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Tina McCormick

Nine things that your group will need to master in order to multiply

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[Note from the Editor: Today’s post is from Tina McCormick, who has been implementing a form of Discovery Bible Studies (DBS) with young women in jail in her county in Indiana with outstanding results. After six months, she and her fellow workers have seen 14 inmates baptized and many other lives changed through the Lord’s power working through these practices. She writes not only with the Watsons speaking into her life, but also from the excitement of what God is doing through her in her daily walk.]

 

Here are nine things that your group will need to master in order to multiply according to Contagious Disciple Making by David and Paul Watson.

  1. Prayer
    How do you teach people to pray?  Ask them what they are thankful for today.  The Watsons remind us that even in that very first meeting with unbelievers we never ask them to bow their heads and pray.  But after they choose to follow Christ we explain that this was prayer – telling God what you are thankful for.
  2. Intercession
    As the Watsons point out, all intercession is prayer, but not all prayer is intercession.  A simple question in our group is, “What has stressed you out this week?”  This introduces the DNA element to groups of lost people.  After someone becomes a baptized believer you can explain that just as he shared what stressed him out to his group, he can share those same things with God.
  3. Ministry
    The Watsons define ministry as “God using His people to answer the prayers of the lost and of the saved.”  As a group shared needs (believers and unbelievers) there will be a desire to make a difference.  After the group shares what has stressed them out this week, you can follow it up with, “Do you know anyone in your community that needs our help?”  Your group will be motivated to transform their community from the start.
  4. Evangelism/Replication
    “Who do you know that needs to hear this story this week?”  If this is a lost person’s first week in attending or his 10th time attending, if you keep it simple enough he will be able to share the story they just heard with someone who wasn’t in the group.  This is one way that new groups can start.  If that person is interested then we have them start a new group with their friends and family.
  5. Obedience
    Many of us walk away from a Sunday sermon inspired but rarely do we ask ourselves how we can be obedient to the scripture read that day.  The Watsons agree that obedience is a critical element of disciple making movements.  To unbelievers you might pose the question, “If you believed this passage is from God, what would you have to change in your life?”  After they accept Christ you can adjust to say, “Since you believe this is from God, what are you going to change in your life?”
  6. Accountability
    Remember the obedience question, “Since you believe this is from God, what are you going to change in your life?”   A group should do more than just ask the question.  In the next meeting there’s follow-up with questions such as, “Several of you identified things that needed changing.  Did you make those changes?  How did it go?”
  7. Worship
    Since you have a group of unbelievers you can’t force them to sing worship songs, right?  However, from the very first meeting you talk about things that they are thankful for.  They also talk about changes they need to make in their life as they respond to Scripture.  They also will begin to make a difference in their community.  These are all forms of worship.  Eventually your group will be able to sing praises to God but enjoy seeing unbelievers begin to worship God through building a relationship with Him.
  8. Scripture
    Obviously this is essential.  The Bible is the center of the discussion.  Everyone is encouraged to obey it.
  9. Discovery
    As we work with unbelievers it is difficult to avoid explaining Scripture.  We are to allow the Scripture to be the authority.  If we are the authority then replication is limited by our leadership and the time we have to teach every group.   As the Watsons say, “This is a hard shift to make.”  We have to let the unbeliever go to Scripture and rely on the Holy Spirit to answer questions.

Self-Feeding

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An important component of disciple making is self-feeding.  Self-feeding refers to items that must be evident in our lives if we are to become disciples worth reproducing.  We should be producers not just consumers.

Every believer should be self-feeding.  We need to make sure that we aren’t viewing our Sunday church service as the time to be fed spiritually – and not doing anything on our own the other days of the week.  The purpose of the leaders in our church, according to Ephesians 4:11-12, is to equip us for ministry not to feed us.

Persons of Peace

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We need to understand how to look for and identify a “man of peace” as they enter new communities. This term comes from Matthew 10 and Luke 10 when Jesus is giving instructions to His disciples. Essentially, a man or woman of peace is someone who is responsive and has a circle of influence and will open the door to that circle.

Who are you Battling?

By | Day 01, Day 05, Day 11, Day 23, Day 26 | One Comment

“For our battle is not against flesh and blood but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the world powers of this darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavens.”  Ephesians 6:12

Think of the most difficult person, most pressing problem, and/or most overwhelming circumstance you’re facing in your life right now.  Think of several if you like.

Whatever it is you’re thinking about, whether a person or a circumstance – whoever or whatever it is – it is not your real problem.  Hear that again:  IT is NOT your REAL problem.  The most troubling things in your life, things that you perceive with your five physical senses, are not your real issue.  Though you may be wrestling with them verbally, emotionally, financially, even physically, you are wasting your precious time and energy that needs to be reserved for the real culprit – the one who is behind the scenes, striving to direct the details of some of your most acute difficulties.  Everything that occurs in the visible, physical world is directly connected to the wrestling match being waged in the invisible, spiritual world.  Sounds like a movie, huh?

But Paul’s words, directly out of Ephesians, tell us that we wrestle not against man but with the ruler of this world which is Satan.

Your real enemy – the devil – wants you to ignore the spiritual reality behind the physical one.  Because as long as you’re focused on what you can see with your physical eyes, he can continue to run rampant underneath the surface.  The more you disregard him, the more damage he is free to do.  The enemy may be invisible, but he is not fictional.  He is very real, and very persistent, waging war against us constantly.
Our enemy celebrates lethargic Christian living.  When we’re giving up on relationships, disregarding the purity of our reputations, yielding to our appetites without putting up much, if any, resistance, he can basically go unchecked.  Ultimately, the enemy can hamstring the church from achieving the purposes of God.  That’s why he works so hard to beat you down with discouragement.  Make you discontent.  Lie to you about who God is, causing you to doubt the Lord’s all-good intentions toward you.  Hammer you with accusations that place a burden of shame and guilt on your shoulders too heavy to carry.  Trick you into thinking your situation will never change, and that God doesn’t hear you or care when you call out to Him.  Soon your fire of passion starts to burn low.  You become disinterested.  Low in spiritual fiber.  Your spiritual armor goes unworn and unused.

Now you’re exactly where the enemy wants you – where you no longer want to fight for peace and passion in your marriage, where you no longer believe your child can be restored, where you no longer hope for healing in your body, where you no longer see any path to freedom from your addictions, where you just don’t see the purpose in praying anymore….so you don’t.   You don’t ask or seek or knock.

Did you know that more than 4,000 churches close each year?  That the 5th largest unchurched nation is the United States?  Could this be because His Church, the Bride of Christ, is not standing together, a vast army, united in prayer?  The more praying there is in the world the better the world will be, the mightier the forces against evil everywhere.  God shapes the world by prayer.  Prayers are deathless.  The lips that uttered them may be closed in death, the heart that felt them may have ceased to beat, but the prayers live before God, and prayers outlive the lives of those who uttered them; outlive a generation, outlive an age, outlive the world.

So what if our world is morally declining because our generation fails to pray?  What if this generation has been too busy or too unbelieving to pray?  What if God’s conquering days are when the Church has given herself to prayer – praying for the advancement of God’s cause?

“Keep asking, and it will be given to you. Keep searching, and you will find. Keep knocking, and the door will be opened to you.”  Matthew 7:7

Ask of me is the condition – a praying people willing and obedient.  The strongest one to stand against the enemy is the one who is the best knocker.  The secret of success in Christ’s kingdom is the ability to pray.  To stop the advancement of the enemy we must stand together and fight in prayer.

 

Portions adapted from:

  • EM Bounds on Prayer
  • The Armor of God by Priscilla Shirer
  • Moving Mountains by John Eldredge