DEV 05FN Life of Christ

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Session 5: Jesus’ Movement

In this session, you will discover an overview of how Jesus developed a movement of disciplemaking with multiplying leaders carrying his Kingdom vision for all nations.

Heart of a Leader (40 min)

  • Worship together in the big group
  • Have participants get into groups of 3-4 people and discuss the following:
    1. What are you learning and how are you abiding in Christ through word, prayer, obedience, PCS, relationships and fellowship?
    2. What areas of your life is obeying God a challenge?
    3. What unresolved conflict do you have?
    4. What happened as you trusted God with your goals from our last meeting?

Vision Casting for the Heart

The wisdom found in Proverbs 4:23 focuses on the importance of our hearts. “Above all else, guard your heart, for it is the wellspring of life.” The heart includes the inner life and our attitude toward God. It is from here that all thinking, feeling and choosing takes place. It is the most important thing we should guard. Jesus highlighted this when he taught: Matt 5:8 “Blessed are the pure in heart for they shall see God”

Matt 6:19-21 “Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moth and rust do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is there your heart will be also.”

Luke 8:15 “…the seed on good soil stands for those with a noble and good heart, who hear the word, retain it, and by persevering produce a crop.”

Above everything else we guard, like our money or family, we need to guard our inner life and attitude toward God because it flows into every area of our lives.

Celebration of Faithfulness (20 min)

[NOTE: Celebrate Faithfulness in the large group so that all can benefit and be encouraged.]

  • Give opportunity for participants to share what has happened since the last meeting. Ask them to relate it to goals from the last meeting.

Iron on Iron: Sharpening Myself and Others (45 min)

Proverbs 27:17 “As iron sharpens iron, one man sharpens another.”

  1. Have everyone return to their Iron on Iron small groups, draw their network of missional communities and churches then share and evaluate with their group.
    1. What is going well?
    2. What is not going well? What obstacles are you facing?
    3. What are possible solutions from the other group members?
    4. What do you need to do to add the missing characteristics into each group?
    5. Where will you start a new group or church this month?
  • Have everyone set goals for improvement from their evaluation and share their goals with their small group. Then have them pray for one another.

New Lesson (45-60 min)

Relevant Topic: Why is it important that we know Jesus’ process for building a disciplemaking movement and multiplying leaders for fulfilling the Great Commission?


Jesus is our model for life and ministry. That is why is it important that we know his character, his priorities and his process for building a disciplemaking movement, multiplying others for fulfilling the Great Commission.

Christmas is the time we celebrate the mystery of The Word (Jn 1:1) becoming fully human (Jn 1:14) born as a baby boy, Jesus of Nazareth. He came from eternity and entered into time and geographic space. He entered a family, a culture, a village, a tribe and lived life one day at a time in first century Roman controlled Israel.

Though fully God, he chose to live his life as fully man, in total surrendered obedience to his heavenly Father. What he achieved in his life and ministry he achieved as the man from Nazareth, the Son of Man, through the power and presence of the Holy Spirit in fulfilment of the Father’s will. Though he had every right to operate out of his Divinity, he chose to only live out of his perfect sinless humanity to be our example of how to fully glorify God in our life and ministry.

Jesus was and will always be fully God. Even though he had all the authority, power and resources of heaven at his command, He never used it. Instead He chose to “become like his brothers in every way” (Heb 2:17) but without sin. Because of this, the book of Hebrews encourages us, “Therefore, holy brothers, who share in the heavenly calling, fix your thoughts on Jesus, the apostle and high priest whom we confess.” (Hebrews 3:1)

The four Gospel writers record a summary of his life and teachings. By studying their written witness, we can learn about the development of his movement. In his humanity, even Jesus was subject to time and space and lived in the sequence of hours, days, weeks, years. He initiated and developed his movement in time. Therefore Jesus case study is very instructive for leaders. We gain insight into how his life and movement unfolded over time by reconstructing a chronological sequence from the evidence provided by the Gospels.

Luke tells us (Luke 1:1-4) that he sought to provide a well investigated and “orderly account” of Jesus life. The other writers were not concerned with order of events but arranged their accounts around themes. For example, John, the last of the four to write his gospel, recorded a lot of new material filling in some of the gaps in time especially the first year and a half (Jn 1-4) and the last few weeks (Jn 12-21) of Jesus earthly life and ministry. In fact John 13-20 cover just three days!

The Gospel of Luke gives us some date markers so that we can locate Jesus in a historical context. Read Luke 1:1-4. Luke tells us that Jesus was born during the reign of King Herod [the Great] (Luke 1:5), during the reign of Caesar Augustus (Luke 2:1-7) and while Quirinius was governor of Syria (Luke 2:2). He also states Jesus started his ministry during the 15th reign of Tiberius Caesar (Luke 3:1-2) and that Jesus was about 30 years old when he started (Luke 3:21-23). This is important because it helps us learn more about when and how long Jesus did his ministry. We can begin to see steps he took to lay a foundation for disciplemaking, develop his followers into disciplemakers and over time equip proven disciplemakers to become multiplying movement leaders.


In small groups try to arrange these well known events from the life of Jesus in the chronological order in which they occurred without using your Bible.

  • Divide the participants into 4 groups.
  • Write the 21 events on Post It Notes. Write one event per Post It Note (DO NOT include any numbers), then put them in a random order. Give one set to each group.

Correct chronological order of the events in Jesus life and ministry:

  1. Birth
  2. Return to Live in Nazareth
  3. John the Baptist commences ministry
  4. Jesus Baptism
  5. Temptation and 40 days fasting/prayer in Wilderness
  6. Start of his public ministry and first followers/disciples
  7. First meets Peter
  8. Jesus gaining more disciples than John the Baptist
  9. John the Baptist’s imprisonment
  10. Woman at the Well in Samaria
  11. Jesus first rejection at Nazareth
  12. Move to live in Capernaum
  13. Call of the four fishermen to be “fishers of men”
  14. First mission tour through towns and villages of Galilee
  15. Appointing the 12 Apostles
  16. Sermon on the Mount
  17. Sending out the 12 apostles
  18. John the Baptist beheaded
  19. Jesus first declaration of his death and resurrection
  20. Sending out 72 others
  21. Crucifixion/Burial/resurrection
  • Give the groups 7 minutes (no use of Bibles)
  • Compare answers showing uncertainties and assumptions [Do NOT give them the correct answers yet]
  • Ask: What difference does it make what order things occurred? How would it be helpful to understand that information of Jesus life and ministry?


To make Jesus earthly ministry more understandable we can make a chart and divide it into 5 chronological periods. Each one focussed on one main outcome. As we walk through this chart, you will see how a disciplemaking movement developed from the very beginning when Jesus had no disciples to appointing leaders and sending them to multiply more disciples in more places.

1. Draw a Time Line on the White board OR on a Large sheet of paper. Then Draw 5 dots on the line as show below:

DEV 05FN Diagram 01 EN.jpg

2. Point out the scope of the framework by labelling the line:

a. The first dot: Ask: What event marks the beginning? [His BIRTH]
b. The second dot: Ask:

  • What event marked the start of Jesus ministry? [His Baptism]
  • How many Disciples/followers did Jesus have before his Baptism? [NONE]
  • What had he come to do, what was his purpose?
    • [Through his death he would provide the Sacrificial Lamb for the forgiveness of sin.
    • But through his life He had come to show us how to live and to launch a disciplemaking movement that would continue beyond his earthly ministry.
    • Think about it: he knew he was going to depart within a few short years.]

c. The last dot: Ask:

  • What did Jesus need to leave behind when he ascended? [A core group of multiplying disciples with the vision, and clear process of fulfilling the Great Commission.]

3. Have someone read: John 1:1-14.

  • Pre-incarnate glory, fully God, The WORD Jn 1:1. [Draw semi circle top left of diagram to represent it]
  • Incarnation: Fully God becomes Fully Man. Jn 1:14. [Draw arrow from Semi circle to time line to Birth, add date of about 4 BC]
  • Label the second dot: about 30 years after birth, Public Ministry, mid-26 AD
  • Label the last dot: about 3-4 years of ministry, Death and Resurrection, 30 AD
  • Post Ascension Glory, Acts 1:9, 7:55. Draw a second semi circle as shown

The Diagram should look like this when done:

DEV 05FN Diagram 02 EN.jpg

4. To help us understand the progression of Jesus’ ministry, we have divided it into 5 periods through which the movement of disciplemakers grew (shown by a curved line)
Add the 5 additional lines so that the diagram looks like this:

DEV 05FN Diagram 03 EN.jpg

5. Label the diagram as you describe each period:

PERIOD 1: PREPARATION (Write ‘Period 1: Preparation’ from birth of Jesus around 4BC to about 30 years of age)

Summary: Becoming the Person you Seek to Multiply, Preparing for a Godly life and movement of Multiplication

  • Over the first 30 years of His life He “grew and became” (Lk 2:40,51-52) the Product he sought to multiply in others.
  • His heart’s Passion was pure, His Purpose was clear, and
  • The Process He decided on was simple: He would be connecting with lost people, Winning them to himself, Building them in following, Training them in fishing for others and sending them to Multiply that same process with others.
  • He determined He would seek out, work with and through the People His Father had prepared.

The Diagram for Period 1 should look like this when done:

DEV 05FN Diagram 04 EN.jpg

PERIOD 2: MINISTRY FOUNDATIONS (Write ‘Period 2: Ministry Foundations about 18-21 months’ in the second box)

  • Establishing a relational, God-centered foundation for making disciples.
  • This Period is marked from His Baptism by John at about 30 years old in mid AD26 to the first rejection at Nazareth. A total of about 18-21 months

Jesus modelled the Father’s mission and the life of a disciplemaker calling others to follow his example.

  • He started with no disciples. As strange as it may seem no one followed him from Nazareth until after his resurrection.
  • Temptation/wilderness.
  • His first contacts and first followers are from John’s disciples. (Jn 1:35-51)
  • We can see Jesus modelling and laying a foundation of at least six clear priorities: 1. Holy Spirit dependence, 2. Prayer, 3. Obedience to the Kingdom agenda, 4. the Word, 5. Exalting the Father and 6. intentional Relationships. (English acrostic: Holy Spirit P.O.W.E.R.)
  • Eventually (after 18 months) Jesus’ following and popularity out grew John’s. They both ministered mainly in Judea and Perea (John 4:1-4). Notice what the Pharisees heard about Jesus- that he was gaining and Baptising more disciples than John but it wasn’t Jesus who did the baptising but his disciples. Just 18 months earlier Jesus starts with zero disciples and now his following is accelerating.
  • The period ends with John being imprisoned by Herod Antipas: Luke 3:19-20 (Matthew 4:12; Mark 1:14; Luke 4:14)

The diagram for Period 2 should look like this when you are done:

DEV 05FN Diagram 05 EN.jpg

PERIOD 3: MINISTRY TRAINING AND PERIOD 4: EXPANDED OUTREACH (Write ‘Period 3: Ministry Training’ and ‘Period 4: Expanded Outreach’ in the middle box, then write ‘About 6-9 months’ underneath. Label the 3rd dot with ‘Call of the 4, Early 28AD’)

Summary: Periods 3 and 4 are happening simultaneously but represent two distinct periods. We see Jesus forming and training an expanding mission team as well as mobilizing for broader sowing and making new disciples. Jesus focussed in on a few and mobilized them for expanded mission experience. This period starts with Jesus’ move to Capernaum and His call of the four to be fishers of men in early 28 AD.

  • With John the Baptist’s imprisonment, Jesus withdraws from Judea and travels north to Galilee. He returns to his hometown of Nazareth, is rejected, and relocates his center of activity to a new home in Capernaum on the shores of the Lake with a focused Kingdom message. (Luke 4:14-31; Matthew 4:13-16; Mark 1:14-15) Why did He go to Capernaum when he could have gone anywhere? It was the home town of a few key followers: Peter, Andrew, James and John (two sets of brothers in a partnership of family fishing businesses).
  • Jesus intentionally seeks out and challenges these four core disciples to increase their availability and commitment to be specifically trained to become “fishers of men”. (Mk 1:16-20) This is a strategic priority to focus on: building a core ministry team and equipping them to become disciplemakers.
  • Jesus models and equips his team through on-the-job training in the field and through expanded outreach. Immediately after their call to be “fishers of men”, we have the record of at least 6 “fishing” expeditions.
  • Jesus conducts a tour around the whole region of Galilee with this team. A few examples of how Jesus trained his initial team: Luke 4:31-37; 4:38-41; 4:42-44
  • There begins to be exploding popularity accompanied by escalating conflict with religious leaders who begin plotting to kill Jesus: Mark 3:1-12 (Matthew 12:15-21)

The diagram for Period 3 and 4 should look like this when you are done:

DEV 05FN Diagram 06 EN.jpg

PERIOD 5: LEADERSHIP MULTIPLICATION. (Write ‘Period 5: Leadership Multiplication About 15 months’ in the last box. Label the 4th dot with ‘Appointing of 12 Apostles, Late 28 AD’)

Summary: This period last from the appointing of the 12 Apostles to Jesus’ ascension back to heaven. It last about 15 months. The priorities were: selecting proven disciple makers, developing their leadership and sending them to continue the Father’s Kingdom agenda and mission. We see Jesus appointing, training, handing over and releasing the movement to the next generation of multipliers.

Here are some of the main activities of this Period:

  • Fall 28 AD - Appointment of the 12 Apostles – a strategic development of multiplication of leadership (apostle means “Sent One”):
    • Have someone read Luke 6:12-16 and point out the different groups of people mentioned as the passage unfolds: Jesus, his disciples, 12 appointed out of them, another large crowd of his disciples, a multitude of people seeking Jesus.
    • Have someone read Mark 3:13-19 and ask the group to identify the 3 points of the job description of the 12 Apostles: That they – 1. might be with Him (relationship), 2. be sent to preach (clear mission), 3. have authority to cast out demons (delegated authority)
    • While in prison, John hears of Jesus growing momentum: Matthew 11:2-19
    • Jesus takes the 12 out on mission as a single well-resourced mission team
    • Read Luke 8:1-3, ask: “Can you identify the emerging organizational structure of Jesus’ ministry?” [Jesus, the 12, women who provided support]
    • Jesus sends the 12 Apostles out as 6 mission teams of two, while he continues touring with others in training: Luke 9:1-6 (Matthew 10:1-42; Mark 6:7-11)
  • Early 29 AD - Execution of John after 1-1.5 years in prison: Matthew 14:3-12 (Mark 6:17-29)
    • Withdrawal for personal retreat/refreshment and grieving: Luke 9:10b-11 (Matthew 14:13-14; Mark 6:31-34; John 6:1-3)
    • The angry crowd seeks to make Jesus King by force after John’s murder: John 6:14-15 ( Matthew 14:22-23; Mark 6:45-46)
    • Jesus takes his leadership core of the 12 to a pagan territory, gives the first revelation of his death and resurrection, and the first prophecy of His ‘church’: Matthew 16:13-26
    • He commissions and sends out 70 (72) others as 35 mission teams of two while Jesus continues with the 12: Luke 10:1-24
    • There is focused development of the movement leadership core of 12 and the inner circle; including characteristics of Kingdom leadership: Luke 10:25-19:28
  • March 30 AD - Climax of the work and the will of the Father in final Passover and passion week - Crucifixion/atonement/resurrection/ascension: Luke 19:29-24:53 (Matthew 26:6-28:20; Mark 11:1-16:20; John 11:55-John 21:25; Acts 1:1-11)

The diagram for Period 5 should look like this when you are done:

DEV 05FN Diagram 07 EN.jpg

Beyond Period 5: Multiplication of the movement itself. April 30 AD – Pentecost

(Write ‘Movements of Multiplying Disciples Resulting in Churches’)

  • The resurrected Jesus commissions his followers sending them as he was sent from the Father to continue that same mission: John 20:19-25
  • The church is launched through the Power of the Holy Spirit and sent to do the “greater works” (John 14:12) that continue Jesus’ same mission to multiply movements of multiplying disciplemakers across cultures and through all time. (Acts 1:8; Acts 2:5; 22-24; 37-47)

The diagram should look like this when you are done.

DEV 05FN Diagram 08 EN.jpg

Section 3: Group work

Have each group rearrange the 21 events from the life of Christ. Ask them to look for details of chronology, sequence, progression and new developments over time. After 5 minutes, review the correct order.

Have the groups discuss the following questions:

  • What have you found helpful in looking at the development of Jesus ministry?
  • What is surprising to you?
  • What questions do you have from this overview?
  • Jesus ministered in a specific culture, place and time in history. What applies and what doesn’t apply to your ministry as a leader in your context today?


After 15-20 minutes, summarize the Priorities from the 5 Periods of Jesus Movement Building Process

Preparation Period

  • Purpose (Mission) and Passion (Motive)
  • End Product and Process
  • Person of Peace

Ministry Foundations

  • Holy Spirit Dependence
  • Prayer
  • Obedience to a Kingdom Agenda
  • Word
  • Exalting the Father (lifestyle of worship)
  • Relationships that are intentional

Ministry Training

  • Identify the Ready
  • Equip them as ministry team (heart, knowledge, skills)
  • Engage in outreach

Expanded Outreach

  • Go where they are – Their World
  • Be a friend of sinners – My Friends
  • Show and share Christ – His Life

Leadership Multiplication

  • Identify and Appoint Leaders
  • Be with Them
  • Restructure for Multiplication
  • Send them Out

Preparing for Mission (20 min)

  • In small groups, have each participant Evaluate their ministry to identify 2 strengths and 2 weaknesses based on Jesus’ model of building a movement. Have them make a plan on how they can improve.
    • Based on this simple framework, what period do you assess your ministry to be in and why?
    • What are a few next steps you can take to establish the keys priorities and grow through to the next phase of movement development?
  • Write “I will by when” statements. Include “Who will you teach this lesson to?”
  • Practice any additional skill that the leaders need in leading their groups or starting new ones
  • Provide everyone a copy of the Foundational Bible Study on the Life of Christ

Sending the Laborers

  • Reinforce the overall vision: a church or faith community for every 1,000 people
  • Spend time in prayer:
    • committing everyone’s goals to the Lord.
    • for God to raise up a movement of churches.
    • for more laborers to come out of the harvest.


text from the graph:

  1. Preincarnate glory
  2. The Word became flash: Jesus of Nazareth
  3. Birth about 4 B.C.
  4. Period 1: Preparation (about 30 years)
  5. Baptism, Public Ministry (about mid 26 AD)
  6. Period 2: Ministry Preparations (18-21 months)
  7. John imprisioned
  8. Call of the Four (early 28 AD)
  9. Period 3: Ministry Training
  10. Period 4: Expanded Outreach
  11. (about 6-9 months)
  12. Appointment of the 12 (late 28 AD)
  13. Period 5: Leadership Multiplication (about 15 months)
  14. Death and Ressurection (about 30 AD)
  15. Post Ascension Glory
  16. Movements of multiplying disciples resulting in churches. Book of acts