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Day 13

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?

25) Wired for This

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In this 25th episode of More Disciples, the podcast, we interview “Mac,” Lisa, and Bob — 3 members of a megachurch in Florida who are on the hunt for something more. They see that we’ve “academic-ized” Christianity by packaging it as a product and they’re searching for something different. They want to be engaged. They just want to know how.

 


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Discipleship Through the Eyes of Youth: Day 13

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I’m leaving to sponsor a week long junior high church camp in the next hour and I am soooooo pumped to see what God has in store for this week! I will continue doing the 30 day challenge while I am there so I am excited to see God move through the challenge at camp! But, I will not have the computer access to blog about the challenge while I am there. I will write in my journal about how God is using the challenges and come back and post blogs about them after I return home next week. Prayers for the hearts of the students I will be discipling and see you all in a week!

*******UPDATE********************************************************

I just got back from camp this past weekend and have seen God move in so many ways! My spirit is full after coming back from this week! Here is a recap of what happened this past week on Day 13…

So before I left for camp I urgently felt like I needed to go see my friend who was struggling with her anxiety and depression (see Day 11 & 12 for more details). The morning before I left it just so happened (I’m starting to realize God has this knack for coincidences) that in both of our busy schedules we were both free from 11:30 til 1:00 so I drove over to her house to give her My Name is Hope By John Mark Comer, love on her and pray for her. It was such a neat time for me because I was able to empathize with her in a time when she is feeling so alone. I was able to encourage her to stay grounded in Truth and continue getting in the scripture and tell her about how through his word God rescued me from my anxiety. I prayed for her and it was so neat to see how God could take my story of anxiety and use it for his Kingdom. I love that our God allows broken people like me to reach out and help other broken people.

Also the verses and video for today just really got me thinking about obedience and inspired me to have immediate and complete obedience in the things I feel God is laying on my heart. No more excuses. If my heart is truly after God’s then I’ll be obedient to him even when it’s difficult or doesn’t make sense. Obedience requires me to lay down my ideas and trust.

Day 13 – Victory through Sacrifice!

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The passages of Scripture for today reminded me that what the Lord wants from me is obedience.  And, obedience no matter the cost!  There was a time when I was in a spiritual struggle concerning my only son.  The Lord wanted me to put my only son completely in His hands.  I was perfectly willing to risk my life, and even made out a will.  But, to risk my son, who was barely a teenager, seemed foolish at best and at worst, criminal.  DCFS would have had a strong case!  Like Abraham, I had a Mt Moriah moment with the Lord; realizing that the Father has already provided for not only me, but also my son.  And, what we give in the way of obedience can never compare to what the Father has already given, and is a reflection of the love the Father has already lavished on us.  It is this same love that compels us — love will always find a way!  Interestingly, love never feels like a sacrifice — it feels like coming home victorious!

Day 13: Love is…..obedience

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In reading the verses today the Love described in the Bible is not the wavering, touchy-feely, optionally defined love we see in culture.  The Love Jesus described has teeth because it has a cost and is full of truth.  It is offensive in many ways.

 

“If you love me you will bear fruit.”  

“Those who love me will take up their cross and follow me.”

 

That doesn’t sound like the love we see today. The culturally love we see today does not make commands.  It lets someone you love do whatever they want because it is their decision. In culture today love is cheap and doesn’t have a whole lot of value because it is based on a “feeling” not a decision.  If my love for Jesus is based on a feeling I am not going to want to do the hard thing of taking up my cross and following him.  I am not going to love my enemies.  I am not going to do the hard things.  

You see in the church we get love and obedience wrong these days.  We think following God is this set of rules that robs us from our happiness.  When in all reality I have discovered that God’s commands and rules are their for our protection and following after God is the most exciting, truly joyful thing you could experience.  You see Jesus isn’t asking us to do something he wouldn’t do.  He showed us what love looked like.  It was not a weak, pushover, wavering love.  It was a commitment.  A commitment to love God after we truly grasp how much he love us.  He died for us!  Our love and obedience is not bread out of guilt but out of thankfulness.  It is in gratitude that he would die for us and then allow us to be a part of his plan.  After reading these passages and listening to the video I am really wanting to do a study on what love is by definition of Jesus and compare that to what the world says.  I think we would be amazed.
Love and obedience in our culture seem like they are on way opposite ends of the spectrum but in the bible they go hand in hand.  

Discipleship When Life Is Busy: Day 13

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Day 13: Love Means Obedience.  Today’s challenge lent itself very nicely to an elongated quiet time with God.  Delving into this idea that love means obedience was such a good reminder.  We see this theme over and over in scripture, not only through the passages in today’s challenge but through stories such as Abraham, Joseph, and Moses.  We see person after person follow God even if they don’t know what exactly that will mean for them or how He will provide.

The verse that spoke to me the most tonight is one that God has actually placed on my heart many times in the last few months.  John 15: 9-10:

As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you.  Now remain in my love.  If you obey my commands, you will remain in my love, just as I have obeyed my Father’s commands and remain in his love.

Over and over, God has been telling me “remain in me.”  I have seen Him whisper those words to me through various studies, sermons, and just my quiet prayer time with Him.  And how do I learn to remain in Him? By obeying His commands.  Love means obedience.  I think this statement is largely born out of the nature of trust.  If you love someone, you generally trust them.  In the same way, if we love God we will trust God.  It takes a lot of trust sometimes to follow God’s commands and to seek out His will for your life; and sometimes this is a daily thing.  In Luke 9, Jesus says “If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross DAILY and follow me.” (emphasis mine).  We have to choose every single day if we are going to be obedient to our creator or not.

A Serious Calling to Missions

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What does it mean to be ‘called’ to missions? How do we know when we’ve been called? Some missions experts say a calling is simply becoming aware of a need — then knowing we can do something about it. In this video by Curtis Sergeant, you’ll hear about a Chinese house church movement who took a calling seriously. What about you? How seriously are YOU willing to take a calling from the Lord?

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