesis 1:1 2:4a) LESSON 5 Worship (God is a Person) Sharing personal time with God (Matthew 15:1 18:20) Teaching (Bible. Seven ways to use the Bible) LESSON 6 Sharing personal time with God (Matthew 18:21 21:46) Memorisation (Assurance of victory: 1 Corinthians 10:13) Bible study (Who am I? Ephesians 2:1-22) LESSON 7 Worship (God is holy) Sharing personal time with God (Matthew 22:1 25:13) Teaching (Prayer. Prayer is to respond to God s Word) LESSON 8 Sharing personal time with God (Matthew 25:14 28:20) Memorisation (Assurance of forgiveness: 1 John 1:9) Bible study (Why am I here? Ephesians 4:17 5:17) LESSON 9 Worship (God is love) Sharing personal time with God (John 1:1 4:22) Teaching (Obedience. The growth study) LESSON 10 Sharing personal time with God (John 4:23 7:52) Memorisation (Assurance of God s guidance: Proverbs 3:5-6) Bible study (Where am I going? Revelation 21:1 22:6) LESSON 11 Worship (God is my Helper) Sharing personal time with God (John 7:53 11:37) Teaching (Fellowship. Our responsibilities to one another) LESSON 12 Sharing personal time with God (John 11:38 14:31) Memorisation (Review of verses about Christian assurances) Bible study (How do I bear fruit? John 15:1-17) Supplement 1 Supplement 2 Supplement 3 Supplement 4 Supplement 5 Supplement 6 Supplement 7 A method for a personal time with God (The favourite truth method) A programme for Bible reading A system for Bible marking A method for Bible study (The five steps method) A method for Bible meditation and memorisation How to manage a small group The programme of a house fellowship DOTA Manual 1 - DISCIPLE page 3 of 110

4 TRAINING PROGRAMME II An intensive programme that may be used once a week for a whole day or during an intensive training seminar of six days. Divide the whole group into small groups with a trained group leader. Keep the groups small about three to ten people each. Suggested programme Worship (group) Teaching (group) Break Bible study (group) Break Extra time for completing the teaching or Bible study, for answering questions, or for an extra teaching (group). Break Meditation and memorisation (two by two) Bible reading (alone) Personal time with God (two by two) Sharing and praying (in small groups of maximum 10 people) DAY 1 (Lesson 1 + 2) Prayer Worship (God is unfathomable) Teaching (Personal time with God. The favourite truth method) Bible study (How do I respond to God s Word? Luke 8:4-15) Memorisation (Assurance of salvation: John 10:28) Bible reading (Matthew 1 7) Personal time with God (Two by two: Matthew 3:1-12 Sharing and praying DAY 2 (Lesson 3 + 4) Prayer Worship (God is great) Teaching (The message of the gospel. Concepts) Bible study (Where do I come from? Genesis 1:1 2:4a) Memorisation (Assurance of answered prayer: John 16:24) Bible reading (Matthew 8 14) Personal time with God (Two by two: Matthew 10:16-33) Sharing and praying DAY 3 (Lesson 5 + 6) Prayer Worship (God is a Person) Teaching (Bible. Seven ways to use the Bible) Bible study (Who am I? Ephesians 2:1-22) Memorisation (Assurance of victory: 1 Corinthians 10:13) Bible reading (Matthew 15 21) Personal time with God (Two by two: Matthew 15:1-20) Sharing and praying DAY 4 (Lesson 7 + 8) Prayer Worship (God is holy) Teaching (Prayer. Prayer is to respond to God s Word) Bible study (Why am I here? Ephesians 4:17 5:17) Memorisation (Assurance of forgiveness: 1 John 1:9) Bible reading (Matthew 22-28) Personal time with God (Two by two: Matthew 25:14-30) Sharing and praying DAY 5 (Lesson ) Prayer Worship (God is love) Teaching (Obedience. The growth study) Bible study (Where am I going? Revelation 21:1 22:6) Memorisation (Assurance of God s guidance: Proverbs 3:5-6) Bible reading (John 1 7) Personal time with God (Two by two: John 5:16-30) Sharing and praying DAY 6 (Lesson ) Prayer Worship (God is my Helper) Teaching (Fellowship. Our responsibilities to one another) Bible study (How do I bear fruit? John 15:1-17) Memorisation (Review of verses about Christian assurances) Bible reading (John 8 14) Personal time with God (Two by two: John 14:1-31) Sharing and praying POSSIBLE EXTRA TEACHINGS Introduction Introduction Supplement 2 Supplement 3 Supplement 5 Supplement 6 Supplement 7 The ministry of Jesus Christ How to begin a small group A programme for Bible reading A system for Bible marking A method for Bible meditation and memorisation How to manage a small group The programme of a house fellowship 2009 DOTA Manual 1 - DISCIPLE page 4 of 110

5 THE MINISTRY OF JESUS CHRIST What characterised the ministry of Jesus? What should characterise our ministry? A. THE MINISTRY OF JESUS AND HIS DISCIPLES IN THE NEW TESTAMENT 1. The ministry of Jesus and his disciples is a kingdom ministry. It is not a ministry of establishing church denominations. a. The kingdom of God The kingdom of God is more than the visible Church, the Body of Christ or the world-wide community of professing Christians. Psalm 24:1. In general the kingdom of God is the kingship or sovereign rule or reign of God in heaven over all people and everything from eternity to eternity (Psalm 145:13; 146:10; Jeremiah 10:10; 1 Timothy 6:16). Matthew 28:18. In particular the kingdom of God is the sovereign rule or reign of God on earth through Jesus Christ (John 13:3; Ephesians 1:20-22; Philippians 2:9-11; Colossians 1:15-20; Revelation 1:5; 17:14; 19:16). Revelation 1:5-6. The kingdom of God is based on the completed work of salvation of Jesus Christ during his first coming (Matthew 21:39,42-43; 28:18; Acts 2:36) and the application of that work in believers through the Holy Spirit today (Romans 14:17). Luke 17: The kingdom of God is the sovereign rule or reign of Jesus Christ that is recognised in the hearts of believers and operative in their lives (Matthew 6:10,33; 25:34-40). b. The kingdom of God results in four visible areas Read Mark 10: The kingship of God is manifested in the believer s salvation from beginning to end: his election in eternity (Ephesians 1:4-5), his rebirth in time (John 3:3-8), the transformation of his life (1 Corinthians 6:9-11) and the resurrection of his body at Christ s second coming (1 Corinthians 15:24-26). This God-given salvation includes all the spiritual and material blessings for the soul and the body, which result when God s sovereign kingship is recognised and obeyed (Ephesians 1:3). Read Matthew 16: The kingship of God is manifested in the constitution of all believers as God s one Church on earth (Ephesians 1:20-23; 1 Peter 2:4-5,9-10). The Church is the community of people in whose hearts and lives God s sovereign kingship is recognised and obeyed. Read Matthew 25: The kingship of God is manifested in the good works of believers in every aspect of human society (their influence in intellectual, physical, emotional, social and spiritual areas like education, justice, mercy and love (Romans 14:17). Read 1 Corinthians 1: And finally, the kingship of God is manifested in God s redeemed universe, which will be the new heaven and the new earth with all its glory in the future, the final realisation of God s work of salvation in the people he called (Matthew 25:34; 2 Peter 1:11; Revelation 11:15). c. The kingdom of God has five characteristics Read Matthew 12:28. The kingdom of God was particularly established at the first coming of Jesus Christ (Matthew 21:43). Read John 18:36. The kingdom of God is in the present world, but not of the present world (Luke 17:21). Read Matthew 13: The kingdom of God is a revelation for believers and a riddle for unbelievers at the same time DOTA Manual 1 - DISCIPLE page 5 of 110

6 Read Matthew 13:24-26, The kingdom of God has a present form on this earth and a future form on the new earth. Read Matthew 13: The kingdom of God begins small, grows and will finally pervade all (Daniel 2:34-35,44-45). 2. The ministry of Jesus and his disciples is a ministry in houses. It is not necessarily a ministry in special church buildings. Read Mark 2:1-5. Jesus preached, taught and healed people in the ordinary houses of people (Mark 3:20,32-35). The apostles went from house to house and never stopped teaching and preaching (Acts 5:42; 20:20-21). They preached the good news to their relatives and close friends in their own homes (Acts 10:24-27; 28:30-31). Read Mark 2: Jesus had fellowship with ordinary people around meals in houses. Christians came together to break bread in a house (Acts 2:42; 20:7-9). Read Acts 12:12. Christians prayed together in a house. Read Acts 16: People were converted and baptised in houses (Acts 9:17-18; 18:7-11; 22:16). Read 1 Corinthians 16:19. Christian congregations gathered together in houses (Romans 16:5; Colossians 4:15; Philemon 1:2). 3. The ministry of Jesus and his disciples is an equipping (training) ministry. It is not necessarily a ministry consisting of a weekly religious programme. The equipping or training took place on the basis of relationships and discipleship. The key words of equipping are: - teaching the truth - training in skills - transmission of an example in everything and - sending out those that are trained. a. Jesus made disciples (mature Christians). Read John 1:39. Jesus taught his followers and transmitted an example to them. Come and see. He involved people in his life and got involved in their lives. Read Mark 3:14. Then he called them to be with him and follow him around so that he might teach them how to become fishers of men (Matthew 4:19). He trained them to put his teachings into practice (Matthew 7:24-27). Read Matthew 4:23. Jesus and his followers went throughout the province: teaching, preaching and healing people. Their ministry was holistic (a total approach): they not only taught and trained, but also showed mercy and served the needy people. b. Jesus trained (equipped) workers. Read Matthew 9: They learned to go to those who needed mercy and righteousness (Matthew 11:19; Luke 19:10) Read Matthew 9:17. They had to pour the message of new life into new forms and structures (cf. Matthew 15:1-9). Read Matthew 10:5-8. They practised to preach, to heal and to freely give what they had received (1 Corinthians 9:18-27) DOTA Manual 1 - DISCIPLE page 6 of 110

7 c. Jesus sent leaders. Read John 20:21. Finally, Jesus sent his disciples to do what he did. Read Matthew 28: They had to go to all the nations of the world and make them disciples of Jesus Christ through preaching the gospel, baptising believers and teaching them to obey all that Jesus had commanded them. 4. The ministry of Jesus and his disciples is a multiplying ministry. It is not a ministry maintaining the traditional status quo. a. Three key groups. The large group: the crowds in society The small group of disciples: the house fellowship or the house church that meets together regularly The individual: one individual person meeting another individual person for specific goals (mentoring/coaching) b. Three different emphases. In a large group we emphasize teaching (and preaching) knowledge, understanding and motivation to do good (Acts 10:38; 20:18-20). In a small group we emphasize training - studying, interaction, possible applications, urging one another to love and good works (Hebrews 10:24-25) With an individual we emphasize transmission of an example - personal application, change of character and habits (Colossians 1:28-29; 2 Timothy 3:10-11,16), actually doing good (Acts 20:34-35), equipping for specific tasks and ministering together in the kingdom of God (Ephesians 4:12; 2 Timothy 3:17) c. Biblical illustrations of the value of the large group, the small group and the individual (the Timothy ). (the large group) The crowds (Matthew 9:36) Jesus (the small group) The 12 disciples (Matthew 10:1-2) (the individual) Peter (John 1:42; Matthew 16:18) The crowds (5000, Acts 4:4) Peter The team of apostles (Acts 2:14) Barnabas (Acts 4:36-37) A great number (Acts 11:24) Barnabas Paul (Acts 11:25-26) All the congregations (2 Corinthians 11:28) Paul His team of co-labourers (Acts 16:6, Silas, Timothy, Titus, Luke) Timothy (Philippians 2:19-23; 2 Timothy 3:10-11) The congregation at Ephesus (1 Timothy 1:3; 2 Timothy 4:1-5) Timothy The elders, the deacons, the widows, the aged, the youth, the slaves, the masters, the rich, etc. Entrust what he had learned to reliable and qualified individuals (2 Timothy 2:2) A reliable + qualified person Others (2 Timothy 2:2). For example, leading other congregations Training another small group of reliable and qualified people Teaching, training and transmitting an example to another reliable and qualified person You and me. In this way we, who live today, have been trained in a small group and possibly as a Timothy. In your turn, select your small group and your Timothy and focus on equipping them DOTA Manual 1 - DISCIPLE page 7 of 110

8 B. THE MINISTRY OF JESUS AND HIS DISCIPLES CONTINUES TODAY 1. The small group: House fellowship meetings. A house fellowship meeting is a weekly meeting of a small group of believers generally within walking/travelling distance from where they live. a. Jesus continues his ministry. Today, Jesus continues his ministry through ordinary believers - by serving the larger group of people in society - by training the believers in small groups (house fellowships) - and by being a mentor or coach for a Timothy The believers try to do something good within their society. Small groups of believers meet together every week in the homes of believers: to worship God through Jesus Christ, to grow in knowledge and obedience to Jesus Christ and to train new disciples. Mature individual believers meet to equip their Timothy s or new group leaders. b. The seven discipleship disciplines in the small group. In this course the new believers are taught 7 discipleship disciplines on a regular basis: Worship, Sharing one of their personal times (and lives) with God, Teaching a discipleship topic, Meditation and memorisation, Bible study, Prayer and a Preparation to do at home. c. The discipleship course and the house church service in the small group. A small group of 2 to 15 believers meet together in a house every week. Only for discipleship: Discipleship (A) every 1 st and 3 rd week and discipleship (B) every 2 nd and 4 th week of the month. During one week they especially practise worship and teaching and during the other week they especially practise memorisation and Bible study. Or for discipleship and service: Every three weeks discipleship (A and B) and service (C). During 1 st week especially worship and teaching, during 2 nd week especially memorisation and Bible study and during 3 rd week especially singing, preaching, prayer and the Lord s Supper or baptism. discipleship (A) - worship (incl. a song) (20 min) - sharing quiet times (20 min) - TEACHING (70 min) - responsive prayer (8 min) - preparation to do at home (2 min) discipleship (B) - memorisation (20 min) - sharing quiet times (20 min) - BIBLE STUDY (70 min) - intercessory prayer (8 min) - preparation to do at home (2 min) service in house (C) - singing (45 min) - PREACHING (15 min) - prayer (30 min) - the Lord s Supper, baptism or fellowship (meal) when needed (30 min) 2. The individual: Train your Timothy. Select at least one person in every house fellowship or small group on the basis of 2 Timothy 2:2. He or she should be reliable or faithful and qualified or able to teach others. Meet this person regularly once a week to equip (train) and encourage him or her. Set a personal example for him or her. Emphasize the transmission of an example in especially the following areas: personal application and change of character and habits. Equip this person to become a group leader. Then mentor him or her when he or she leads a small group and train their Timothy. 3. The method: The manuals for group leaders. a. Use the manuals 1 to 4 called Go and make disciples by DOTA The goal is to train disciples and group leaders. The manuals 1 and 2 develop basic discipleship. The manuals 3 and 4 develop advanced discipleship. They teach the five steps method of Bible study and the major areas of Christian life. Each manual contains twelve lessons of about two hours each DOTA Manual 1 - DISCIPLE page 8 of 110

9 b. Then use the manuals 5 to 8 called Go and build Christ s Church by DOTA. The goal is to build up Christian congregations. The manuals 5 and 6 develop services in congregations. The manuals 7 and 8 develop ministries in congregations. They teach the Gospel of John. Each manual contains twelve lessons of about two hours each. c. Finally use the manuals 9 to 12 called Go and preach God s Kingdom by DOTA. The goal is to develop leaders in congregations and Christian ministries. They particularly teach the leaders of the congregation and the group leaders to preach or teach the parables of Jesus and the letter to the Romans. The radio programmes also teach the introduction to every book in the Bible. Each manual contains twelve lessons of about two hours each. d. Use radio, television, CD s, Internet and Web caste, all called DOTA. By making use of the materials, grasp the biblical truths, practise the Christian disciplines and gain practical skills to do the Christian ministry. 4. The vision: The blueprint of a multiplying ministry. a. The key to a multiplying ministry is group leaders that train a house fellowship or small group each. If every trained house fellowship starts one new house fellowships every year, there will be 256 house fellowships or small groups in 10 years! b. The key to multiplying group leaders is a trainer of group leaders in every town. Begin by appointing one man and one woman to train more group leaders in your country. Later every congregation could appoint one man and one woman in each town to train more group leaders. c. God s command and promise. The cultural commission of God in Genesis 1:28 said, Fill the earth with people in God s image. And the great commission of Jesus in Matthew 28:19 says: Go and make disciples of all the nations. God s plan will not fail. God says, As I have planned, so it will be (Isaiah 14:24,27; Psalm 138:8). In the end, there will be a great multitude that no one can count, from every nation, tribe, people and language, standing before Jesus Christ (Revelation 7:9) DOTA Manual 1 - DISCIPLE page 9 of 110

10 HOW TO BEGIN A SMALL GROUP A. HAVE A GOAL 1. The four manuals for group leaders on making disciples have the following goals: a. To help you to grow as a Christian yourself b. To help other young Christians to grow to maturity c. To equip and train Christian group leaders, workers and church leaders to serve, especially in a ministry of making disciples. Caution. The contents of these leadership manuals do not make a person a disciple of Christ. Spiritual growth comes only when a person believes in the truth and practises the truth in his daily life! God has given the Bible to us, not just to increase our knowledge, but to change our lives! 2. The disciple course has the following characteristics: a. It is participatory. Everyone in the group participates! b. It is affordable. Students only need a Bible, notebook and pen. Only the group leader uses the manual. c. It is adaptable. The group leader can adapt the course (not the materials) to his purpose and to the needs of his students. d. It is creative. The students are encouraged to think, to develop their own convictions, to be inventive and to use their skills. e. It is practical. The manuals teach practical methods and the students are taught to apply what they learn. f. It is transferable. Students who have completed one manual may use the same manual to train others. 1. God. B. MAKE A PLAN What does God say that you should do? Allow God to guide you through the Bible and the Holy Spirit in prayer. 2. Needs. What are the needs of the people you want to train? Observe their lives and listen to what they say. 3. Opportunities. What are your opportunities, abilities, resources and difficulties? 4. Adjustments. Which adjustments should you make in your plan? What is the number of people that you want to train? What is the maturity and ability of each student? How much time does the student have available? 5. Place. Choose a suitable place and time to meet. Can all the students reach the meeting place? Is it a place without distractions? 2009 DOTA Manual 1 - DISCIPLE page 10 of 110

11 C. RECRUIT COMMITTED PEOPLE 1. Recruit students. a. Requirements. Prayerfully look for students, who want to learn and who are faithful (2 Timothy 2:2). b. Inform Invite them to participate in a disciple programme. Inform them well about the disciple programme. 2. Ask the students to make a commitment to the following 5 standards. a. To be faithful. I will come to every small group meeting. b. To be prepared. I will do the homework assignment before I come to the small group meeting. c. To be teachable. I am willing to learn and to apply what I learn. d. To be loving. I will help the other group members to grow. e. To be accountable. I am willing to share my progress and struggles within the small group. Let the students pray about it and make their own decision together with God concerning what they will do. 1. The Bible. D. MAKE USE OF MATERIALS The Bible is your most important source for teaching and training. Always use the Bible in your training. 2. Manuals. Use the four manuals as the programme for your teaching and training. 3. Whiteboard. Make use of a whiteboard, etc. to teach. 4. Notes. Encourage the students to write down notes as completely as possible. 5. Internet, Radio and Television. Group leaders and students will benefit from making use of the radio programmes, satellite TV programmes, CD s and Internet websites DOTA Manual 1 - DISCIPLE page 11 of 110

12 E. MULTIPLY SMALL GROUPS 1. Let students begin their own small group. When you have completed the training of a small group, challenge the students to begin their own small group and to make use of the four manuals. Or form teams of two students to begin a new small group each (Luke 10:1-2). 2. Manuals are only for group leaders. After the completion of one of the manuals, those students, who will teach the training course to another small group of people, may receive a copy of that manual. 3. Continue to meet with the new group leaders. Continue to meet with the new group leaders of the disciple groups on a regular basis in order to give them opportunities to share how they are doing as group leaders, to discuss their questions and problems, to pray together for their group and to train them further. All new group leaders need a mentor or coach DOTA Manual 1 - DISCIPLE page 12 of 110

13 LESSON 1 1 PRAYER Group leader. Pray and commit your group and this course on making disciples to the LORD. 2 WORSHIP (20 minutes) GOD IS UNFATHOMABLE Teach. What is worship? The definition of worship is the following: Worship is an attitude of awe, adoration, submission and dedication to God, expressed in various kinds of prayer and the way we live every day. In order to worship God, we need to get to know who God is. In every worship time we learn one characteristic of God. (Group leader. Read the teaching about God is unfathomable ). Theme. GOD IS UNFATHOMABLE. 1. God s limits are unfathomable. Yet people can know him. Read Job 11:7-8. Teach. No one can probe the limits of the Almighty God. No one can know or understand everything there is to know concerning God. To define something means to describe the limits of that thing. To define God would mean to describe the limits of God. If someone could define what God is like, he would know the limits of God and thus be greater than God. The Bible teaches that God created us people with limitations. He defines our limits and knows everything about us. This fact ought to make us realise our place in creation. It ought to make us more humble in God s presence. But if no one can probe the limits of God or fathom the mysteries about God, is all knowledge about God impossible? Can we people know anything about God? Yes, we can have knowledge about God, but only to the extent that he has revealed himself to us. The secret things belong to the LORD our God, but the things revealed belong to us and to our children forever, that we may follow all the words of this law (Deuteronomy 29:29). 2. God is invisible. Yet he reveals himself to people. Read Colossians 1:15. Teach. God is Spirit (John 4:24) and therefore invisible to human eyes. No man has seen God and no man can see God. No one can describe God s being or personality, unless God himself reveals certain aspects of his being and personality. Can we people see God? Yes, Jesus Christ is the visible image of the invisible God. The invisible Almighty Spirit took on the visible human nature in Christ and dwelt among human beings so that people had been able to see him. Jesus said, He who has seen me, has seen the Father (John 14:9). Thousands of people saw the person and life of Jesus Christ. What they recorded in the Bible helps us today to see and know Jesus Christ. In Jesus Christ we see and know the invisible God. In Jesus Christ, we can see God s love and mercy, God s holiness and righteousness, God s sovereign might and humility, God s truth and wisdom, in short, God s glory. God s glory is the summary of all God s attributes (characteristics) or perfections, including his presence. Jesus Christ is the radiance of God s glory, the exact representation of God s being (Hebrews 1:3). The invisible God in heaven revealed himself in and through the visible Jesus Christ on earth. In Jesus Christ lives all the fullness of the Deity in bodily form (Colossians 2:9). 3. God is unapproachable. Yet God approaches us. Read 1 Timothy 6:16. Teach. God lives in an unapproachable light. No one can approach God. No one can climb up to heaven to see or meet God. God is not only invisible, but also unapproachable by any kind of human effort. No religion in the world can help us to approach the Living God, who revealed himself in the Bible! Can we approach God? The Bible teaches that it is not we who approach God, but that God approaches us! God came down to earth to reveal himself to us. God clothed himself with our weak human nature and came to live among us (John 1:1,14; Philippians 2:6-8). God approached us, so that we can know Him, receive Him and relate to Him in a personal way. In every other religion in the world, the Living God is completely unapproachable. But in Jesus Christ, the Living God approached us in the past history and still approaches us today. Only in Jesus Christ, God is approachable! Group leader. Worship God in his characteristic of being unfathomable. Worship in small groups of three people each DOTA Manual 1 - DISCIPLE page 13 of 110

14 3 TEACHING (70 minutes) [PERSONAL TIME WITH GOD]. THE FAVOURITE TRUTH METHOD A. MOTIVATION WHY IS A DAILY TIME OF FELLOWSHIP WITH JESUS CHRIST IMPORTANT? 1. The picture of eating together. Why do people like to eat together? Read Revelation 3:20. Notes. People like to eat together, because that is how they have fellowship with one another! In the Bible, eating together is a picture of fellowship. Jesus Christ does not want to stand outside the church meetings, but he wants to come into its midst to fellowship with the people. Likewise, after you have received Jesus Christ into your heart and life, the first thing Jesus wants to do with you is to have fellowship with you. Whoever receives Jesus Christ receives God (Matthew 10:40; Colossians 1:15) and whoever fellowships with Jesus Christ, fellowships with God through the Holy Spirit (John 16:13-15). 2. The means of having fellowship with Jesus Christ. What do you do when you eat together with other people? Notes. When you eat together with other people, you take food into your body and you talk with one another. Spiritually, when you eat together or fellowship with Jesus Christ, you take spiritual food into your mind and heart and you talk with Jesus Christ through prayer. What does Jesus regard as spiritual food? Read Matthew 4:4; John 4:34; 1 Peter 2:2. Notes. Real spiritual food is the Word of God as God revealed it in the Bible (the Holy Book or the Holy Scriptures). A person begins to live when he does what is written in the Bible. In order to have fellowship with Jesus Christ, that is, with God, you must learn to feed yourself with the Word of God. You must learn to eat, digest and live by what God says to you in the Bible. How do you talk to God? Read Psalm 62:8; Luke 11:1-4. Notes. You talk to God through prayer. In order to have fellowship with God, you must learn to pray. Prayer is not a religious exercise. It is not fixed religious words and postures. Prayer is a voluntary and delightful spiritual time of fellowship with the One and Only True and Living God. In prayer God speaks personally to you and you respond to what he says. Or in prayer you pour out your heart to God and he answers in his own time and way. Learn to respond to what God says to you in his Word. Learn to open up your heart and bring all that is in your heart before God. 3. The responsibility to have fellowship with Jesus Christ. Teach. Revelation 3:20 speaks first of Jesus eating with you and then of you eating with Jesus. Who are hosts in this illustration? What are the responsibilities of the believer as host? Notes. When Jesus eats with you, you are the host and Jesus is the guest. What are your responsibilities towards Jesus Christ? When I am the host, then my responsibility is to give to Jesus Christ what I have. This is especially my heart, time and eagerness to fellowship with him, but also my sins, troubles and fears. What are the responsibilities of Jesus as host? Notes. When you eat with Jesus, Jesus is the host and you are the guest. What are his responsibilities towards you? When Jesus is the host, I may expect very much from him! As guest I may expect that God will speak to me personally during my time of fellowship with him. I may also expect that God will give to me everything that I really need for that day (Hebrews 4:15-16) DOTA Manual 1 - DISCIPLE page 14 of 110

15 4. The frequency of having fellowship with Jesus Christ. How many times do you eat during a normal day? Notes. Why is it important to eat regularly? What implication does Revelation 3:20 have on our fellowship with God? Most people eat two or three times every day. In order to stay healthy and have energy to work, we must not only eat good food, but also eat regularly. Based on the picture of Revelation 3:20, it is reasonable to have a time of fellowship with God every day. What was the regular habit of Jesus Christ during his incarnation? Read Isaiah 50:4-5; Mark 1:35. Notes. In the Old Testament, Jesus Christ is called the Servant of the Lord. Isaiah 50 is a prophecy about Jesus Christ more than 700 years before his first coming to earth. Every morning Jesus listened to the teaching of God the Father and prayed to God. Thus, when Jesus Christ was in this world, he had a regular time of fellowship with God the Father in the morning. What was the regular habit of king David? Read Psalm 143:8,10; Psalm 1:1-2; Psalm 5:3. Notes. In the morning, king David expected to hear God s words of love for him. And he expected that God would show him the way he should go. This happened when he meditated on the words of God. In his prayers, he laid his requests before God. Then he looked expectantly forward to what God was going to do. Thus, also king David had a regular time of fellowship with God in the morning. Summarise. We call a daily personal time with God also a quiet time or devotional time. Make a personal time with God also your daily habit. During your personal time with God you eat the words of God in the Bible and you talk with God through prayer. B. METHOD HOW TO HAVE A DAILY PERSONAL TIME OF FELLOWSHIP WITH GOD Teach. The following method of a personal time with God is called THE FAVOURITE TRUTH METHOD. This method has 5 steps. Note the difference between the method of a personal time with God (the favourite truth method) and the method of Bible study (the five steps method). At the end of a house fellowship meeting the group leader assigns 7 passages from the Bible from which everyone in the small group (house fellowship) will have a personal time of fellowship with God during the coming week. Step 1. Pray. Begin your personal time with God by consciously entering into God s presence. Ask God to speak personally to you through his words in the Bible and his Spirit. Ask him to renew or strengthen your life through the words of the Bible. For example, you could pray, LORD, open my eyes that I may see the wonderful things in your Word (Psalm 119:18). Step 2. Read. Every day, read one of the seven assigned passages for that week from the Bible. Step 3. Choose your favourite truth. Your favourite truth may be a verse, a few verses, or especially one of the truths in the Bible passage that you have read. It is the thought or truth through which God is speaking to you, through which your thinking is stimulated or through which your heart is touched. Step 4. Meditate your favourite truth. You meditate on God s Word because you want to understand the truth, receive renewal or strength from it, and apply or use it. Christian meditation has the following 4 parts: 2009 DOTA Manual 1 - DISCIPLE page 15 of 110

16 - Think about the meaning of the different words in your favourite truth. Ask yourself questions like Who? What? Where? When? Why? How? - Pray to God while you think. Ask God to speak to your mind and your heart, to explain the meaning of a word to you or to reveal to you what he wants you to know, believe, be or do. Respond to what God is saying to you. - Relate your favourite truth to your personal life or to the world in which you live. Ask yourself one of the following questions: What is my need in the light of this truth? How does this truth renew or strengthen me? What does God want me to know or believe or be or do? - Write the most important thoughts of your meditation in your notebook for personal time with God. Step 5. Pray your favourite truth. Pray your favourite truth (the thought of your meditation) back to God. Pray shortly for four different people: - Pray your favourite truth for yourself. - Pray your favourite truth for someone in your family. - Pray your favourite truth for someone nearby, that is, for someone in your neighbourhood, congregation or working place. - Pray your favourite truth for someone far away, that is, for someone living in another town or another country. 1. A daily personal time with God. C. SUGGESTIONS FOR A PERSONAL TIME WITH GOD Teach. Have a daily personal time with God. Have a personal time with God every day, alone or together with others. You can have a personal time with God in the morning, afternoon, evening or night. Make use of the favourite truth method. Make use of a plan for Bible reading (See manual 1, supplement 2). Make use of a system for Bible marking (See manual 1, supplement 3). 2. A notebook for your personal time with God. Teach. Keep a notebook for your personal time with God. Make a habit of writing down the following: - The date. - The Bible reference of the passage you read for your personal time with God. - The Bible reference of your favourite truth. - All the important truths God wants you to remember or share. Your notebook for your personal time with God will help you to share what you have learned with others. It will help you to remember what God said to you in the past. When you read these notes later, you may see a pattern in how God is leading you. 3. A personal time with God as a group. Teach. Have a personal time with God as a group. Form a small group of people who would like to have a personal time with God together. The small group may consist of family members, friends or believers in the neighbourhood. Meet at a time that is most suitable for all of you. Some Christians meet together early in the morning in order to have a personal time with God and to pray together before they go to work. Quiet time. Split the small group into groups of two people each. Have a personal time with God in groups of two using the favourite truth method. If practical have a quiet time with three of four people together. Sharing time. At the end, come together and each person shares shortly his favourite truth as well as the important things you have learned. Prayer time. Finally, take turns to pray a short prayer about the things that you have received DOTA Manual 1 - DISCIPLE page 16 of 110

17 4. A time for sharing your personal time with God. Teach. Share your personal times with God every week. If your group meets only once a week, then use part of the time as sharing time. (See programme overview of manual 1 for group leaders). Each person shares with the whole group only one of the personal times of God that he had during the past week. Finally, take turns to pray a short prayer about the things that you have received. 1. Have a daily personal time with God. D. PRACTICAL EXERCISE By making use of the favourite truth method and the assigned Bible passages (or a Bible reading plan), start to have a daily time of fellowship with God. Make notes of each day s personal time with God in a special notebook. You could have a personal time with God alone or in a group. 2. Share personal times with God in the group meetings. Whether you meet daily or weekly as a group, have a sharing time during which each person shares the notes of one of his personal times with God. 4 PRACTISE (20 minutes) PERSONAL TIME WITH GOD. THE FAVOURITE TRUTH METHOD Choose a passage from the Bible, for example, Psalm 23:1-6. Divide your group into twos. Have a personal time with God two by two, using the favourite truth method. 5 PRAYER (8 minutes) PRAYER IN RESPONSE TO GOD S WORD Take turns in the group to pray short to God in response to what you have learned today. Or divide the group into two s or three s and pray to God in response to what you have learned today. 6 PREPARATION FOR AT HOME (2 minutes) FOR NEXT LESSON (Group leader. Give the group members this preparation for at home in writing or let them copy it down). 1. Commitment. Make a commitment to have a regular personal time of fellowship with God (quiet time). Choose to do it at the best time of your day. 2. Personal time with God. Have a personal time with God from a chapter of Matthew 1:1 7:29 each day. Make use of the favourite truth method. Make notes. 3. Bible study. Prepare the first Bible study at home. Luke 8:4-15. Theme: How do I respond to God s Word? 4. Prayer. Pray for someone or something specific this week and see what God is doing (Psalm 5:3). 5. Update your notebook on making disciples. Include the worship notes and teaching notes and this preparation DOTA Manual 1 - DISCIPLE page 17 of 110

18 LESSON 2 1 PRAYER Group leader. Pray and commit your group and this course on making disciples to the LORD. 2 SHARING (20 minutes) MATTHEW Take turns and share (or read from your notes) in short what you have learned from one of your personal times with God out of the assigned Bible passages (Matthew 1:1 7:29). Listen to the person sharing, take him serious and accept him. Do not discuss what he shares. 3 MEMORISATION (20 minutes) ASSURANCES OF SALVATION: JOHN 10:28 A. MOTIVATION FOR MEMORISATION Read Ephesians 6:11,17; Matthew 4:2-4 (Deuteronomy 8:3). Discover and discuss. Why is it important to memorise Bible verses (passages or chapters)? Notes. Memorised Bible verses will help you to overcome the powers of evil. B. MEDITATION The first series of memory verses is about Assurances. The titles of the five memory verses are: assurance of salvation, assurance of answered prayer, assurance of victory, assurance of forgiveness and assurance of God s guidance. Memorisation verse. Assurance of salvation: John 10:28. I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; no one can snatch them out of my hand. 1. The meaning of eternal life. What is eternal life? Eternal life is a new kind of life. It is a wonderful life, a meaningful life, a challenging life, an exiting life and a satisfying life! It is a life that never ends! Above all it is a relationship with the Living God through Jesus Christ. It is a personal and intimate knowledge of the only true God and Jesus Christ (John 17:3). 2. How to acquire eternal life. It is a gracious gift! God gives eternal life to people only through one person in history, namely, through Jesus Christ. Eternal life cannot be earned, but can only be received as a free gift. When you receive Jesus Christ into your heart and life, you also receive this eternal life! If someone does not receive Jesus Christ, he also does not receive eternal life. 3. Three assurances for the believer. He has already now eternal life and it will never end! In the final judgement he will not be condemned (doomed). He will not perish in hell. Nothing and no one is able to snatch him out of the hands of Jesus Christ (cf. Romans 8:38-39). 1. Write C. MEMORISATION Write the Bible verse on a blank card or on one page of your small notebook as follows: Write the topic or title on the first line. Write the Bible reference of the verse on the second line. Draw a line and then write the text of the Bible verse line by line beneath that. Write the Bible reference of the verse at the bottom of the page and on the back of the card DOTA Manual 1 - DISCIPLE page 18 of 110

19 For example: Assurance of salvation John 10:28 I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; no one can snatch them out of my hand. John 10:28 John 10:28 2. Memorise Memorise the Bible verse in the right way. Always START with the topic or title, the Bible reference and the first line of the Bible verse. When you can quote this without a mistake, ADD the second line of the Bible verse and REPEAT FROM THE BEGINNING, that is, the topic, the reference and the two lines of the verse. When you can quote this without a mistake, ADD the third line of the Bible verse and REPEAT FROM THE BEGINNING, that is, the topic, the reference and the three lines of the verse. Etc. Do not memorise the Bible verse in separate pieces, because in that way you do not memorise the links between the pieces. Always start from the beginning, each time you repeat the verse. Always END by repeating the Bible reference once more, because the Bible reference is the most difficult part to remember. Thus, the right sequence for Bible memorisation is: the topic, the Bible reference, the text of the Bible verse and the Bible reference again. 4 BIBLE STUDY (70 minutes) HOW DO I RESPOND TO GOD S WORD? LUKE 8:4-15 The purpose of studying the Bible together as a group is to grow together in a relationship with Jesus Christ and with one another. It is to help one another to gain knowledge and understanding of the Bible and to practise its truths. For this reason it is important that the group members encourage one another to participate in the Bible study discussion. The input of every group member is important. Nobody should be put off if what he says turns out not to be completely correct (theologically). The group leader should rather encourage the group members to learn together by discovering and discussing the truths from the Bible. Every group member should feel that the other group members listen when he speaks, take him seriously and accept him. The group members are not competing with one another in Bible knowledge, but love one another by encouraging one another to grow and to share confidently. The example of the Bible study below is designed to assist the group leader when he prepares the Bible study or to help the group when they discuss a difficult question. Your Bible study discussion may have different things that the group members discover and different questions that the group members ask. Make use of the five steps method of Bible study to study Luke 8:4-15 together. STEP 1. READ. GOD S WORD Read. LET US READ Luke 8:4-15 together. Let us take turns to read one verse each until we have completed the reading. STEP 2. DISCOVER. OBSERVATIONS Consider. WHICH TRUTH IN THIS PASSAGE IS IMPORTANT FOR YOU? Or WHICH TRUTH IN THIS PASSAGE TOUCHES YOUR MIND OR HEART? Record. Discover one or two truths that you understand. Think about them and write your thoughts in your notebook. Share. (After the group members have had about two minutes to think and write, take turns to share). Let us take turns to share with one another what each of us has discovered. (The following are examples of people sharing what they have discovered. Remember, in every small group, the group members will share different things, not necessarily these things) 2009 DOTA Manual 1 - DISCIPLE page 19 of 110

20 Discovery 1. There are three persons who want to do something with the Word of God that is sown into my heart. First, there is Christ, who sows his Word onto my heart. He wants his Word to bear fruit in my life. Secondly, there is the devil, who tries to take God s Word away from my heart. He does not want the Word to have any influence in my life. Thirdly, there is me. I have the responsibility to do something with the Word that Christ sows onto my heart. If I hear it and retain it in a good and noble heart, then by persevering I can produce a crop. But if I don t do anything with Christ s Word, then I will loose it completely. A very important truth for me in this Bible passage is that it is my responsibility to do something with God s words. Every time I hear the words of the Bible, it is my responsibility to put them into practise. 8:12 Discovery 2. Not only the devil tries to take God s Word away from my heart. Verse 14 describes all the other enemies of God s word. It says that God s Word gets choked to death by the worries of life, by the desire to get rich and by living a life of pleasure. The sinful world outside me as well as the sinful nature inside me is the other big enemies of Christ. They don t want the Word of Christ to bear fruit in my life. Therefore they choke the Word of God to death. A very important truth for me in this Bible passage is that it is my responsibility to be watchful and not allow worries, wealth or pleasures to choke the Word of God in me to death. STEP 3. QUESTION. EXPLANATIONS Consider. WHICH QUESTION ABOUT ANYTHING IN THIS PASSAGE WOULD YOU LIKE TO ASK TO THIS GROUP? Let us try to understand all the truths in Luke 8:4-15 and ask questions about the things we still do not understand. Record. Formulate your question as clearly as possible. Then write your question in your notebook. Share. (After the group members have had about two minutes to think and write, let each person first share his question.) Discuss. (Then, choose a few of these questions and try to answer them by discussing them together in your group.) (The following are examples of questions the students might ask and some notes about the discussion of the questions.) 8:5 Question 1. What does the seed represent? Notes. The seed represents the Word of God (Luke 8:11), especially the message about the kingdom (Matthew 13:19), which begins with the gospel (cf. Mark 1:14-15; Acts 20:24-25; 28:23). The kingdom of God is the kingship or reign of God in Jesus Christ especially over the hearts and lives of his own people (Luke 17:20-21). It results in their complete salvation from beginning to end (Mark 10:25-26), their constitution as one Church on earth (Matthew 16:18-19), their good works in every aspect of human society (Matthew 25:34-36, Romans 14:17) and finally in the establishment of the new heaven and the new earth (1 Corinthians 15:24-26; Revelation 11:15). 8:5-8 Question 2. What does each of the four different kinds of soil represent? Notes. In the days of Jesus, the farmers did not have machinery to sow their seed. They used their hands to scatter the seed to the left and to the right as they walked. So some of the seeds would fall on the path on which the farmer was walking. And some of the seeds would fall on bad patches of soil where there was rock under a shallow layer of soil. Some of the seeds would fall on patches where thorns were growing. And some of the seeds would fall on good and clean soil. The four kinds of soil represent four different conditions and attitudes of our own heart (Luke 8:12; Matthew 13:19) and not four kinds of people in the world DOTA Manual 1 - DISCIPLE page 20 of 110

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