Sow What? discipleship study by Jan Whitmore

Available from Amazon

Introduction

Sow What? challenges believers in Jesus into being true disciples. What does it mean to walk with God, listening to His voice, acknowledging Him in everything? What does it mean to forsake the old life we had before we invited Jesus to be Saviour and Lord? How do we do that? What does it mean to be enabled by the Spirit and the Word to live this new life in Jesus? This study, based on the Parable of the Sower, takes us step by step into a far greater reality of what it means to live in the kingdom of God. It is a study "in season" to help us prepare for the return of Jesus.

The first 5 chapters consider the nature, power and ability of God's effective seed - the Word of God. Then chapters 6 - 11 consider the soil into which that seed is planted. If God’s seed (His Word) has such great ability, what prevents it transforming our lives? What is holding us back from dynamic Christian living? Can hardness, rocks, thorns really affect spiritual development? How can we develop good soil that is productive?

Who is this study for?

This study is ideal for a smaller gathering of believers - house church, homegroups, friendship groups, Bible study groups. It can help new believers get going on their faith road and it can help the more seasoned take stock, reassess and realign to Truth. Any time believers gather around God's Word there will be Holy Spirit activity; the bond of fellowship is formed. It pleases the heart of God to see Christians growing together in faith, love and hope.

Jesus said: Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations Matt 5:19

How to use the study

It is recommended that the group take one chapter per week. Each chapter has an accompanying teaching video of 30 minutes or less which can be downloaded for ease of use. Encourage each participant to read the chapter before meeting together, thinking and praying over its content. Then, at the beginning of group time, watch the video together before considering and discussing the questions. The study leaves room for prayer and a weekly passage of Scripture on which to meditate.

Recommendations

PRACTICAL STUDY BOOK FOR SMALL GROUPS

Jan Whitmore, a gifted Bible teacher and encourager, has produced a book that will enable participants to help each other deepen the level of their Christian commitment. This is a practical book intended to be used by small groups of four or five people agreeing to work together over an eleven-week period or longer, if they so decide. Based on the parable of the sower, it invites participants to reflect on the nature of God, the sower, and the seed, which is His Word. If we allow this seed to fully impact our lives, it will produce in us a Christ-like character. As the parable makes clear, the way in which biblical truth takes root in us depends on our individual responses. These responses, as both the parable and Jan Whitmore’s book remind us, vary considerably from person to person and are likened to different kinds of soil.

The second part of the book challenges members of each study group to reflect on how fully, or otherwise, they are allowing Jesus’ teaching to shape their individual lives. All the chapters provide some informative material to enable members to focus their thinking on the chosen issue and then end with a series of questions for group discussion, reflection, and prayer.

– Revd Dr Nigel Scotland, Tutor Trinity College, Bristol and honorary research fellow, The University of Gloucestershire, United Kingdom

THE DEPTH OF TEACHING IS REMARKABLE

I am reading “Sow what?” with great interest and I am applying what I read to my own life. I know I will read it over and over again and learn more each time I read it. The depth of teaching is remarkable. It is written in a very good format, quickly understood even for the most unlearned! It speaks so highly of the author’s walk with the Lord, and I for one say thank you.

Margie Macari  Farmer’s wife, Illinois, USA

Listen! Behold a sower went out to sow ... Mark 4:3

SPIRITUAL DYNAMITE

“Tired of superficial Bible study? Longing for transformational tools to dig deep into God's word? If so, this book is for you! Potentially it is spiritual dynamite! It poses some searching questions regarding our spiritual health but the author writes well and honestly, giving helpful illustrations from life to make her points. Read it, share it, buy a copy for a friend! Use it in a small group setting. You will not be disappointed!” 

Gweno Hugh-Jones, WEC UK missionary

SITTING AT JESUS FEET

 “Many times I've wished that I could sit at Jesus' feet and listen to His teaching like Mary of Bethany did so long ago. Reading this book came close to that. It is very personal. "As God's seed blossoms in our hearts, it governs, shapes and transforms our outward behaviour and conduct. This is the normal Christian life for all believers." (p 39). A book to reread and ponder. Highly recommended.”

Marietjie Botha, LA, USA

LOVELY FRESH INSIGHTS

So significant, sincerely written, thoroughly researched and helpful....I especially appreciate the clarity of expression, which brings forth lovely fresh insights into the powerul truth of the parable of the Sower. Jan Whitmore's book inspires us to yield wholeheartedly to God so that He can bring the seed of His Word to full fruition in our lives. I would definitely recommend it to every child of God or study group as a must have!

Amanda van Schalkwyk, South Africa

MY HEART WAS CHALLENGED IN MANY AREAS

Jan Whitmore's book ( Sow What ) is a truly honest and practical account of God's word. As a personal read I found my heart being challenged to areas of my life where worries and rocks had formed and taken root.

It is both uplifting and challenging in many areas. An in depth and clear instruction for Christians whether they are new or mature believers. Readers will discover a spiritual growth of how to live and be a disciple of Jesus. Highly recommended to anyone seeking more of God and transformation in their heart and in their Christian Faith. 

Linda Harper, Southfields, London, UK

Recommended

A REVIVAL IN MY HEART

What a delight to read Jan’s new book, Sow What? Evie and I have come to know Jan well over the twenty-plus years of her ministry with Mission Encouragement Trust (MET), of which she is a co-founder. Her ministry has involved travelling thousands of miles through many nations to bring hope, peace, pastoral counsel, and encouragement to missionaries. She is an encourager, truly a “Barnabas”.

Jan is a friend to many, including my wife, Evie, and me, and since 1995 has been a frequent participant in our Barnabas International conferences in the United States. As a diligent student of the Scriptures, she has shown her love and knowledge for the Word of God through faithful, passionate, and persistent teaching at seminars and retreats around the world. I have listened to her speak, and as I have read her discipleship materials I have discovered she carefully studies the Word. She spends much time in prayer, and only then does she speak and write.

God has used this book to stir my own heart. So often, while reading the book, I would say, “Listen to this, Evie. This is really good. Isn’t that a good word?” I have read, studied and preached on the parable of the sower and have seen pastors encouraged because of it. They, like Jesus, are sowers of the seed. They too get various responses to their preaching, even as Jesus did. The same sower … the same seed … but results vary, depending on the soil. Jan has taken this and added rich personal insights into each of the four soil conditions and to what we must do to prepare good soil in our hearts to receive the seed.

As she wrote the book, she was richly moved and transformed. The Holy Spirit, who inspired the Scriptures, illumined the Word to her. To quote her, she experienced a “spiritual tsunami”. I too was blessed; I experienced a revival in my own heart. I pray that you will also be open to rediscovering the truth of this parable – the sower, the seed, and the soil. The book is written to stir your heart, and I am sure you will be enriched through reading and applying it to your life and ministry. In addition to personal benefit, the book is practical and urges the user to share its message in small groups – “life groups” – to encourage Christian discipleship and growth. – Dr Lareau Lindquist, founder of Barnabas International, United States

IT REACHES DEEP WITHIN

I've so enjoyed this discipleship book. Easy to read and understand. It just flows. In 2000 I read "Landmarks" (an ignation journey) by Margaret Silf. It changed the way I read the Word. I still dip in.to it now. "Sow What?" I feel has that same effect. It reaches down to the very essence of who we are in Christ and how we can grow. It will bless many.  

Margaret Green, St Marks Church, Gillingham, Kent, UK

SKYPING WITH THE AUTHOR

When our class Skyped with Jan Whitmore, author of Sow What? on Tuesday, I held up the wheat that was growing in my yellow pot and explained to her that I had scattered the wheat seed on the good soil and left it in the dark laundry room all week. When I looked  the following week I was surprised that it was growing through no additional effort of my own. It was doing what God had designed the seed to do, grow in the good soil. Of course I've been watering the soil and giving it plenty of sunshine since. I bring my growing wheat to class every week along with the dried developed wheat with seed heads displayed in a vase. They serve as a visual reminder of the parable Jesus told of the Sower, the seed and the soil.

 We are all learning a lot about God and ourselves through Jan's book, "Sow What?, Discipleship Made Real". We all love this study and we're growing in our faith and God is loosening the soil of our hearts, removing rocks and weeds and He is producing good fruit in us! 

Sandy Carlson, Williams Bay, Wisconsin, USA

Recommended

LIFE-CHANGING EFFECT

Through serving our local homeless community, I met a precious lady, about my age (60ish). A low-key friendship developed and she started sharing some personal issues.  Lately she asked if I would pray for her. I realised that a regular meeting time around the Word would certainly encourage her and be of great benefit.

About two months ago she invited me for a coffee date. We had hardly sat down when she popped the question: would I be willing to lead a Bible study with her and some friends? As I prayed I know the Lord put Jan Whitmore's book "Sow what!" on my heart as the book to use for this Bible study meeting. The study led to many questions and issues coming to light andwe became aware that we must train our SPIRITUAL senses to understand so that the Word can root in our hearts to bring the change. The Lord has brought so many things to the surface, shedding new light and deeper understanding with life-changing effect! It's such a humbling exciting joy to watch the Lord at work through this book!

Maritha Esterhuizen, Hermanus, South Africa

Recommended