Discipleship Course

The Mathetes Trust offers a discipleship course called The God Who is There. The course takes its inspiration from our Rooted in Jesus discipleship programme for Africa, and is in three parts. It can be purchased from our Publications page. We  also offer support for a church which has decided to embark on the course. We can provide training for leaders, or sometimes lead the course ourselves if you prefer. The course will be most effective if it is accompanied by a sermon series; we can provide speakers for any of these sermons as required.
The God Who is There was endorsed by the Anglican Communion report Intentional Discipleship and Disciplemaking, published in 2016. To find out more visit the Anglican Communion discipleship page.

The course syllabus

  1. Beyond Ourselves: A course which explores the wider meaning of our lives Roger Morgan
    Designed to be accessible to those with no church background, Beyond Ourselves invites participants, Christian and not yet Christian, to discover together what it means to develop a living relationship with God. Topics covered include creation, suffering, life after death, the life and resurrection of Jesus and the gift of the Holy Spirit.
    Preview on Google Books here (Leader’s Manual) and here (Member’s Coursebook).
  • The New Community: Finding God when we meet together – Roger Morgan
    The New Community is modelled on the discipleship patterns of the New Testament, where we see that being a disciple of Jesus is not an individual but a shared activity. This unique course enables participants to discover what it means to be part of a group of people who are seeking God in and through their relationships with one another. The course includes worship, facilitated through a specially commissioned CD by Phil Lawson Johnston.
  • Shining Like Stars: A course which helps Christians understand how God intends us to live in this world – Roger Morgan
    Shining Like Stars is the third in our group discipleship series The God Who is There. It focusses on what it means to live as effective Christian disciples in the midst of the challenges of daily life, and its aim is to equip people to live with compassion and integrity as Christians in the community and in the workplace. The course includes worship, facilitated through a specially commissioned CD by Phil Lawson Johnston.

How did the course come about? 

In 2002, when Roger Morgan was Vicar of Holy Trinity Leicester, he was introduced to Stanley Hotay, then the Diocesan Evangelist in the Diocese of Mount Kilimanjaro in Tanzania. Stanley was making thousands of converts, but he was looking for help with the follow-up. Roger and Stanley came up with the idea of a new course, to be translated into Swahili, which could be used in Tanzania to follow up the new Christians.
Working with members of Holy Trinity Leicester, Rooted in Jesus was edited and launched by Alison Morgan that same year. 153 Tanzanian pastors and evangelists were trained in how to use the material, and each then formed a group of between 12 and 20 people. The results in terms of transformed lives was beyond our wildest expectations. This led to the expansion of the course into many countries and languages in rural Africa – and developed into our international  Rooted in Jesus ministry.
Many people asked us if they could use the course in the UK, and we have almost always said no because of the immense cultural differences between rural Africa and a typical UK parish. So we decided to write a new course tailored to UK needs. This course, The God Who is There, has three parts: Beyond Ourselves, The New Community and Shining like Stars. To purchase all or part of the course go to our Publications page.
The God Who is There consists of thirty topical lesson plans, and is written to be used by groups of any size. Each session lasts for 90 minutes. The group leader is given a large amount of material on each topic, and participants have their own booklets containing ideas for homework. The groups are encouraged to memorise key verses for each session.
Each book offers 10 enjoyable, accessible and life-changing sessions
Interactive; sessions are based on group discussion and practical exercises
Not dependent on the personal charisma of a leader
Focussed on key verses of scripture
Includes prayer and, in books 2 and 3, worship
Includes a course member’s booklet with creative homework exercises

What do people say about The God Who is There?

“I am using ‘The God Who is There’ material as a discipleship project in St Lawrence, North Wingfield, where I am Team Rector.  I want to provide a way for people to explore what it means to be a follower of Jesus which is thorough, interesting and which does not ‘soft sell’ the demands of discipleship. I consider this material to be the discipleship course I have always wanted. It combines Bible-based teaching and openness to the Holy Spirit with a creative approach to learning. I warmly commend this excellent material.” – Revd Colin Cooper, North Wingfield
“Each week, every topic and associated exercise has spoken to me and I have found my faith strengthened and enhanced. I have wanted to chat to friends and family about the topics and to think about the key verse for that week.  I have spent more time reading the specific bible passages and my prayers have been more concentrated and guided by God. Having experienced this course, I would recommend it to anyone who wants to explore their faith, whether coming from none or little faith, or having been brought up in a Christian family” – Jenny, group member from Uppingham
“This course has really changed the lives of our 12 members. Last week as we looked at the death of Jesus, the tears that were shed and the forgiveness God poured out on people was overwhelming. One lady replied ‘I keep waking up in the morning singing praises and reciting the memory verses and I’m getting worried I don’t know what’s happening’ !!! Amazing what God is doing! I’ve used Alpha many times and it’s a good course but somehow Beyond Ourselves is reaching that deeper layer.” – Revd Denise Hayes, Litherland
“This course is for those who are seeking, for new Christians and mature seasoned Christians. It slowly adds layers with simple questions that build up deeper and deeper with meaning. It is a course where everyone is of equal importance and where everyone’s opinion counts. The course is stimulating and uplifting and openly encourages the people attending to let the Holy Spirit mentor and guide them.”  – Nigel & Gwen Burns, St Michael’s Edgemead, Johannesburg

What outcomes are we looking for?

If you use The God Who is There, what outcomes can you expect to see? Here is a list of the convictions, experiences and behaviour you can hope for in the lives of group members

Book 1 : Beyond Ourselves

  1. Beyond Ourselves Manual cover 2018v2_Page_1My world exists, I exist, because there is a creator who I call God. The summit of creation, its main purpose, is the creation of people who are created in the image of God. I, as an individual, matter to God, my creator. My life has a purpose and a future.
  2. The world, although so beautiful, is obviously seriously flawed. It is not good that people suffer; it is not good that other creatures suffer; it is not good that they die; it is not good that people sin; but always they do.
  3. There are three reasons why there is suffering in the world: i. The involvement of unseen evil spiritual forces, ii. The choice which all people make (and this to my shame includes me) to often choose wrong over right, iii. The disciplining hand of God.
  4. When things go wrong for me it is not always easy to understand why, but the Bible teaches that whatever happens God always retains overall control, and he always has a purpose for me in suffering. I am learning to trust God  when things go wrong for me, and so prepare myself for death and what lies behind death.
  5. Jesus is God incarnate as a man. Jesus is the key to understanding everything. His teaching is God’s teaching. His miracles are God’s power in action. Jesus demonstrated again and again that he, like God, has the authority over Satan, sin, suffering and death. I am learning how to use this authority in my own life.
  6. Jesus died and then was raised to life. The Bible has not got it wrong and the evidence is overwhelming. This means that I can expect to survive death. This life is only a preparation, and I see death not as something to be feared, but as a gateway to fulfilment.
  7. On the cross Jesus took the punishment for my sins and I am so grateful. From the cross Jesus forgave my sins and I have accepted this forgiveness. As I identify with Jesus the power of the cross will give me victory over all my sin and I am claiming that victory day by day.
  8. I have responded to Jesus by becoming a Christian. I have decided to follow him, putting all that is wrong behind me. I have decided to put my trust in him. I have received the Holy Spirit, the Spirit who Jesus sends, the guarantee of eternal life.
  9. I believe in the Holy Spirit. I see that the Holy Spirit can fill people’s lives and change them. I see that Jesus was able to do as he did because he had the Spirit. I see that the Spirit was poured out at Pentecost on all believers and that this has been true ever since.
  10. I have now asked for and received the Holy Spirit and I understand that this makes me a member of the community of Spirit-filled believers. I understand that the Spirit gives power to the community enabling it to do what Jesus did and I am now part of that. I understand and know that I am a child of God. The Holy Spirit has begun to speak to me and to change me and I look forward to more.
  11. I understand now that my life is based on promises, promises I have made to God and he to me. I have made up my mind to be faithful to what I have promised and to trust in what God has promised.
  12. When I am unfaithful I have learned to confess and begin again. When I doubt I have learned to turn again to the truths that I have learned and committed myself to. I have learned to refocus daily on what the Holy Spirit is wanting to say and to do in my life.

Book 2 : The New Communitync

  1. I have been baptised (or baptised and confirmed) and I understand that I now belong to the community of believers. I have committed myself to a particular group of believers. Belonging to these other believers is a fundamental part of what it means to be a Christian disciple. This community has become the centre of my life.
  2. I have learned along with my community to enjoy bowing down before God in worship, acknowledging his greatness and yielding our lives to him once again. This worship is an essential part of what we do together when we meet.
  3. My community loves to praise God and we do this regardless of how we feel and regardless of our circumstances. Songs of praise are our staple diet. Our experience is that as we throw ourselves into praise we find that God always meets with us.
  4. My community regularly takes Bread and Wine together. We look back to what Jesus did on the cross. We look forward to his return. And we recommit ourselves to his kingdom.
  5. My community loves to pray together. Most of all we pray for the coming of the Kingdom of God both in us and beyond us.
  6. When we pray together we always bring the needs of our community to God and our experience is that God both directs our prayers and answers our prayers. We confess our sins and forgive those who sin against us. We ask to be protected from all that is evil
  7. My community knows that God loves us and we experience his love in many ways. Because God loves us we love to find many extravagant ways to express our love for him. In particular we love to sing love songs to God.
  8. My community is used to listening to God and we often hear God speak to us. One way in which he often does this is through the Bible. I have learned to trust the Bible, to read it often and to acknowledge its authority in my life.
  9. As a community we are committed to loving each other. Other people’s joys, sorrows, and needs have become mine. We are used to listening to each other and as we listen to each other to also listen to God. As we listen to God the Holy Spirit makes it possible for us to pray powerfully for each other as God directs.
  10. I understand what it means to be kind, humble, meek, patient, fore-bearing, and forgiving. In our community I have had many opportunities to display these graces and to receive them from others.

Book 3: Shining Like StarsStars Manual cover 2019_Page_1

  1. Life in the community is now my centre, but I am also learning to bring every aspect of my life under the Lordship of Jesus. I understand now that I can do my daily work, however difficult it may be, in a way that gives God pleasure, and I love to do this.
  2. I now have a fresh vision for my life; I have been chosen to live for God’s glory every day and to reveal God’s glory every day. Every day is full of opportunity and purpose. God is there with me all the time.
  3. I now understand The Ten Commandments and I understand what is involved in keeping them. I know how Jesus taught The Ten Commandments in The Sermon on the Mount. I realise that this was how he lived and how he wants his disciples to live.
  4. I realise that every single person matters to God. Every day he puts people in my path and he always has a purpose in this. People matter to God and now they matter to me. With God’s help I am learning to love and to serve each person I meet.
  5. Jesus lived a life of love but ended up by being crucified. I can expect the same and I am ready for that. Some people will harm me but I will forgive them. Some people will rival me and I will give way to them, always promoting the other person and not myself. Some people will be set over me and some under me but always I will try to be a servant to them.
  6. Things will go wrong for me as they do for others, and sometimes this is puzzling. But I have adopted an approach which I will stick to. However badly things go wrong I will say, God knows me, God loves me, God has a plan, I will trust him. Then I will wait in peace for God to reveal his plan.
  7. I now set aside 20 minutes each day to meet with God and pray. These times, as well as the times I spend with my community have become the centre, the engine room of my life.
  8. I have now decided to aim for perfection in all things, not expecting always to reach it but realising that Jesus was perfect. Jesus spoke most of all about money and above all I seek perfection in this area. I am resolved to be extreme in the simplicity of my life, in my confidence in God to supply my needs, and in the extent of my generosity.
  9. I have begun to see how desperately sinful my heart is and how much I need God to change me. There are things I can do to change myself but the most important thing is to expose myself to the purifying fire of his holiness.
  10. Satan is powerful. The world is full of injustices and abuses. I am resolved to play my part in righting wrongs. But my primary cause is the cause of Jesus, who overcomes Satan by changing men’s hearts. Bringing others into the Kingdom is a preoccupation of my life, and of my group’s life.
If you would like to find out more about The God Who is There, or talk to people who have used it, please follow the links on the Publications page, or get in touch with us via our contact page.
To download a flyer click here.

Posted by Revd Dr Alison Morgan