MASTER PLAN OF
PREFACE: THE MASTER AND HIS PLAN
While on earth, there is no doubt that Jesus had a deliberate strategy for world evangelism. It is not the task of the individual Christian to invent a new strategy but to rediscover the Lord's and follow in His footsteps. His plan, when discovered, proves to be so different that its implications are nothing short of revolutionary.
- What is the purpose of this book? How can it help us fulfill our purpose?
- What is Jesus' primary life purpose? Show also from Scripture.
- "Without a clearly stated purpose for life assisting us in ordering objectives and daily activities, it is difficult to remain focused." Comment on this statement.
- How do you think Jesus was able to keep His purpose firmly in front of Him and not get caught up in other activities that called for His involvement?
- What is the measuring stick to examine the right direction of our ministry?
- Is our ministry set up to help achieve the basic objectives of Jesus? What changes could be made to make it more effective?
- What have you learned from this lesson?
- What changes do you need to make in your life to achieve the basic life objectives of Jesus?
- In fifteen words of less, write out your purpose statement for life which will help you make clear decisions on how and where to spend your time.
Jesus knew that given the nature of the multitudes, they needed more care and direction than He alone could give. His strategy of ministry to them lay in training people who could later Iead the multitudes in the things of God.
- What is selection?
- How does selection fit into Jesus' life objective and why is it so critical to a ministry?
- What was Jesus' strategy? Why was it important?
- Is it possible to start and run a ministry without selection? Why or why not?
- What characteristics are found in the men Jesus chose for His disciples and how did He find them?
- When in the process of ministry should the selection process be made and how should it be done?
- How do you avoid giving an impression of favoritism and what do you do with the people who don't have the characteristics that Jesus demanded for discipleship?
- How was Jesus able to focus on the few without neglecting the masses?
- What problems would occur in a ministry from faulty selection?
- How do you go about looking for people to disciple?
- Who can you see God raising up for you to disciple?
- Why do you think they are the people you should select?
The essence of Jesus' training program was simply having His disciples with Him. As Jesus ministry lengthened into its' second and third years, He gave an increased amount of time to the twelve. Almost everything Jesus did, He did in the presence of at least some of His disciples.
- What is association? What are some key elements in the principle of association?
- How does association fit in with Jesus' life objective?
- Why was association so key in developing His disciples?
- How did Jesus make double use of His time while ministering to the masses? Cite examples from Scripture.
- As Jesus' ministry drew to a close, why did He spend more time with His disciples and less with others?
- Why does association require so much personal sacrifice to the discipIer?
- What problems will occur in your ministry if there is faulty association?
- How should you determine the amount of time spent with people who are not yet at a discipleship level?
- How much time outside of your Bible Study should you spend with the people you are discipling?
- Flow much time should be structured and how much unstructured in terms of content?
- "... He had to devote Himself primarily to the task of developing some men who in turn could give this kind of personal attention to others." (Page 48) What can you do to ensure that when you graduate or move, you will leave behind trained, Spirit-filled leaders who are committed to reaching their faculty or community for Christ?
The cornerstone of Jesus' discipleship was the requirement of His followers to trust and obey Him as their Lord. Without a doubt His men were gifted. Yet, Jesus knew the critical element was not talent but their continual loyalty to Him even when that became increasingly difficult. Throughout His ministry, Jesus emphasized His right to set the conditions and terms for following Him.
- What is consecration?
- How does consecration fit into Jesus' life purpose?
- Why did Jesus demand obedience? Why is obedience so important?
- How did Jesus communicate what was required to be His disciple? How did His commitment to the need for consecration affect His disciples' failure?
- In what way is Jesus our example of obedience?
- How can we emphasize that obedience is not to Campus Crusade or to us personally but to Jesus?
- How does the Lordship of Christ in one's life relate to witnessing?
- What problems will we run into in our ministry if we are not fully consecrated to God?
- What do we need to require from the people we are discipling? How do we keep from being legalistic?
- What should we do when we notice that they are not living up to Jesus' requirements for His disciples?
- How do you help people become consecrated to God?
The disciples could not but be impressed that Jesus' life was a life of giving. He reflected the supreme demonstration of love as He literally gave His life away. They were constantly impressed that Jesus truly loved a lost world.
- What is impartation? What did Jesus impart to His disciples?
- How does this principle fit into Jesus' life objective?
- "That is why He lost no opportunity to impress upon His followers the deep compulsion of His own soul aflame with the love of God for a lost world. Everything He did and said was motivated by this consuming " (page 62) How can we develop this passion? How can we model this passion so our disciples will catch it in practice, not just in theory?
- What does the Holy Spirit have to do with the principle of impartation?
- What is the role of the Holy Spirit in our lives?
- What does it mean to be filled with the Holy Spirit? Why is this so important?
- What can I do to help Christians around me understand and experience the Spirit-filled life as a norm for their lives?
- How can I apply this principle of impartation in my relationship with my disciples?
It was a deliberate part of the strategy of Jesus to have the disciples observe in Him the life they were to live and teach to others. Everything about Him was a demonstration. Classes were always in session as the Master Teacher turned every situation into an opportunity to learn more about God and how to love.
- What is demonstration and how does it fit in to Jesus' life purpose?
- Why is it an important principle of discipleship?
- What types of things did Jesus demonstrate and how? Include Scripture references.
- What are some ways that you can incorporate prayer into your life? How can you demonstrate the importance and benefits of prayer to your disciples?
- What should be our attitude toward the Scriptures? Flow can we develop this attitude in our disciples?
- "Practically everything that Jesus said and did had some relevance to their work of evangelism.... In fact, for the most part, the disciples were absorbing it without even knowing that they were being trained to win people under like conditions for God." (page 74) Why was the demonstration of soul-winning so important to Jesus? How important should evangelism be in our discipleship?
- Why is it better to have demonstration in "real life" instead of a formal setting? Why is it difficult?
- Who is the ultimate example for the people entrusted to you and why is this important to remember?
- What are the critical things that we must demonstrate to the people God has entrusted to us?
- What areas of your life do not demonstrate Christlikeness very well to the people you are discipling? What will you do to change this?
- How do you balance "being real" with the concept of demonstration?
Initially, Jesus concentrated primarily on leading the disciples into a vital relationship with the Father. Next, He took them with Him as He ministered to the masses. Then He shared with them the extent of the future responsibilities. Finally, after more than a year, the disciples were ready to be sent out, two by two, to minister for short periods to others. This entire process, from beginning to end, was all done with an eye toward the disciples taking over His ministry.
- What is delegation and how did it fit into Jesus' life objective?
- How much responsibility did Jesus give to His men and how soon? Why?
- How do you know when someone is ready to be delegated responsibilities?
- Why is it important to explain why and be specific in the things you are challenging people to?
- How did Jesus prepare His disciples for ministry? What instructions did He give them?
- How would each of the extremes of not enough delegation and too much delegation hurt a ministry?
- How can you keep a balance between the two?
- What is the goal in delegating?
- What has Jesus delegated to us?
- a) What value does actively accepting delegated responsibilities bring to my life?
- b) Why is this understanding important in terms of delegating to others?
- Think through the individuals that you are discipling. Give examples of what to delegate to them, why you will delegate this to them, how to delegate this to them and when to delegate to them.
Though Jesus had entrusted the twelve with ministry responsibilities, He did not view them as finished products. Thus, Jesus got together with the disciples following their times of ministry to hear their reports and to share with them His insight and encouragement to help make them more effective in the future. He was ever alert to the twelve's actions and reactions keeping in mind that His supervision was one more step in equipping them for ministry.
- What is the purpose of supervision? Why is it important?
- How does supervision relate to accountability?
- "His questions, illustrations, warnings and admonitions were calculated to bring out those things that they needed to know in order to fulfill His work which was the evangelization of the world." (page 89) What are some of the values of keeping the purpose and goals before people as you supervise them?
- "Here was on the job training at its best...The fact that they tried to do His work, even though they may have failed at it, gave them greater awareness of their deficiencies, and hence they were more disposed to the Master's correction...We always appreciate an education more after we have had the opportunity to apply what we have learned." (page 94) Discuss this principle: "Knowledge does not always lead to application, but application always leads to knowledge."
- "He did not expect more from His disciples that they could do, but He did expect their best, and this He expected always to be improved as they grew in knowledge and grace. His plan of teaching, by example, assignment and constant check-up, was calculated to bring out the best that was in them." (page 94) How do we challenge people to do their best for Christ? How do we avoid legalism in our pursuit of excellence? How should one go about correcting someone who has done a poor job in service for Christ?
- How do you celebrate the successes of your disciples and yet also encourage them to continually improve?
- What problems arise in one's ministry if there is inadequate supervision?
- What supervision do you have in your life and how does it help you?
- In what practical ways can you supervise your people more effectively?
The ultimate goal of Jesus for His disciples was for His life to be reproduced in them and through them into the lives of others. In conclusion, the test of a successful ministry is not the number of people reached for Christ. The ULTIMATE TEST IS: ARE THOSE WHO ARE REACHED NOW REACHING AND BUILDING OTHERS? Are we making converts or are we building leaders who can in turn develop other leaders?
- What is reproduction? How does it fit with Jesus' life objective?
- Why is reproduction important? How important is it that Christians be reproducers? Why?
- What keeps us from reproducing?
- What does John 15:1-17 have to do with reproduction?
- Mass evangelism produces sheep, evangelism plus discipleship produces shepherds. Comment
- What are the differences these two styles will produce five years down the road?
- Why is it better to reproduce yourself well into four people rather than partly into twelve people?
- Are spiritual reproduction and multiplication inherent in the Great Commission of Matthew 28:18-20? Explain.
- How does praying for laborers relate to the principle of reproduction? Do you need to be a full-time Christian worker to be a laborer? Why or why not?
- Are the people that I am discipling influencing others and reproducing leaders in the kingdom of God? What are the steps that I will take to see this happen?
- How can you practically impart the vision of spiritual reproduction to the people that you are discipling?
EPILOGUE: THE MASTER & YOUR PLAN
"What is the plan of your life? Everyone has to live by some plan. The plan is the organizing principle around which the aim of life is carried out. We may not be conscious of the plan in every action, or even know that we have a plan, but nonetheless our actions invariably unfold some kind of pattern at the centre of things."
- What was Jesus' life objective?
- What is the plan of your life? How did you arrive at these career plans?
- Did you know the Spirit-filled life and understand the Master's plan for worldwide evangelization and were you committed to His Great Commission when you made your career decisions?
- Have you ever given up your plans, giving them back to God, and laid them on the altar of consecration to Christ? Are you now obedient to do whatever He would have you do with your life?
- What are some ways this book study has changed your philosophy of evangelism and discipleship?
- What would happen if each of us built into a group of 4 to 6 people as described in this book and after two years everyone involved turned around and multiplied into another group of 4 to 6 people, all the time being actively involved in evangelism together?
- L. Moody said, "When I die, I don't want to leave behind monuments of bronze and stone built for the glory of men, but men walking around the world on two legs in service for Christ, built for the glory of God."
- What do you want to leave behind? What is your next step in seeing it accomplished?