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Day 07

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?

A ready answer

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“Is this really happening?” Maybe it wasn’t the first question I should have been asking myself, but, there are no words to convey the panic and the excitement I felt the first time someone asked me why I do what I do. We had just started working in downtown Savannah and decided to participate in a work day with the church that owns our facility. About 30 minutes into painting a fence, I met Mac. Mac was cruising down the sidewalk with his walker and stopped in front of us. He found out about the project at church and, since he lived at an assisted living home just up the street, he wanted to help. After talking and painting for a bit, the conversation turned to our program. I explained some of what we did and he became interested in our GED program.  Shortly after that, he became quiet and told me, “You know, I would really love to get my GED. I left school when I was in 5th grade to help support my family and I never finished. The problem is; I don’t know how to read.” Moved by his story, I told him we would find him a coach to help him learn. At that moment, his eyes filled with tears and he asked the question; “Why would you do that?” Getting over my panic, I said the first thing that came to my mind. “Well Mac, God loves me, I love God, God loves people, so I try to love people.” “Wow, you people are great!” Mac said, the tears now visible on his cheeks. The only thing I could say to him was “I don’t know about that. But before Jesus I was a mess. I was angry and afraid. Now, I can’t help but love people the way he asks me to and I’m less afraid. He’s not done with me yet!” My answer was definitely not a complete answer. It wasn’t eloquent or theological, but Mac came back to hear more.

Discipleship Through the Eyes of Youth: Day 7

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My parents became followers of Christ when I was very young so for as long as I can remember I’ve grown up with Christian influence around me. I felt God calling me to follow him when I was 7 and I became a baptized believer. I don’t really have a big turn around point from what I was like before Christ to how I changed after Christ (because I honestly don’t remember much of my life before Christ). But, I do have several instances or circumstances in my life where I’ve seen God move. So for my testimony writing time today I thought of different times in my life where I may have doubted or thought a situation was hopeless in the beginning to but through seeing perseverance with Christ or the power of God my faith has been strengthened. I’ve decided to call these my “Mini Stories”. I’ve shared different ones at different times over the past few years but today I wrote down and outlined them all on the same document and created questions to ask after each of them.  This way I can be more familiar with and ready to share my different “Mini Stories” when their times come.

Day 7 – Preparing Your Testimony

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Again, in Taiwan, decisions to accept Christ were seldom made quickly.  Baptism was seen as a point of no return to the old way life; and the beginning of persecution for many new believers.  We would ask them to prepare their testimony and share it with the church on the day they gave their life to Christ.  Makes sense, since they were going to be defending their faith from the get-go!  And, it set a pattern, an expectation, for the believers to come.  When we were called to Memorial, they asked me to bring “my missions mind-set.”  My response was, “Are you sure about that?”  The leadership was, and we have — including, training everyone to prepare and share their testimony.  God can do amazing things when we faithfully share how God has rescued us!

Day 7: Stories are Powerful

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I love stories!  Stories of others inspire me and changed life stories of how God got a hold of someone really inspire me.  Something we don’t do enough is share our stories.  We have been practicing in our discipleship group being able to tell our stories in under 3 minutes.  It has been a fun game.  Well, tonight I listened to the video and read what to do quickly as I was running 100 mph today.  At 8:30 I was supposed to go to discipleship group but my 7 year old daughter would not let me leave as the babysitter came.  So I ended up staying home helping my 4 & 7 year old girls go to bed until my wife got back at 9:30 with my teenage boys from their track meet.  I left in a rush and showed up at discipleship group.  As I sat down they guys said “Your turn.  We just got done telling our stories and critiquing them and it is your turn.”  I chuckled, but they were serious.  So I gave my testimony leaving out some details they had heard before and changing my story line back and forth.  I didn’t come prepared(shame on me!)  When I got done a few of the guys were honest and graceful with me on how I could make it better.  They stated that maybe you should work on 3 testimonies with 3 story lines and you should write them all out.  This was great advice as I sometimes don’t finish things well or think through things well enough.  I am going to work on that and get them done this week….stay tuned.  The stories I connect with most are well thought out and have purpose.  One of the guys suggested that next time we split into pairs and share our story but whoever you are sharing your story with gets to tell you about the person you would be sharing with.  You could choose someone who has been hurt by the church, someone going through a death, a teenager, etc.  I thought this was a great idea!  It is good to practice and be ready for different situations.

Why do we not take evangelism seriously?  We think planning makes us feel rehearsed and not real but I feel like God gives us tools to use.  I listened to a local pastor recently share about evangelism.  He asked the group “In farming who grows the crops?”  Everyone responded well duh “God does.”  He then said “So, do you just throw the seed out and have it grow?”  They stated “No, of course not.”  He then went on to explain that you use the tools God has given you such as tractors and GPS and other technology to do it well.  He then challenged us that God has given us tools for evangelism and we don’t prepare at all.  He then stated that he asked most people in his church if a non-Christian came to your door and asked why you lived the way you do what would you say?  A majority of his church could not give a response.  He then challenged everyone and said we should all be able to do share our testimony, that is like someone setting the ball on the tee ready for you to hit it out of the park.

As I have worked on my testimony in the last couple of years I have had many opportunities to share it.  I have got to share it with truck drivers at work, with sales people, with customers, with my son’s 6th grade basketball team I coached, and many other times.  If I would have not prepared I would have not been ready.

Another more seasoned gentleman in our group awhile made the emphasis that Jesus needs to be the hero and the main one in our story.  It is about what Jesus did in our life and not about what we did!

Discipleship When Life is Busy: Day 7

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Day 7:  Write your Story.  When I was in high school, I remember being challenged to write my testimony and I had no clue where to start.  I had grown up in a Christian home, and while my parents were divorced, my mother had made it a point that I have the opportunity to know Christ.  I remember looking back at my life and wishing that something bad had happened to me so that I would have something to share with other people.  I just didn’t feel like I had a story worth sharing.  Don’t get me wrong, I loved to talk with people and I have always been sort of an open book, I just didn’t really feel that I had anything that really showed the power of Christ in my life.  So, I never really shared what I felt like was a “testimony.”  What I did do though, was talk to people.  I loved getting to know other people and getting to know their stories.  As I would talk with them, we could usually find something that we related with each other on.  And then I could tell them some of my experiences.  It was just natural.  But I wasn’t sharing a “testimony,” I was just talking to them.  It took me a long time to realize that what I was doing was sharing my testimony.  I didn’t recognize it because I thought it had to be some big, thought out speech that I made that ended with “and you should know Christ too. What are you doing Sunday because I know a pool of water that is just calling your name to be baptized in.”  I thought that unless I had some big thing to share like being healed from cancer or turning around a life devoted to the use of drugs that I didn’t have anything worth sharing.  But the reality is that people relate to all sorts of different experiences.

Writing my story tonight, I realized just how much God has done in my life.  He has changed the way I view the world and how I view myself.  Because of Him I no longer feel empty, envious, and like I have no purpose (at least not most of the time.  This is not to say that I am perfect and that the devil doesn’t sometimes pull me down).  Because of Him I now feel fulfilled, that I can make a difference, and that there is a purpose for my life.

God has given me a story and He wants me to use it to reach people.  God has also given YOU a story that He wants to use.  We all have stories and they are all different.  God can use them to reach different people in different stages of life.  Our experiences help us to relate to other people.  It helps us to feel compassion and to long for their salvation.  Our stories connect us.  They help us make relationships, and out of relationships, discipleship is born.  Sharing your testimony doesn’t have to mean standing up in front of your church and spilling your guts about every single thing that has happened in your life.  It can mean chatting with a student in the youth group who’s parents are going through a divorce and you can relate to that.  You can share about how God helped you get through that time and how you learned to lean on Him and learned how to forgive through that experience.  The important thing is that you take opportunities to share your story (or parts of it) and use it to point other people to Christ.

Thinking About Them

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I had just finished filing the paperwork for my new passport at the courthouse when I spotted my friend from high school. Surprised and curious to see him, I asked a normal question “Hey, what are you doing here?”

He shared how he had to come to the courthouse to sign up for some training that was going to be offered soon. He didn’t want to do it, but it was required if he was going to stay married and stay connected with his kids.

As he shared the struggles that he was facing, my thought went to how Jesus could help him in so many ways. During a break in the conversation, I began to share with him some struggles that I had faced in my life, and how that had changed when I came to Jesus.

As I shared with my friend about Jesus, I wasn’t thinking about me, I was thinking about him. I was thinking about how much Jesus loved him and wanted to rescue him.

If you find yourself self conscious or nervous about sharing, please know that the more you share, the more comfortable you can become at sharing, and the more that you can focus on the person hearing instead of yourself, the one sharing.

Writing your Testimony

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Need to see another example of what it sounds like to tell one’s story? Here’s another example:

Hi my name is__ , I’m from . I can still remember the pain in my heart when my wife and I learned that our baby girl due to be born in three weeks had died. It’s times like this when a person finds out if their faith has been placed in something real. I was born and raised by parents who loved Jesus and at a very young age I placed my life in His hands. As I grew up I never questioned my faith but I was often in situations when I found that Jesus did exactly what He promised. Rather than destroying my faith in Jesus the death of my daughter showed me the depth of God’s compassion and comfort. What I had learned in my Bible set me from depression, despair and bitterness. I knew that I could trust God with everything.

Throughout my life I have been blessed to help other people learn about Jesus. When someone decides to turn from believing in themselves and doing what they believe to be right to following Jesus, doing what He has commanded and trusting Jesus for their whole life I’ve seen the Kingdom of God come. I’ve seen families that were filled with anger transformed by Jesus to families filled with love. I’ve seen people who wanted to kill themselves transformed by Jesus into people who are filled with concern for others. I’ve seen people who only cared about getting rich for themselves changed by Jesus into people who find the greatest joy in loving others. Watching God heal people’s lives and filling them with joy and purpose is my greatest joy.

God continues to work in my life. I am continually amazed at God’s love, faithfulness, wisdom, power and care for me. I wonder if after hearing some of my story, you have any questions about God and your life.