There was a man who was really really good in his life. So God came to him and told him I want to fulfill you a wish. The man was so good in his heart that through his wish he still wanted to help people. So he said: I wish that there would be a bridge from LA to San Francisco, so that people can directly commute between these states. God thought about it and said: Hm… This is actually kind of difficult. You know don´t know how all the people who live there would react. We also have to think about ecology, about the animals who live there and we will also destroy nature. We need to think a lot about this it´s a very complicated matter. Maybe it´s not so good of a wish. Do you have another wish son? So he thought about it and told God: You know God I actually want something more myself. I really want to understand my wife. It´s really not easy for me. Please let me know what she thinks, so that I know her thoughts. I think that is a good wish. Do you know what God said? You know what about the bridge? Wanna have two lanes or four? Sheep are sometimes difficult to understand. Sometimes we think it is easier to build something than to change one person. But through bible study People are changed into wonderful people of God. So let´s pray to be good bible teachers. Discipleship Explored Key verse is Matthew 28:19.20 “ Therefore go and make disciples of all nations , baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.” Let me pray: Lord thank you so much for this leadership forum you allow us. Thank you for teaching us the meaning how to be a global leader and a bible teacher. Help us to make a decision of faith and commitment and practically begin with bible study to lead many students to Jesus. Thank you for Mother Barry´s coming and she is a great role model to us. Please grant her good health and use her further as a mother of many nations. Thank you for leading us here to hear the wonderful message of Sh. Christoph and to learn how to remain in Jesus. Thank you also for this seminar. Help us to learn was discipleship is and give us holy desires to live as disciples of Jesus Christ. Be with us with your holy spirit. I thank you and pray for all this in Jesus name. Amen.
Many of you may have heard of the tale of the two salesmen who went to Africa to sell shoes. When they arrived they saw that the African people did not have shoes. Thus one of them wrote to his manufacturer, ‘Situation hopeless. They don’t even wear shoes here.” But the other one wrote, ‘Glorious opportunity! They don’t have any shoes yet!” We came together to hear about the spiritual legacy of UBF and what it means that we as Bible teachers are global leaders. Some may realize the importance and necessity of being a Bible teacher and a global leader. Others may think their expectations for the forum was not met. But I hope and pray that you all take this leadership forum as a glorious opportunity to listen to God’s word, to the lectures, and to really find out what you/I/we have to do from now on to grow personally in faith and to realize what God’s plan and vision for the New Generation is. In front of so great and mature servants of God it´s an honor for me to talk about discipleship. I pray that through this lecture you may receive desire and vision to be disciples and global leaders for the whole world.
So what does it mean to say: I am a disciple of Jesus? We want to start with the definition of the word disciple M. Matthew do you know the origin of this word?
What is discipleship? Going back to the origin of the word “disciple,” in Latin, “discipulus,” it means “a learner,” or “a student.” The word “disciple” is defined as “A person who follows and learns from another, especially one who then teaches others“ and “one who belongs to the &quot;school&quot; of any leader of thought.” (Latin-Greek Cross Reference) A disciple is a student of Jesus and he practices discipleship to grow and mature to become like Christ. (Luke 6:40) So in other words, the twelve disciples are the graduates of the “Jesus school.” If you look at the first definition, what is interesting here is that Jesus’ disciples were being trained not only for the purpose of learning, but teaching. Their education did not end at just learning from Jesus, but teaching what they have learned to others. That’s why discipleship is also leadership.
Why discipleship? (Why is it important?) Why is discipleship necessary? Discipleship is an emerging topic these days. A lot of churches outside UBF are beginning to put more and more emphasis on discipleship.
Firstly we live in an era where discipleship is absolutely necessary because we live in a corrupted postmodern time. Our generation is defined by the absence of limits. A hedonistic and pleasure seeking lifestyle is promoted (official gay marriage, premarital sex, etc.) Humanism and relativism get stronger and stronger. From that point of view it gets clear that disciples are desperately needed; disciples who go out and lead people back to God, to repentance and to eternal life.
Secondly, Christian discipleship is the fulfillment of the Great Commission. “Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you.&quot; (Matthew 28: 19) A disciple is obligated to make disciples because Jesus has given us the command to go and make disciples of all nations. God wants us to understand his heart, which is the world mission. This is his vision and his plan. The ultimate goal of the disciple-making ministry is to lead people to be like Christ and to raise disciples who will produce another disciple.
Now we want to elaborate more what it means to be a disciple of Jesus.
In this part I just want to shortly state 8 characteristics of a disciple 1. A disciple of Jesus accepts the gospel. (1 Cor 15:3,4) “ For what I received I passed on to you as of first importance: that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures“ Gospel is the power of God to give salvation. Without accepting the gospel, we cannot follow Jesus. The beginning of discipleship is to repent and accept the gospel (John 3:16) fully so that we may spread it and be his witnesses to the ends of the earth. (Acts 1:8)
2. A disciple of Jesus holds on to Jesus’ teachings through deep Bible study and through teaching others. (John 8:31) A disciple of Jesus loves the word of God and struggles to live according to its teachings and help others to do the same. Holding to Jesus’ teachings helps us to remain in him (John 15) as we just learnt through Sh. Christophs message. An important topic of a disciples life is to have a love relationship to Jesus and to remain in Jesus as strong as we can. Let us pray that like Sh. Christoph said we may remain in his word and in our relationship to Jesus. “ To the Jews who had believed him, Jesus said, &quot;If you hold to my teaching, you are really my disciples.” (John 8:31)
3. A disciple of Jesus loves Jesus and out of this love, feeds Jesus’ sheep. (John 21:17, 10:11) How do we prove to Jesus that we love him? Jesus said, “Feed my sheep.” A disciple of Jesus is a shepherd like him. We feed sheep with the spirit of laying down our lives for the sheep like Jesus did. The third time he said to him, &quot;Simon son of John, do you love me?&quot; Peter was hurt because Jesus asked him the third time, &quot;Do you love me?&quot; He said, &quot;Lord, you know all things; you know that I love you. Jesus said, &quot;Feed my sheep.” (John 21:17)
4. A disciple of Jesus lives by faith. (Mark 11:22,23) We hear “by faith” a lot in UBF and that is because a disciple of Jesus lives by faith. A disciple of Jesus challenges the impossible by faith and obtains victory in every aspect of life such as school studies, mission life, work life, etc. &quot;Have faith in God,&quot; Jesus answered. &quot;I tell you the truth, if anyone says to this mountain, 'Go, throw yourself into the sea,' and does not doubt in his heart but believes that what he says will happen, it will be done for him.” (Mark 11:22,23)
5. A disciple of Jesus prays on his knees. (John 14:13-14) A disciple of Jesus prays early in the morning, habitually, to submit to God, to request, to communicate with God to live according to his will. Without prayer, a disciple is lost in communication. “ And I will do whatever you ask in my name, so that the Son may bring glory to the Father. You may ask me for anything in my name, and I will do it.“ (John 14:13-14)
6. A disciple of Jesus hates his own life and gives up everything to follow Jesus (self-denial and taking up the cross). Jesus tells us that we must learn to do what we hate to do! A disciple lives Jesus-centered life and therefore, he is eager to give up everything to earn Jesus. &quot;If anyone comes to me and does not hate his father and mother, his wife and children, his brothers and sisters—yes, even his own life—he cannot be my disciple.” (Luke 14:26) “ In the same way, any of you who does not give up everything he has cannot be my disciple.” (Luke 14:33)
7. A disciple of Jesus is a leader. (John 6:1-14) Jesus raised his disciples to be leaders. A teacher is a leader in every way. We learned that disciple learns with the purpose of teaching others, therefore, a disciple of Jesus is also a leader.
8. A disciple of Jesus obeys Jesus’ world mission command. (Mt. 28:19) A disciple of Jesus has vision and commitment to actively participate in the world mission ministry and therefore fully accepts and practically obeys Jesus’ world mission command.
Jesus’ 12 disciples
1. The twelve Jesus chose 12 disciples to be his co-workers and served God’s work involving them in his mission life on earth. (Mark 3:13-15) Jesus 12 disciples are: Peter, James, John, Andrew, Philip, Bartholomew, Matthew, Thomas, James, Thaddaeus, Simon, and Judas Jesus’ disciples were chosen and called by Jesus according to Sovereign God’s will. (John 15:16) Becoming a disciple of Jesus is not by choice, but it is by obedience to Sovereign God’s choosing and calling. *Anyone who believes in the gospel is chosen and is called to be Jesus’ disciple, not just selective Christians. (Mark 1:17)
Jesus’ disciples were men of obedience. (Luke 5:5) Jesus’ disciples gave up everything to follow Jesus out of obedience. They were men of simple heart and simple obedience. “ So they pulled their boats up on shore, left everything and followed him .“ (Luke 5:11) “ and Levi got up, left everything and followed him .“ (5:28) “ Peter said to him, &quot;We have left all we had to follow you! &quot; (Luke 18:28) “ Simon answered, &quot;Master, we've worked hard all night and haven't caught anything. But because you say so, I will let down the nets. ”
Jesus’ disciples were simple and ordinary people, but Jesus saw their potential. Jesus’ disciples were simple people. That doesn´t mean that we shouldn´t invite not simple people. But it shows that God chose many ordinary people who were sinners. But they were quick to repent had an open heart for his word. Out of simple faith and love for Jesus, they became disciples of Jesus, teachers of all humanity, and the front-runner of all early churches.
Jesus’ disciple-making methods It would be arbitrary to say that Jesus used specific methods to raise his disciple-making ministry. However, through looking at certain methods that he applied, we can learn his shepherd’s heart and his spirit. Common life (Mark 3:14) He appointed twelve—designating them apostles—that they might be with him and that he might send them out to preach Mark 3:14 It was full-time commitment from Jesus and from the disciples for them to become a true disciple of Jesus. Being a disciple of Jesus wasn’t a half-day commitment in which they could go back home at the end of the day. Jesus chose them to be with him all the time so that they may learn every aspect of Jesus from his daily life. Living a common life had three purposes: 1. Through common life, Jesus wanted to have a personal love relationship with each of the disciples. 2. Jesus wanted to establish a love relationship among the disciples. (John 13:34-35) 3. Jesus wanted to protect them from the evils of the world. (Matthew 12:39, 16:4)
Personal meeting: Jesus raised one person to be the top disciple “ One of you routs a thousand...“ (Joshua 23:10) Jesus’ disciple-making ministry was not a mega ministry, but a ministry to help and raise one person. He put his hope and vision toward one person and through this one person, in this case Peter, many disciples would start growing exponentially. Jesus’ disciple-making ministry was a multiplication operation starting with one person.
Bible study We will elaborate this later, again. But shortly said the disciples’ lives were a whole big Bible study. They were exposed to the work of God all the time because they followed Jesus everywhere. Jesus taught the disciples either directly through personal and group meetings or indirectly through his actions and messages to the crowd. They witnessed the power of his word, his influence and righteousness first hand. Through Bible study they got to know that they were sinners and decided to give their life for Jesus´ mission.
Teaching on the spot Jesus did not build a school to teach his disciples, but always trained them on the spot. Jesus planted faith to overcome storm in the midst of storm (Mark 4) and when the crowd of five thousand had nothing to eat, Jesus gave them shepherd training on the spot. This means that Jesus observed each one of them carefully in their daily lives and prayed for each one according to their prayer topics. Jesus knew their strength and weaknesses and knew what they needed.
Help them learn through failures Jesus did not teach them a life with Jesus is all flowery and pretty, rather, he taught them that it was a rock road. The disciples failed and failed many times. When the disciples were not able to drive out the demon, he taught them to pray by faith. When Peter failed, he helped him rediscover himself and repent (Luke 22). Jesus restored Peter both in fishing and love relationship (John 21). Jesus was not anxious about them making mistakes and failing hard. Through this, they learned to challenge by faith and grow. Before Happy Maria entered Music school, she failed in her entrance exam. But she needed this training from God, so that she could pray more and be really humble and prepare better for the 2 nd chance. There she performed so well that everybody was not sure if it was the same person. Now she is an excellent singer and bible teacher. God taught her through failure and hitting bottom, and turned it into a victory.
Repeat until they get it Jesus taught the disciples through repetition. Jesus never said, “I’m only going to tell you this once, so pay attention.“ He repeatedly talked about his cross, resurrection, and second coming. When they heard about this for the first time, they did not understand it at all, but when they finally accepted it, they grew into witnesses of the resurrection and the gospel. Repetition is tiring for the one repeating and for the one listening, but we know through Jesus that repetition produces miracles.
Praise and Rebuke Jesus accepted each one of his disciples as they are and praised their strength and helped them grow. Disciples probably had more weaknesses than strengths, but Jesus did not yell at them all the time to correct their weaknesses. He praised them but he also expressed his true love toward them through harsh training.
Application of faith Jesus taught them practical application of faith in every occasion. They learned to co-work, to drive out demons, and not to rely on materials and men but only on God, and to overcome any difficulties. They learned to practically apply their faith and what they learned everyday with Jesus. Like this, as disciples and students of Jesus, we must learn to apply practically what we learn.
V. How UBF raised disciples 1. 1:1 Bible study and Deep Bible Study and Deeper Bible Study! Bible study is the key point of UBF discipleship ministry and what made UBF unique. As we heard in Mother Barry’s message, Bible study is the only weapon to defeat postmodernism and it is the power of God to spiritually revive and change a whole generation into a new creation. Bible study not only teaches us how to be a Bible student of Jesus, but also to be a Bible teacher. Many of you heard of Team Hoyt. Team Hoyt is the story of a father, Dick Hoyt, who pushes his disabled son, Rick Hoyt, in a wheelchair in marathons and triathlons across the country so that he may be made alive. He never gave up on him. 1:1 Bible study resembles this in a lot of ways. It is hard work to push a Bible student until he is changed and committed. And after he has been “pushed” long enough, now it’s his turn to push others. Every input we get from our Bible teachers nurtures us so that we may pass it on to others. In this way, spiritual legacy is passed on to the generations to come. Bible study is also reziprokal. Not only they learn from us but we also learn from them. A good example is Sh. Ales Maca. M. Hannah invited him and he began bible study. It was probably not perfect from the beginning. But through continous bible study Sh. Ales began to accept God´s words in his heart. He continously learnt who Jesus is and changed more and more. Now he can be used as a global leader and bible teacher even for this leadership forum. Praise God who worked mightly in his heart! We pray that God will use him as a leader and Abraham of faith for Tscheque UBF! Through bible study also our lovely Sh. Neusa from Portugal came to know Jesus personally. She found excellent bible teachers in M. Matthew and Rebekah Singh, who taught her the bible. So she could grow into a really beautiful mother of prayer for Portugal students. I also had some personal experience in teaching the bible to a student. Though he ran away multiple times and wrote me letters that he didn´t want to do anything with me anymore, through bible study and care he could be changed into a growing disciple of Jesus Christ. Through him I realized that a bible study can be really life changing. Having regular bibly is not easy but really necessary for the growth of our bible students. It´s also a good training for us. We are all here because our parents taught us the principles and values of the bible. So especially us, we must have that drive to teach other people the bible, start with one person, so that this one person can grow and be changed. I pray that we can continue using this most effective mission model and make it our own, so that we can be used as powerful bible teachers.
2. Spiritual discipline – A transformation process Spiritual discipline is the transformation process after you have taken the decision to follow Christ. It is interesting that the words disciple and discipline actually have the same etymology. It is a well-established fact that if you want to be successful in whatever you do, you need discipline! I saw yesterday that Luke Choi from Moscow is an excellent piano player. If you want to play piano well, you have to practice, there is no other way. You must discipline yourself in many ways. This is not so nice, but this is the way you grow. The life of a disciple is no exception. We have to engage in a spiritual battle everyday and arm ourselves with God's word through the constant exposure to God’s word.
a) Testimony Writing Testimony writing is another key point in UBF. After any Bible study, we write down the grace we have received. Through writing testimonies regularly, we learn practical application and develop a deeper understanding and interpretation of the word of God in our lives. It helps us renew our decision before God and put what we learned into practice. b) Early Morning Prayer and Daily Bread Daily bread and early morning prayer are one of the pillars of spiritual discipline in UBF. Starting a day with early morning prayer and daily bread puts your life into order and help you prioritize. God is first. “Daily” shows us the aspect of consistency. A spiritual transformation does not happen overnight, but only through daily discipline. The word of God is not a battery, which lasts for months until you see the ‘Battery empty’ sign show up. Daily bread helps us to struggle against sin every day and begin each day with the word of God in our heart. We become shielded with God’s word and more stable spiritually.
3. Common life Who of you has lived in any form lived common life? Common life has always been an important part of UBF’s discipleship. Jesus also lived with the twelve he chose. Where Jesus was, the twelve disciples were as well. He taught and trained them daily for three years. They lived and breathed Jesus’ life. Likewise, only through common life, we can really live closest to a holy Christian life 24/7 and embrace discipleship. Living in a spiritual environment encourages us to struggle to be closer to Jesus. It is not necessarily the most attractive life, but without common life, it is hard discipline yourself spiritually. Past experiences show that when starting to live a common life, people begin to really grow and to commit. When I tried to find an example for common life M. Hannah Ryu told me. You can write about worldcup? And then she went away. So I thought: What does have to do with this. Then I asked her son Peter, who told me that during the world cup the soccer players have to live together and that this is probably very hard. Sh. Peter Schweitzer moved into our common life when he started studying in first semester. Through all his study life he has been living common life. This way he could live with God´s people all the time that he learnt their lifestyle, their humble attitude and their discipline. Now he is a really great leader and messenger of God´s word. Myself I have lived common life my whole life long. Even now, when I am in Bonn I live with my little nephew Samuel. People think it´s weird. But this is the way also her can learn from me and I can learn from him to live with children and be a good role model instead of only his uncle. I am thankful that Ursula also will move in into Common life with us. I am convinced that she will benefit from it and that she will grow into a really influential and powerful mother of nations. Common life can be kind of funny. Regularly something breaks, something is eaten away and when you come late nothing is left on the table. In Korea they even have a really big box of sox and everybody are using those. But common life is no easy also, but it is a way to really make a relationship and to influence each other in a good way and learn to live a Christian lifestyle. May God help us to value the importance of living together as Christians. Other training method such as leadership training, house church of faith, but we will hear another elaboration on that in the evening.
VI. Disciple-makers are Global Leaders
a) Beyond Discipleship – Being global leaders Many of us ask ourselves: why are we global leaders and what does this mean to be a global leader? Is it merely a title that burdens us? When we are not prepared to accept the calling and the mission, it is hard to accept this title, but actually it is simple to understand. We are made to be global leaders not because our ministry, UBF ministry puts us into this role, but because Jesus raises us to be one with the highest standard. We learned that becoming a disciple of Jesus means to fully accept Jesus’ world mission command and go into the world and preach the gospel to all creation and nations. Thus, if we see ourselves as disciples of Jesus, we are global leaders because Jesus wants us to carry out his mission and have a burning desire and heart for his lost souls everywhere and every time. Jesus’ heart is universal. His love is global. If we do not accept this mission, we become spectators, not disciples. We have to understand that global leadership is not defined by a certain amount of work, or your position in your ministry or where you work. It is about understanding God’s heart that all people on earth may be saved through the gospel. Even a missionary in the Middle East, though he cannot do much due to a lot of restrictions, he is still a global leader, because he understands God’s heart and with all his heart carries out God’s mission. As Mother Barry pointed out in her message, every believer is an evangelist and it is our job to give the good news to other people who can be Bible teachers and global leaders as well. Because I have a musical talent I would love to serve God´s ministry only through my talent, through what I like. But I realize that living according to the bible means living according to his word, obeying his commands. The method of outreach, as we already heard might vary a little. It can be subtle like through a cross on a necklace or it can be the UBF “fishing” method. The important thing is that we know what God’s heart is. To live as a disciple and global leader requires commitment, work, hard labor, time and most importantly a decision of faith. Mother Barry is surely one of the best examples for a global leader. She new God´s heart for worldmission and she lived according to this mission. Through her many people are encouraged to give their life for mission. Another good example for me is Sh. Titus Keller. Although he is a doctor, which is pretty exhausting, he has heart for God´s ministry and New Generation. He has a sense of responsibility that God´s work must go on. Even though he does not have much time, he commits in Hope Explorer bible study. May God use him as a good bible teacher and global leader for God´s ministry and for his spiritual revival. We can all be global leaders. For this we must keep God´s command in our hand and make a decision of commitment.
b) First Generation and the New Generation The first generations were pioneers and missionaries with a clear identity as Bible teachers and global leaders. One of the main differences between the first and the second generation is that the first generation came out to the mission field from Korea. They overcame the language barrier and struggled with culture shock to serve the campus students. They also supported themselves financially to carry out the world mission command.
Most of us on the contrary were born in the mission field or were brought to the mission field at an early age. Most of us didn’t suffer from a language barrier and from a cultural point of view, we are able to relate better to the people in the mission field because we have been brought up in the mission field. Our parents raised us to have the tools for world mission from playing a musical instrument to even dancing and singing. And more importantly, we are equipped Bible students and teachers. We have all the resources and assets to carry out the mission. On the other hand, the challenges we face in carrying out the mission are identity crisis, commitment problem, generation conflicts, rebellion, postmodern times, lack of desire, lack of Bible study etc. But God’s vision for us is for us to be spiritual global leaders of our generation. It is time to get to know, through deep Bible study, God’s heart, your mission, and his wish for everyone to receive salvation. For this, we need to make a decision to live as Jesus' disciples and find a balance between our academic or work life and mission life and engage in our mission. We need to take responsibility as leaders of this generation. I believe that we the new generation with the tools and potential we have and a sense of global leadership combined, we can be enormously successful disciple-makers like Apostle Paul and carry on the spiritual legacy of UBF. May God help us today to make a decision of commitment and start practically to be bible teachers for young people in this generation. God will use us then preciously for his worldmission purpose.
VII. Conclusion Through today’s lecture we learn that we are disciples or students of Jesus. That means that it is our highest goal to be like Jesus and to grow into his image. Discipleship is necessary because it is the fulfillment of the Great Commission and we need Bible teachers in this postmodern era. Jesus commanded us to go into the whole world and make disciples of all nations. This is his heart. When we understand his heart, we can be global leaders and understand that it is our mission to lead people back to Jesus and through into eternal life. In order to understand his heart and vision and his command we have really to focus on deep Bible study, spiritual discipline and living a Christian lifestyle through practicing Jesus’ disciple methods. Through this we grow closer and closer to God and begin to understand His sovereign plan. This is how the first generation tried to live and raised disciples. We as the second generation have to continue on this spiritual legacy of UBF. In order to do that, we need a decision of commitment and a decision of faith. May God help us to live as disciples of Jesus Christ. May God help us to make disciples of all nations.
European-Intl’ New Generation Global Leadership Forum 2010
“ Therefore go and make disciples of all nations , baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.” Mt. 28:19-20
“ For what I received I passed on to you as of first importance: that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures” (1 Cor 15:3, 4)