A Life of Discipleship
THE CIRCLE OF
LEARNING
Penge Baptist Church
26th May 2013
Discipleship and time
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Jesus’ call for us to be disciples
How do we learn from daily experiences?
Time in the New Testament
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Chronos – passage of time
Kairos – a significant event, opportunity
A “Kairos moment”
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Positive or negative
Have an impact on our lives, scope for growth
A lifestyle of learning
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After John was put in prison, Jesus
went into Galilee, proclaiming the good
news of God. “The time has come,”he
said. “The kingdom of God is near.
Repent and believe the good news!”
(Mark 1:14-15)
The circle
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Shows us how to live a
lifestyle of learning as
Jesus’ disciples
Shows us how to
recognise important
events as opportunities
for growth
Shows us how to process
the events
A lifestyle of learning
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Repent
Observe
Reflect
Discuss
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P
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Believe
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What good is it, my brothers, if a man claims
to have faith but has no deeds? Can such
faith save him?……In the same way, faith by
itself, if it is not accompanied by action, is
dead.But someone will say, “You have faith; I
have deeds.”Show me your faith without
deeds, and I will show you my faith by what I
do. (James 2:14, 17-18)
Believe
B
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L
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V
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Act
Account
Plan
Observe
Reflect
Discuss
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“The Circle” on the Mount
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Kairos moment: “Therefore I tell you, do not
worry about your life, what you will eat or
drink; or about your body, what you will wear.
Is not life more important than food, and the
body more important than clothes?
Observe: Look at the birds of the air; they do
not sow or reap or store away in barns, and
yet your heavenly Father feeds them.
Reflect: Are you not much more valuable than
they?
Discuss: Who of you by worrying can add a
single hour to his life ?
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Plan: But seek first his kingdom and his
righteousness, and all these things will
be given to you as well.
Account: Do not judge, or you too will
be judged.
Act: Therefore everyone who hears
these words of mine and puts them into
practice is like a wise man who built his
house on the rock.
A mounting debt
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Kairos moment: a mounting credit card bill.
Repent: (O) what I am buying each month? do I
need all this stuff? has this been going on long?
(R) what does this say about my sense of identity?
why do I feel the need to buy this stuff? (D) “hi
Joe, I’m feeling that money has a bit of a hold over
me – can I get your thoughts?”
Believe: (P) need to cancel all but one card and
limit myself to £200 per month spend (A) “hey Joe,
can you ask me whether I am under my £200 limit
every month?” (A) cut up the credit cards!
Revising the steps
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Observe – what happened, how did you react/feel?
Reflect – on your observations. Why did you feel
the way you did? What does that say about you?
Is there a pattern?
Discuss – seek the wisdom of others. Do your
observations and reflections make sense? Do you
discern an opportunity for growth?
Plan – figure out a practical way to grow.
Account – tell somebody about your plan and ask
them to follow up with you on it.
Act – do it!
Another biblical example
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The rich young ruler (Matthew 19:1629)
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Conversation (Kairos)
Disciple’s astonishment (Observe and
reflect)
Who can be saved? (Reflect)
We left everything (Discuss)
If you leave homes, families (Plan,
account, act)
Remember the circle!
The circle in Scripture reading
Looking back: Observe, Reflect, Discuss
 Observe – What is God saying in His word? This
phrase tries to ascertain the facts, without questioning
them; we just get as much information as possible.
 Reflect – What does this teach me about God? What
new perspective does it bring on the way I relate to
him? What do I have to be thankful for? Why does it
make me feel that way? How does God feel about the
situation? This phase involves honest, probing
questions.
Discuss/Engage – Ask God questions about what he
wants to teach you. Have I been living in line with this
scripture? What might God have to say about my
circumstances? Does this truth help me see anything
differently? What is there for me to take forward?
What do I need to lay down? Being open to the Holy
Spirit, processing my reflections. Discuss with other
Christians
Looking forward: Plan, Account, Act
 Having looked back at the learning and gained all we
can from it, the next stages help us to change and
move forward with more purpose.
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Plan – What does it look like to live in the light of
this? What might change? Change doesn’t happen
by default, which is why the circle is about being
intentional about change. A plan is important for
that to take place.
Account – Who will hold me accountable or pray
for me today? When other people know about our
plans, we are much more likely to succeed. Change
rarely happens in private.
Act – Live it! By this stage, you should be confident
to act. Be willing to ‘fail forward’ and take a step of
faith.