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Day 16

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?

Integrating “Shema Statements” into Your Daily Life

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[The following is adapted from the Appendix of the Revised First Edition of the new book, More Disciples, available today on Amazon or Kindle.*) One of the hardest parts about launching a disciple-making life is getting from “Hello” to a spiritual conversation or group. Statements like these (below) can help you steer the subject toward spiritual things and even “filter” to see if your friend or listener is open to hearing spiritual things. Some call these “Shema” statements. (Shema is the Aramaic word for “Listen.” It’s the opening word in Deuteronomy 4, “Hear oh Israel…”)

 

In addition, statements like these can help others realize that you are a genuinely a person of faith. As a result, if/when they have a problem or feel troubled someday, they might remember that you are a Godly person and come to you seeking spiritual help. If they have a dream with some kind of deeper meaning (maybe a spiritual meaning?), for example, or if they feel at the end of their rope, they might ask for guidance. Of course, these statements only work if you’re truly authentic from the inside out in your love and speech. On top of all that, they help us establish more courage in bringing up God in our everyday conversations. Try setting a goal to use one Shema statement per day.

 

Here are a bunch of samples to get you started. You’ll soon be thinking of others on the spot.

  • “I read something that seems hard for me to obey in the Bible today”.
  • “I wonder how (a religious behavior) connects to __ (a heart issue)?”
  • Verbally long for the day when ugly things will be swept away when Jesus returns.
  • “God speaks to me in prayer or through his Word.”
  • “I was having a hard time with _ (an issue), so I _ (a spiritual solution).”
  • “I asked God for help and He…”
  • Ask questions like, “How do you show love to God?” or “What was the last thing you heard from God?”
  • “I read a wonderful story today. May I tell you?”
  • “God taught me something today.”
  • “I read something really interesting about God today.”
  • “God is light, and he shines into the dark places of my heart.”
  • “Do you think God could stop all of the bloodshed in…?”
  • “Did you ever have a dream from God?”
  • Use a Proverb to apply to a current situation.
  • “How should a person of God act here?”
  • Thank God for something difficult.
  • “Do you think God cares about….?”
  • “God wants to walk with me so I walk with Him.”
  • “I believe only with God there is hope for….”
  • When telling your children’s names, or your own name, share the meaning.
  • Mention something that you prayed for and how it was answered.
  • Response to a social issue.
  • “Jesus dealt with and said some interesting things about it.” “As I was praying for you today I sensed God…” “I feel encouraged about something that I learned about God.” If you are by the sand or looking at stars in the sky, reminisce about God’s blessing to Abraham. “God healed my friend.” “I feel sad when I see trash, because God created the earth.” “I was reading today and God reminded me…” “I am thankful for ________. What are you thankful for?”
  • “God hates injustice and he has a lot to say about it.”
  • “Do you know which day God created…?”
  • Context = complaining about their country… “It doesn’t matter which country you are in but to be where God wants you to be.” “I know this is a place of great conflict and God wants you to experience peace.”
  • “Can I tell you a story?”
  • “I don’t need _____ to protect me. I pray for God to protect me.”
  • Children: “Blessing and hard work make me rely more on God.”
  • Spouse: “God will give me a wife in just the right time.”
  • In response to not having children… “Marriage is a picture of Jesus and His church.”
  • “Yes, I miss home, but God meets me in my loneliness. God will never leave me nor forsake me.
  • “What is most important to you?”
  • “What do you think are the most important values you can give to your children?”
  • “When did you feel most safe or secure?”
  • “Can we pray for this meal?”
  • “Can we please bless your home or your family?”

(*These sample statements adapted from the list accessed at https://www.jeannie-marie.com/articles-and-resources/2017/11/fifteen-shema-statements-you-can-say on April 10, 2019. Adapted with permission of the author.)

Discipleship Through the Eyes of Youth: Day 16

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I was able to read the Luke 10 and Matthew 10 scriptures while my campers were doing their own studies at this time. I had never read and seen the parallels in these scriptures before so I found the video really helpful! It was a nice time to just sit and be with God among all the craziness at camp.

I’ve planned my prayer walk for Monday when I get back home. I didn’t have time to dive into the optional homework scriptures but I do want to spend time learning about persons of peace as I pray for God to send one my way.

Day 16 – Searching for People of Peace

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We had just moved to the third largest city of Taiwan to begin a new church plant.  While prayer walking we noticed lots of children in our neighborhood.  In Taichung, grade school children only went half a day on Wednesdays.  We thought, what if we started an after school program on Wednesday afternoons, and did a VBS style outreach?  Since we were new to the area, we would even invite parents to sit-in.  While prayer walking, we handed out flyers near the elementary school for our “King’s Club.”  One of those flyers landed in the hands of a 2nd grader whose English name was Vincent.  His mother, Joanne, brought him faithfully and stayed to hear the Bible stories.  Joanne and Vincent became the first to believe in Taichung.  Joanne brought many more, including her husband, James.  This couple became like Aquila and Priscilla — a true family of peace.  The church now meets in their home.  I believe God can raise up people of peace in every neighborhood — even in America!

Day 16: WANTED: Person of Peace

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It’s 9:30 at night and I just sat down to listen to the challenge for today.  I was hoping to get to it this morning or over lunch but I woke up at 6 and read Romans since I need to read 10 chapters by tomorrow for our discipleship group.  I got to work around 7 and worked straight until 6 without stopping for lunch, got home had supper with the family and helped clean up.  Then spent time with the kids wrestling, playing dominos, and finished with Reading in Romans with my boys and ended up discussing “What is permissible is not always beneficial.”  

 

The person of peace is a concept I have read and learned about and even experimented  in finding.   Figuring out the person of peace can be tricky.  Just like in discipleship we hone in on one person to soon and end up ignoring the ones that are hungry and ready for it.  We can make the same mistake in looking for the person of peace.  We sometimes are so drawn to one person because of their personality when in reality they really aren’t that interested. One of those situations happened with some friends I made at a local restaurant.  I had my focus on the cousin of the owner the whole time that he was the person of peace and the one I should reach because he was fun and less intimidating than the owner.  For 6 months I was intentional to talk to him and have him over.  Then one day when I went to give him a chinese-english bible at the restaurant he had left.  I was crushed, I thought he was the person of peace.  3 months later I was at the restaurant and I saw a bible sitting up by the register.  I asked my friend at the restaurant “Are you reading this?”  She said “Yes it is very good.”  I had given the bible to the owner’s son a year earlier and the owner’s girlfriend had read the whole bible on her own!  God was still working, just not how I had planned or thought.  I have since realized the owner is actually the person of peace.  He was just a lot busier and more intimidating to talk about.  But in all actuality he was the one who held the key to the community of workers there.  

 

Another example of finding a person of peace is when we went on a vacation to a resort.  At the resort there were many different international students working there.  Before and during the trip we prayed for opportunities throughout the weekend to share Jesus.  During the weekend we had many different conversations with different workers and many of them were spiritual.  The last day I was there one of the guys “my person of peace” really opened up to me and invited me to their apartment where I met his 7 other friends and got to hang out with them all for a few hours.  He wasn’t the one I was initially intrigued by the most but he is the one who was the most open.  After the night they all invited me to their country to hang out.  I have kept in contact with him over facebook and continue to pray for him.  
I am going to prayer walk this week and hope for more conversations that could lead me to a person of peace in our community.  

Discipleship When Life Is Busy: Day 16

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Day 16: Person of Peace.  Today was busy.  We had camp kickoff at our church this morning so I helped with that during all 3 services.  We did a few things at home to get ready for this evening and then I lead my high school life group this evening.  It was our last group together so naturally it went extra long.

All of this didn’t leave much time to really consider this idea of a person of peace.  It is a new idea to me.  I mean, I had read that terminology in scripture in the passages assigned to us, but I had never really considered what that might mean to apply it to my life and my ministry today.  I am glad that part of the challenge today was to schedule a prayer walk and look for a person of peace, because I do want to be intentional about spending more time delving into this concept.  I am planning to complete a prayer walk on Saturday morning.  I am excited to see what comes of this intentional time of prayer and seeking.

PS: Don’t forget to be contacting the person on your prayer calendar.  This is something that I have sort of struggled to remember.  Another blogger wrote that he is putting his people into the calendar on his phone to help him remember, so I am planning to do that.

Persons of Peace

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Jesus told his disciples that if they came across a house which welcomed them, to grant their blessing on that house — and let your peace reside there. DMM trainers often instruct us to look for those whom God has prepared… those who welcome us to help them transform both personally, as well as corporately. Listen as Curtis Sergeant explains.