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Day 12

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?

Discipleship Through the Eyes of Youth: Day 11 & 12

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My Days have kinda ran together here and I didn’t have time to blog yesterday, but I feel that these challenges kind of ran together for me anyway. So here’s what’s been happening lately…

I didn’t intentionally go to a place to encounter people and listen to their struggles for Day 11 yesterday, but I have been preparing to do this for the next week as I am leaving tomorrow to sponsor a Junior High church camp. God has really just placed this excitement in my heart to just pour into the lives of these middle schoolers for the next week and I CANNOT WAIT TO START CAMP TOMORROW!!!! I’ve been praying and praising God about this upcoming week since I felt him leading to sponsor a few months ago. It’s finally here!!! I really feel that God is asking me to lead a 7th grade girls life group in the fall so I’m excited to meet some of the girls who will be in my group over the next week. My friend, Annie, has also been a huge encouragement in me becoming a life group leader because she herself is a leader for a group of freshman. She has been praying for me and encouraging me throughout this time.

As far as Day 12 goes… I did practice telling my mom one of my “mini testimonies” that I wrote on Day 7 and it was really good to practice saying the words out loud because I was able to see where I may need to make changes. I really liked the video attached with Day 12 and think it would be good for me to try and write my testimony out in this way to refine it a bit.

I intentionally practiced my mini testimony about anxiety and depression with my mom because tomorrow I am visiting my friend (before I leave for camp) who is battling depression to give her a book that really helped me overcome my depression and anxiety that captured me two years ago. I wanted to have this mini testimony fresh on my mind as I comfort and pray for her tomorrow. I’m hoping that this piece of my testimony will give her a beacon of hope as she fights to escape the drowning darkness of depression. She’s in a dark place, but I’ve been there and Christ has pulled me out. My prayer is that she will cling to Him so that he may rescue her as well.

Also some cool things that have happened over the past few days…

….today my prayer calendar was my boss and I had work this morning so I was able to ask how I could pray for her in person.

…. And my prayer partner, Annie, sent me this really awesome text today that made me soooo happy. I couldn’t help rejoicing! It said, “Hey Hannah! I just wanted to let you know that I am LOVING the challenge and I got to see it spread like wildfire yesterday when I told my friend, Jessie, about it, who told our friend, Shan, about it, who told others at a sleepover that we were all at. It was awesome. Jessie has started the challenge and asked me to be her prayer partner and ah, its just awesome to see God at work, ya know?”

How could that not just make your day!?!?! It definitely gave me a boost in the challenge that  I was needing. It’s just so cool to see God working through this isn’t it!?

Day 12 – Sharing Your Testimony

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Last year we heard the harrowing testimony of a woman who had nearly died while fleeing her war-torn African nation. Her story of adversity, her conviction that God has rescued her for a purpose and her boldness in sharing her new-found faith — are all truly humbling. Chris, who plays the drums on one of our worship teams has resisted giving his life completely to Christ for nearly 20 years. In that time he has heard hundreds of sermons. Yet, on March 15, of 2015; Chris was immersed into Christ by Faith, from Africa. You never know who the Lord will rescue through the power of the Holy Spirit as you share your testimony.

Day 12: Just get it on Paper!

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The challenge is going decent so far.  I have not done good at calling and praying for people.  So Today I called one of my friends who lost a daughter at 8 months.  They have modeled so wonderfully what it means to trust in God.  The funeral had so many people they had touched and impacted.  I had the privilege of praying for him and it was such a blessing.  He shared a tough situation that I could pray for him with some friends of his.  God is giving him and his wife such a platform through this hard time to share Jesus too so many.  The other challenge today was to write out your testimony.  So beings that this is also our challenge when we get together for discipleship group I would throw an initial one on paper.  So here it goes:

 

“I grew up in a good Christian home and went to Christian School.  This was a blessing in my life but I thought the blessing was for me.  I also thought the Christian life was more about the list of do’s and don’t’s than following after God.  I had Christ in my heart from a young age but I did not start truly following after Christ until about 8 years ago.  On our way back from a vacation with my family we had heard a story of a man hearing God’s voice and acting on it.  It was a crazy story but it got us asking “Why don’t we hear God’s voice?”  We realized one of our first steps should be making room by clearing out time.  We realized one of our biggest time suckers was TV so we got rid of Dish and put the TV away.  Those next  years we dove in the word like never before, I read 52 books in one year, we joined a house church and really grew like crazy.  We also heard God’s voice and he lead us on some crazy adventures that have gone through these last 8 years.  6 years ago we found ourselves helping lead a perspectives class on world missions and taking foster classes at the same time.  We wondered why we were taking both because for the foster license to be valid we would have to live in Iowa, and in taking the missions course we had thoughts of moving overseas.  But like always when God asks us to something we just do it without trying to look too far in the future.  After getting done with perspectives we had an opportunity to possibly move to Turkey and do business as missions but that fell through.  2 weeks later we got a call for our boys to live with us, we then had a baby 3 months later, and had a 17 year old foster son move in with us.  We went from 1 to 5 kids in 6 months.  God was really stretching us.  But through the combination of foster classes and perspectives God gave us a different perspective on foster care and life in general.  Through opening up our home to our kids along with other people through these last 5 years we have learned that nothing is our own and that we truly need God because we can’t do good on our own.  We have had many different people live with us including our boys mom, another gal who struggled with addiction, and 4 college guys.  God has taught me so much about myself and how I need him.  God also has challenged me the reason he has blessed me is so that I can bless others.  After I started following God he has written a story far better than any story I have written.  He transformed me from a self-centered, pious “Christian”: to a broken Jesus follower who is in need of him daily.”
This is the first draft.  I am going to try refine this more as the challenge moves on.  It isn’t great but you gotta start somewhere.

Discipleship When Life Is Busy: Day 12

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Day 12: Practice Your Testimony.  Today was full of doctor appointments, feeding therapy, and work.  Then after work we headed north for 3 hours to get to where our foster son will see a specialist tomorrow morning.  Luckily, this challenge was very easy to do on the road.  I practiced giving my testimony with my husband…and I had plenty of time for feedback since we had 3 hours!

I have shared my story with many people; sometimes in parts, sometimes in whole.  However, I do think there is value in practicing.  I think that what you share with people will change depending on the situation and what that person needs to hear at the time.  So, I chose to practice as if someone asked me what God had done for me or how I came to follow Christ.  That doesn’t encompass all the details of my story, but it does allow me to sift through what is really important for someone to know, and what maybe isn’t as important.  I think the video for today offers a good outline of what to include in the testimony of how Christ has worked in your life.  I love the example they give because it somewhat mirrors my own.  I was in 5th grade when I accepted Christ as my Savior, but I feel that learning to follow Him and be obedient to Him has been something that I have continually had to learn throughout the years.  So, while my decision to follow Christ and be baptized is important for my story, so are other times when I really learned to trust God or be obedient to Him because those moments really changed something about my existence whether it was my purpose in life or what I was chasing trying to find contentment, for example.

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.

What Kind of Character Does it Take?

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What kind of person does it take to disciple people who will want to make disciples? What kind of character does it take to stand beside them? Start with prayer. Add in care. Then pour on a thick layer of training. To help you imagine what kind of person you might need to become, and to help you imagine those you want standing beside you, watch this video by trainer, Richard Williams.

Richard Williams