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Day 04

Questions for Discussion from the Book, More Disciples

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The Revised and Enlarged Version of More Disciples (now available at Amazon) adds significant text, including Questions for Discussion. For the benefit of any who bought the “1.0” version of the book, we’re including those questions here in full so you don’t miss out.


Chapter 1

Why Make More Disciples

  1. How might you have previously answered the question, “What is a disciple?” Do you agree or disagree with the definition provided in this chapter?
  2. How did you view disciple-making before reading this chapter? Compare and contrast your prior understanding with any nuances you’ve picked up from this reading.
  3. This chapter pointed to the fact that the early church seemed all the more to thrive in the midst of persecution. Would you say there is persecution where you will be making disciples? Has the church thrived? Offer some theories as to why or why not?
  4. How might you have previously explained the parable of the lost sheep in Luke 15? As a result of reading this chapter, how has your understanding changed, if at all?
  5. If a friend were to ask, “Does making more disciples somehow add to the global voice offering glory to God,” how would you answer? Explain the basis of your position.

 

Chapter 2

A Way Forward

  1. Roland Allen’s books weren’t published until some 50 years after he wrote them. Why do you suppose it took a while for others to see value in his writings? (Try doing some research online about this question.)
  2. Some have ventured that Patterson’s approach was remarkably similar to CPM/DMM approaches used today — and it was plainly very effective for his time. Yet it can be said that relatively few churches/workers implemented his strategies. Why do you think it’s seemingly difficult for churches and leaders to change the way they do disciple-making? How might we shift the future?
  3. McGavran witnessed whole villages and sometimes entire districts coming to Christ at once. Try to picture being involved in something like that. How would it change the way you felt about evangelism and church growth? Explain.
  4. Pick one of Garrison’s universal elements that you believe is commonly misunderstood or about which people today have a misconception. Offer some ideas as to why.
  5. Garrison is a researcher. He found that the 10 Universal Elements were present in every movement toward Christ that he studied. How many of these elements might exist in the church that you attend or in the field where you hope to make disciples? How might you be a part of changing the future there?

 

Chapter 3

Disciple-Making Works

  1. Describe the growth you’ve seen so far in the church you attend or in the field where you hope to make disciples. Compare or contrast this with the case studies illustrated in this chapter. Why might God bring about such movements in one part of the world but not in another? Explain as best you can.
  2. Some of these stories seem almost beyond belief. Yet researchers like Garrison have actually visited and verified the fruit. Imagine how you might feel as you interview members of the 27th generation of disciples in a rapidly-growing movement toward Christ. How would that impact your faith in or walk with Christ? Explain.
  3. Does it bother you that the Global South might end up sending more missionaries than historically mission-active regions like the USA, Europe and Australia? Why or why not?
  4. Does it bother you that the church is growing faster in the Global South than in the Global North? Offer some of your own theories as to why this might be taking place.
  5. Do you believe movements like these can happen in North America? Why or why not?

 

Chapter 4

Prayer is the Catalyst

  1. If Jesus wants all people to be saved, why do you think prayer seems to be a universal element in launching disciple-making movements? Why do you think God seemingly waits on us to pray?
  2. How might we motivate believers to understand the potential power behind prayer? How could you do so for the initiatives that you are imagining for the church you attend or the place where you hope to make disciples?
  3. If you were asked to pray for an unreached people group, never before engaged with the Good News, what would be some of your requests to God?
  4. Take a moment to look up an unreached people group at www.JoshuaProject.net. Read about their needs and the opportunities for the Good News to spread there. Now take a few minutes actually to put into practice the concept of praying for the people about whom you’re reading.

 

Chapter 5

Obedience as the Command

  1. Describe a church you have previously attended. (It could be your home church or the one you attend now.) In what ways do you feel this church has emphasized knowledge and attendance? In what ways has this church emphasized obedience and accountability?
  2. Now that you’ve read this chapter, if it were up to you to design the perfect church, how might you recommend that we do church differently? (Note: Please avoid “trashing the bride of Christ.” Please give respect to the church leaders who have gone before us and have done the best they can with what they understood.)
  3. Have you seen churches which have emphasized teaching knowledge more than requiring obedience? If so, in your opinion, what is the root cause for this behavior?
  4. This chapter compared obedience to breathing. What was difficult or helpful for you in looking at obedience in this way? If possible, explain your answer by giving an example?
  5. This chapter opens the door to the concept that we might hear God’s voice in the present rather than merely in the past. Is this concept troubling or encouraging to you? Do you agree or disagree with the idea?

 

Chapter 6

Discovery-based Learning as the Method

  1. Assess why discovery-based learning might provide a better solution for training leaders in a fast-growing movement? Has your church or organization tried to use this approach? If not, venture guesses as to why not.
  2. Some have said that utilizing the same set of questions about each new Bible passage would become formulaic (the pattern would “get old” or become too mechanical rather quickly). Do you agree or disagree?
  3. What would it mean to you to study the Bible using discovery-based learning? Would you feel you were somehow “missing out” on the insights of a great teacher that you respect or know? Explain.
  4. You’ve probably heard before that “active learning” increases our chances of retaining information. Yet, would you agree or disagree – most churches have retained the form of teaching known as “the sermon.” Offer some best guesses about why the church has retained this approach down through the centuries. Does it create a moral dilemma for you to ponder the possibility of transforming this approach to a new paradigm?
  5. For you personally, does it bother you that discovery-based learning isn’t mentioned per se in the Bible?

 

Chapter 7

Peer Accountability

  1. Perhaps you’ve already participated in a Bible study in which you were held accountable to make decisions about your actions then follow through with them. (If not, then try to imagine it.) Does it – or would it – annoy you to have someone ask you, the following week, if you followed through? Explain.
  2. The author held that accountability works not because we want to look good (pride), but rather, because we don’t want to look bad (disobedience). Do you agree or disagree? Explain.
  3. This chapter gave some very practical ways to implement accountability at the close of a Bible study. Analyze for your life – does this concept seem too rigid or cult-like to you? Why or why not?
  4. This chapter provided an example of a Bible figure sharing his plans or next steps prior to implementing them. Do you agree or disagree that this is an example of peer accountability? Why or why not?

 

Chapter 8

Multiplying Groups

  1. This chapter doesn’t criticize a church for meeting in large gatherings. Rather, it points to a way forward that focuses on multiplication rather than addition. Can you think of an example of this in a church or campus ministry that you’ve attended? How might multiplication be a help?
  2. Think hard about your own life. This chapter speaks of regularly being part of two churches – one church or group for our own spiritual worship and a second church or group that we’re helping launch. Ponder this thought for your own life. What would it take for you to implement this concept?
  3. Evaluate the effectiveness of a church or group that you’ve attended compared to the paradigm presented in this chapter. Compare and contrast.
  4. Assume for a moment that multiplication is the best way forward. How might we help the church at large to grasp this paradigm and do it?

 

Chapter 9

Maximizing Fruit

  1. Compare and contrast the “SOAPS” Bible study approach to the one you’re using now. What are the advantages or disadvantages of each?
  2. Do you believe that being in an accountability group (such as the one described in this chapter) would be helpful for the typical believer? Do you think the typical believer is in such a group? If not, can you venture some guesses as to why or why not?
  3. What would concern you most about participating in a 3/3 group, as described in this chapter? Explain what you think might be some benefits and also some risks.
  4. This chapter offered two key approaches for increasing our own involvement in prayer. (Can you remember them both?) How do these approaches compare or contrast with typical prayer approaches used in churches you’ve attended? Give examples.
  5. Consider the town, city, people group, or country where your church is located or where you hope to make disciples. How does it change the way you think to ask the question, “What’s it going to take for all these people to hear the Good News and follow Jesus?”

 

Chapter 10

Im pacts on Disciple-Making

  1. Offer some of your best guesses as to why you believe the church seems to flourish in the midst of persecution.
  2. Examine your own life and the amount of time you have to add activities or approaches. When you read the ideas in this book and process the time it would take to implement them, is it sobering for you? Why or why not? How will you personally decide about your time priorities?
  3. Have you ever experienced cross-cultural confusion or “shock?” Give an example.
  4. The author wrote in this chapter that the church can expand rapidly within a common language and/or culture. Is there a language or cultural group that you wish could know and follow Jesus? If so, describe it.
  5. This chapter presents the concept of filtering for a “person of peace” to help introduce you to another culture. Have you ever experienced anything like this (someone introducing you to a new group or crowd)? If so, describe how it worked. Analyze how it might work with the Good News of Jesus.

 

Chapter 11

Templates for Training

  1. This chapter provides several formats for introducing CPM/DMM strategies in your church or in the place where you hope to make disciples. Imagine for a moment… why would you think the author would offer these formats? What were his intentions? In your opinion, are those intentions valid? Most importantly, how effective would you say his proposed formats might be in your church or in the place where you hope to make disciples?
  2. Evaluate the question: “Is it sneaky to start the organic way?” (In other words, must we gain the approval of our church or organization’s leaders in order to experiment/experience CPM/DMM approaches?)
  3. In your opinion, does the multiplicative approach remind you of network marketing? How is it similar? How is it different? Does it bother you to think of Jesus as asking us to “market” (i.e., persuade people to follow) the Good News? Why or why not?
  4. In your experience, where do these ever-expanding chains break down? In other words, offer some guesses as to what might sabotage a movement.
  5. Based on your learning style, would you rather be involved in a “live training” with an “expert” (an experienced disciple-maker) or would you be comfortable using a web-driven tool like Zúme as your learning approach? Explain.

 

Chapter 12

Tools and Tips for Im plementers

  1. This chapter presents 17 tools or tips for those wishing to launch CPM/DMM in their particular context. Pick out the top three approaches that would seem the most practical and effective for you, in your church or context. Explain why you chose those three.
  2. Consider the idea of making a list of people for whom you will pray. Does it bother you to think you might be on such a list (that someone else made)? Explain why or why not.
  3. For your learning style and preferences, would you rather learn “Creation to Judgment” (C2J) or the Three Circles Life Conversation? Explain why. What would it take for you to learn such a tool well? Would it be helpful? If so, what’s stopping you?
  4. This chapter mentioned that it might feel, at first, intimidating to think of baptizing someone. Does it seem that way to you? Why or why not?
  5. Is it hard for you to lead others? (For example, are you afraid you’re not good enough to do so?) Explain your answer by referencing the section, “Duckling Discipleship.”

 

Chapter 13

Frequently Asked Questions

  1. This chapter attempts to discuss how CPM/DMM views the existing church. Explain why that question is difficult to answer. (Hint: Remember that “CPM/DMM” isn’t an organization but an organic collection of strategies and life practices.) In light of what you’ve now learned (or learned previously) about CPM/DMM, how do you view the existing church. (Remember — never trash the bride of Christ.) In an ideal world, what would be your perfect design for the church?
  2. Sometimes in the past, the idea of “discipleship” has meant other things than the way the term “disciple-making” is being used in CPM/DMM world. Compare and contrast with some of the meanings you’ve heard previously. How is the CPM/DMM usage helpful or not helpful? Why?
  3. This chapter pointed out that some CPM/DMM trainers emphasize only baptizing groups (never individuals). How do you feel about this idea? This chapter asserted that the Bible gave examples of instances in which individuals were allowed to come to Christ as individuals. Do you agree or disagree? How do you reconcile these two seeming contradictions between some trainers’ philosophy and these case studies from the Bible?
  4. Analyze the difference between emphasizing “works” and accountability (in CPM/DMM strategies). How do you feel about the difference?
  5. Do you think CPM/DMM will, in the end, be a fad? Give your reasoning.

 

Chapter 14

A Call for Unity

  1. Try to think of an example of a new product or movement that began with one individual or one company. In those cases, how did it help or hurt the promotion and acceptance of that product or movement? In your opinion, how does it help or hurt that CPM/DMM strategy wasn’t “invented” or isn’t shepherded, as such, by any one person or organization?
  2. At this point in your understanding of implementing CPM/DMM strategy and life practices, would you rather be bold in your proclamation? … or do you see yourself more “laid back?” How will you react when you meet someone who feels it’s imperative to be more forthright in one’s presentation of the Good News? Explain why.
  3. Can you think of any other examples in which Godly men and women have disagreed about doctrine or biblical approaches? Name a couple and give examples of how this has helped or hurt the growth in Kingdom of God worldwide.

 

Chapter 15

Epilogue: Understanding Faithfulness

  1. Curtis Sergeant feels that two ideas have caused a number of problems in the church today. Which do you think has caused more problems than the other and why?
  2. Does it bother you to consider that you might be following someone who is still “learning to ride a bike?” (In other words, could you see yourself following an imperfect mentor?) Explain your answer.
  3. There have been some disturbing studies recently, like the one referenced in this chapter by Lifeway Research. Can you remember any recent findings about Christendom that shocked you? For example, something about a certain generation falling away or a study about how many people can’t remember what the Great Commission is? How can you reconcile these findings with our current method of discipling believers? In other words, what has gone wrong? How would you fix things if you were in charge?
  4. Where are you on the spectrum of knowledge versus practice? For example, do you believe God can work through a new believer to win or teach others? Why or why not?
  5. This chapter emphasizes a humble spirit for all teachers. Can you remember a preacher or pastor who seemed a bit prideful? How did it impact your willingness to listen and obey?

 

Wrapping up

Questions for Discussion about the book as a whole:

  1. What did you find most interesting in this book? What did you like?
  2. What did you find most difficult? What caused you the most confusion?
  3. What did you learn about people in this book?
  4. What did this book teach you about God?
  5. Is there anything in this book that you feel called to obey? What will you do about the things you’ve learned? What will be your next step? How will you begin implementing these teachings? Explain.
  6. Is there someone you might be able to train about any of these concepts? (Please write down a name.) Who can you tell that might hold you accountable to do that?
  7. With whom can you share this book and these teachings?

Day 4: There are no coincidences

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So I made my list of 30 names, ready to pray. I was curious to see who I’d end up praying for on Day 4, and I had no pretenses about ordering or gaming the list to get a specific person (my wife used Random.org, which I wish I’d thought of).

No matter, my system worked exactly as it needed to. I got to pray for my brother Bob (not a pseudonym), who shared a couple immediate and timely prayer requests. I was glad to pray for those and am excited to hear about how things went last night and will go this morning.

He and I also talked about doing a devotion for our recreation ministry. He shares about doing devotions quite a bit, but struggles to have people come to do it. I felt God telling me to step up in this area and Bob is going to have me be a part of this ministry.

Day 4 reminded me that we thrive when we are praying for and with our brothers and sisters. I don’t like that it took a 30 day challenge for me to ask to pray for Bob. I’m sorry, Bob. I do like that I’m recognizing the power of being in prayer for each other.

Now it’s time to see who’s next…

Pray for the people you know

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As God continues to move among the refugee community we have become a part of, I have noticed many cultural hang-ups that we have in the U.S. One of them that I now notice is how “guys” interact here. A wave of the hand, a quick nod, these are what we can expect with friends. Even our most intimate male relationships are regulated to a meaningful hand shake or an awkward hug lasting only long enough for three quick back slaps. For me, the “bro-hug” has been the pinnacle symbol of a close relationship with guys for as long as I can remember. My new middle eastern friends do not understand this. A shout of joy when I am seen, two hands on my face, a strong lasting embrace, and even a kiss on the cheek have blown away expectations and forced me to leave my discomfort (and shoes) at the door. I also noticed how quickly I revert to my cultural normal when I leave. So when I called a friend and told him I was praying for him today, I wasn’t sure what to expect. To my surprise, it was less weird than I thought it would be. In fact, I would call it welcomed; maybe even needed. We talked a bit, I got to tell him about the challenge and how it was going so far. We talked about what we were struggling with and what we were celebrating. We talked about things that would normally have taken a day out on the boat fishing or at least a fantastic sermon to bring up. We prayed for each other. After I hung up the phone I had to wonder, would this be what it’s like every day? What could happen if I knew my Christian friends this way and we shared our burdens and joys every day?

Discipleship Through the Eyes of Youth: Day 4

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I made my list of 30 and the person on my calendar for today is my friend Carrie. It’s interesting to me because Carrie is the one who began to get me thinking about discipleship 6 months ago. She was the one who challenged me with the questions, “Are you being poured into by someone?” and “Are you pouring into someone else?” Currently, Carrie is in Mississippi being a church camp counselor for the summer. So with her crazy schedule I thought I’d have a better chance of getting a hold of her through text.

I’ve haven’t heard back from her, but when I do I’ll text her my prayer for her. I’ve never had a prayer calendar before, but I really like the idea of having one and praying for my friends who are believers.

“Therefore, confess your sins to one another and pray for one another, that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person has great power as it is working.”

James 5:16

 

Day Four – Praying for Others

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Why do we find it hard to pray for others? Is it that deep-down we’re selfish? If we truly wish to fulfill the Great Commandments: love God and love people; then, won’t we want to lift others up in prayer? In fact, I have a suspision that as we pray to a Heavenly Father we are drawing nearer to a God who is Love. As we draw nearer to the Father, our proximity in prayer for people will also be reduced — thereby, making it as natural as breathing or praying for ourselves. Powered by prayer, the Kingdom cannot be stopped!

Day 4: Bless a Friend Each Day

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When I got this assignment I thought to myself “How am I going to think of 30 people to pray for?”  When I made my list I ended up with close to 60!  So I had to narrow.  I didn’t want to narrow, but knew I needed to.  I started with the guys in my discipleship group, I then chose those who had impacted my life and were impacting others, I then went through family members, people at work, and other close friends of mine.  I started making my list a week back when I was checking the 30 day challenge to see if it would work with my discipleship group.  I numbered everybody 1 to 30 and began to see who was on the day I chose.  So I emailed a prayer to my friend that day.  I thought it would be easiest and most “efficient” to pray this way.  The next day my Dad was on my list.  Just after lunch he walked right into my office and I totally chickened out.  A couple of days later we had discipleship group and I shared my experience with the group about not praying for my dad.  One of my good friends Chris piped up and said “I challenge you to pray for your dad tomorrow.”  The next day came and it was 8pm at night and knew I had to take this challenge on.  I called my dad and asked him how I could pray for him.  He was very thankful and gave me his few requests.  I got to pray with him and just thanked God for how I have seen God work in his life and how well he has loved and served people.  I thanked him for modeling what it looks like to share the blessings God gives.  I almost started crying many times praying how he modeled what a Godly man should be.  When I got done he thanked me.  Then it hit me, I had never prayed for my dad before!  Not in my 34 years of life!  How crazy is that.

 

It truly blessed my dad but it blessed me even more!  

 

We as a discipleship group of 9 guys decided to go through this together.  So today is the first day of the challenge this time and I have been mulling around in my head how I was going to do this.  Texting would be easiest but I feel like we should be praying out loud for each other more.  So I am going to call whoever is on my list on that day and ask them “how can I pray for you?” and then pray for them immediately.  Let’s stop telling people we are going to pray for them!  Let’s pray for them on the spot.  Outloud!  I have been doing this lately with my two boys who are in 6th and 7th grade as I bring them to school as well.  The other morning I prayed they would be filled with the spirit and you know what…it worked.  I want to make this a habit with all kinds of people.  Today I used voxer to ask a good friend of mine who is training people to go to unreached people groups what to pray for.  He responded back a few hours later and I prayed for him. Voxer is the way we communicate because we are both busy and we are rarely available at the same time.  It has worked great for us!  My list of 30 is done now and am going to put each person in my google calendar and have it repeat every 30 days so it becomes automatic.  By the way I am still having a hard time whittling my list of 60 to 30 so I am going to keep a spreadsheet of the other 30 so I can pray for them as well.

Discipleship When Life Is Busy: Day 4

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Day 4: Make a List of 30 People for Whom You’ll Pray.  I chose today to complete this challenge over my lunch break at work.  It was relatively easy for me to come up with 30 Christian friends to pray for: family, small group, girls from work, girls from my high school life group.  I just started with one category and went on to the next when it was exhausted.  I really like this idea of systematic prayer for people in my church.  The second part of the challenge, of course, is to contact the person for today.  Today is April 12 and when I looked at number 12, who would have guessed it was the name of the person that I recruited for the challenge on Day 2! I promise, this wasn’t planned in the least! Apparently, God has some big things in store for her 🙂

So, I contacted Kelly and asked what I could be praying about specifically for her today.  Once she replied, I texted her back an actual prayer so that she could read the exact words that I was lifting up on her behalf.  I think this part is really important.  So often we say “I’ll pray for you” and then quickly forget to do so.  If we pray with someone right then and there, we don’t forget, plus that person is able to feel encouraged by the words that you are praying to the Father for them.  We see this in scripture, particularly in Paul’s letters.  For example, read the words he says to the Ephesians:

For this reason I kneel before the Father, from whom his whole family in heaven and on earth derives its name.  I pray that out of his glorious riches he may strengthen you with power through his Spirit in your inner being, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith.  And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all the saints, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge – that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God.  Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen.

Ephesians 3: 14-21

Simple Church

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So “What is a Church?” That’s the question Curtis Sergeant tries to answer in the following video. And on Day #4 in the 30-Day Challenge, we ask that you “Make a List” of 30 people for whom you’ll pray. In reality, we’re beginning to help you think of all the people in your sphere. These are some of your closest associates — and likely, some of the folks with whom you’d like to be closer.

In New Testament times, your sphere of influence might meet in your home for a “house church” or “simple church.” In reality, this might be the most easily reproduced church of all. That’s Curtis’ point: we could multiply these “simple churches,” if we could just focus on them for a while. : )