Day 22

Nine things that your group will need to master in order to multiply

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[Note from the Editor: Today’s post is from Tina McCormick, who has been implementing a form of Discovery Bible Studies (DBS) with young women in jail in her county in Indiana with outstanding results. After six months, she and her fellow workers have seen 14 inmates baptized and many other lives changed through the Lord’s power working through these practices. She writes not only with the Watsons speaking into her life, but also from the excitement of what God is doing through her in her daily walk.]


Here are nine things that your group will need to master in order to multiply according to Contagious Disciple Making by David and Paul Watson.

  1. Prayer
    How do you teach people to pray?  Ask them what they are thankful for today.  The Watsons remind us that even in that very first meeting with unbelievers we never ask them to bow their heads and pray.  But after they choose to follow Christ we explain that this was prayer – telling God what you are thankful for.
  2. Intercession
    As the Watsons point out, all intercession is prayer, but not all prayer is intercession.  A simple question in our group is, “What has stressed you out this week?”  This introduces the DNA element to groups of lost people.  After someone becomes a baptized believer you can explain that just as he shared what stressed him out to his group, he can share those same things with God.
  3. Ministry
    The Watsons define ministry as “God using His people to answer the prayers of the lost and of the saved.”  As a group shared needs (believers and unbelievers) there will be a desire to make a difference.  After the group shares what has stressed them out this week, you can follow it up with, “Do you know anyone in your community that needs our help?”  Your group will be motivated to transform their community from the start.
  4. Evangelism/Replication
    “Who do you know that needs to hear this story this week?”  If this is a lost person’s first week in attending or his 10th time attending, if you keep it simple enough he will be able to share the story they just heard with someone who wasn’t in the group.  This is one way that new groups can start.  If that person is interested then we have them start a new group with their friends and family.
  5. Obedience
    Many of us walk away from a Sunday sermon inspired but rarely do we ask ourselves how we can be obedient to the scripture read that day.  The Watsons agree that obedience is a critical element of disciple making movements.  To unbelievers you might pose the question, “If you believed this passage is from God, what would you have to change in your life?”  After they accept Christ you can adjust to say, “Since you believe this is from God, what are you going to change in your life?”
  6. Accountability
    Remember the obedience question, “Since you believe this is from God, what are you going to change in your life?”   A group should do more than just ask the question.  In the next meeting there’s follow-up with questions such as, “Several of you identified things that needed changing.  Did you make those changes?  How did it go?”
  7. Worship
    Since you have a group of unbelievers you can’t force them to sing worship songs, right?  However, from the very first meeting you talk about things that they are thankful for.  They also talk about changes they need to make in their life as they respond to Scripture.  They also will begin to make a difference in their community.  These are all forms of worship.  Eventually your group will be able to sing praises to God but enjoy seeing unbelievers begin to worship God through building a relationship with Him.
  8. Scripture
    Obviously this is essential.  The Bible is the center of the discussion.  Everyone is encouraged to obey it.
  9. Discovery
    As we work with unbelievers it is difficult to avoid explaining Scripture.  We are to allow the Scripture to be the authority.  If we are the authority then replication is limited by our leadership and the time we have to teach every group.   As the Watsons say, “This is a hard shift to make.”  We have to let the unbeliever go to Scripture and rely on the Holy Spirit to answer questions.

26) New Wineskins

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The three-thirds group concept is so radically different, it actually can’t be referred to as a Bible study (only). It does CONTAIN Bible study moments, but it’s so much more. And, as we find in this 26th edition of the MoreDisciples Podcast, featuring an actual three-thirds group demonstration (taking place in a home of members at New Hope Christian Church in Whitestown, IN), it just might be a medium that God’s Spirit could use to sweep the nation… and maybe the world.

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Discipleship Through the Eyes of Youth: Day 22

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So I’m a day late… yesterday my schedule was kind of spontaneous and crazy complete with packing to leave for a family vacation and spontaneous company (which I love) deciding to come over the day of. I wouldn’t have had  it any other way though, because I got to spend lots of time with friends that I hadn’t seen in awhile. I was also having trouble with my wifi so when I tried to watch the Day 22 video (and pack at the same time) it didn’t work. I just decided that instead of rushing through the day 22 challenge to check mark it off I would delay my challenge a day and give it better attention today.

After reading over the 3/3rds Group Format and watching the video I really think that often times in the American Church we miss the key component of keeping one another accountable to our actions. Having someone to hold you accountable can be deep and awkward so we decide we will “hold ourselves accountable” and keep our callings inside. I don’t know about you, but I am not very good at holding myself accountable. I am really good at coming up with excuses or reasons of why I don’t have to. I’m really good at coming up with justifications for staying in my comfort zone.

Through the challenge Annie has been my prayer partner, but we’ve really became almost more like accountability partners for one another as we want to continue meeting once a week with one another even after the challenge is over. I would really love to make our relationship even more intentional though as I want her to hold me accountable to the things I feel God calling me to do but I may come up with excuses for. I think it’s important for accountability partners to call excuses out and push for their friends to follow through with their commitments to God, even if it gets awkward. Using the 3/3rds Format I’m hoping to implement some of the things mentioned into our weekly meetings so that we may become better at holding one another accountable.

I also think that the 3/3rds Format has some techniques that would be good to implement into the life group I will be leading in the fall because it will begin to train my life group girls up knowing the importance of accountability and action.

Today I did my SOAP over 1 Timothy 3. My favorite part of my SOAP today was reading about the mystery of godliness because I feel like it simply explains Christ and all he has done in 1 verse…

He was manifested in the flesh, justified by the Spirit, seen by angels, proclaimed among the nations, believed on in the world, taken up in glory.

1 Timothy 3:16

P.S. A cool thing happened today! I got two texts from different girls that I’ve shared the challenge with asking me how they could be praying for me today. It was just neat to see these other girls doing their challenges because I know that they are both reaching out to their unique circles in places I couldn’t have reached. Each day they are praying for the people on their own prayer calendars so now instead of just me praying for my 30, I’m praying for my 30 while they are each praying for their 30 so now 90 people will have been reached out to and prayed for by the 3 of us. Pretty neat to see multiplication in action!

Day 22 – 3/3rd’s Groups

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We’ve had small groups for a little over a year now.  They are a new thing in our congregation.  If we’re not careful, they can become like a Sunday morning service, in that we’re asking little of members.  Come and be fed!  Sergeant’s illustration of watching the Tour de-France is accurate.  Watching alone won’t train you to ride a bike.  We’ve got to be “Doers of the Word.”  That’s why the 3/3rd’s groups are so important.  There’s accountability and applicability built into the process.  What does intentional discipleship look like?  This is it!

Watson Scripture List

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David Watson is famous for urging that, when starting a disciple making movement in a new culture, one should always create lists of relevant and life-impacting scriptures for the discovery Bible studies in that culture. His strong opinion (does he have any opinions otherwise? : ) ) is that these scriptures should be custom-created for each context. That’s why he’s so reluctant to release general lists: for fear that others will simply copy those lists and re-use them at large. But, at the request of some of our participants here at, we twisted his arm and asked him to provide a few lists as templates so we could all get an idea of what he means. Here’s a pdf with a sampling of some of his lists — as templates for your context. : )

Day 22: Useful tools

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I am really enjoying the tools that I am getting from this challenge.  I am doing a discipleship group using many of the same philosophies but I am always looking how I am going to tweak it.  I really think the worksheet is great that was given on this day.  I like how it is split into thirds and you have blanks to fill in.  I really think it is critical to put in writing what you are going to do and hold each other accountable.  I think it really challenges me to keep pursuing Christ when others are spurring me on.  


Recently I have had a lot of conversations on self feeding.  I talked with someone from our church today if sermons are equipping or not.  I challenged them a bit and said we could make them more equipping by helping people see what and why it is being said.  I believe we need to make a big push into equipping people in the church again.  Too many people are satisfied to show up on Sunday and just be at church.  It doesn’t seem like many people are as interested in being equipped.  But I think that could change if the church flipped and asked the people “How do you need to be equipped to be effective in your everyday lives?”  
I need other men around me to keep encouraging me and pushing me in my relationship with Christ.  If I don’t I become stagnant.  This takes intentionality and sacrifice.  I thank God everyday I have many men around me that do this for me.

Discipleship When Life Is Busy: Day 22

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Day 22: Self-Feeding…And The Word of God.  Today we got introduced to the idea of three thirds groups (DBSs) and accountability partner groups and we were challenged to begin praying over who we would invite to those groups.  I have to admit that the idea of adding two more group meetings to my week on top of what I already have going on seems a tiny bit daunting.  Then to think about reading 25-30 chapters a week…wow.  I am generally doing well if I get through 1-2 chapters a day (equaling 7-14 chapters a week).  I completely understand with God as my top priority, I should jump all over adding this time with Him, but it is so hard when there is only so much time in the day and that time seems to already be spent up.  I am going to have to pray about this a lot to see how I can make this work, because I do see the importance in these things.  When I was discussing these ideas and my feelings/worry about time restrictions with my husband, he suggested that I “wake up earlier and drink more coffee.”  I suppose that is a good suggestion (especially the getting up earlier part).  Some other ideas that I have already are:

-cutting less important things

-possibly meeting with my accountability partner over the phone or through video chatting (maybe at least every other week, or something like that.)

I think that it is possible to implement these principles even if you work full time and have two babies and a husband at home.  I think it is possible to implement these principles even if you have a child with health difficulties and developmental delays resulting in multiple appointments each week.  You simply have to figure out how you can work these in.  Sometimes that may mean subtracting something from your schedule that is less important (e.g., TV, facebook, committees/meetings, etc.) and other times that might mean getting creative with your implementation sometimes.


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Does church growth always happen in predictable patterns, along predictable lines, in predictable sequences? Not necessarily, says Curtis Sergeant, trainer in DMM principles. Nature would tend to agree. Check out the Gulin Mountains  in the header picture above. See how there are beautiful patterns which appear, at first, regular and symmetric, but, upon further study, can sometimes be wildly random. Listen as he explains his position about disciple making movements (DMM) — and think about the examples you’ve studied in God’s word. Can you remember instances in which people became disciples in nonsequential ways?

Free “Engage” Curriculum

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Some people like to have a curriculum for their discovery Bible study (DBS or three-thirds group). If that’s you, try this free curriculum from CityTeam. Just click on each bullet point, then right-click and choose, from the context menu, “Save as…” to save the PDF on your hard drive.

This isn’t a “classic” three-thirds group curriculum, in that there is a more finely-tuned plan, but it might be a great ‘bridge’ to a full three-thirds vision, especially if you’re helping a church adapt its existing small groups over to a full-on three-thirds process.

Learning to Fast

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I’m writing as a guest on the site, anonymously, because I need to admit… it has been a long time since I have allowed myself to feel such physical hunger for such a sustained time — and I’m only doing a partial fast (two meals per day) and how that also is a pretty true statement for my spiritual hunger as well. I content myself too often with passing 15-seconds-of-thought prayers, tiny bite-sized crumbs of Pinterest-type scripture, and distracted Sunday morning “worship.” I need to remember how to be hungry. How to feel it and let it move me. Not just move me to reach for a spoon-fed understanding of someone else’s revelation, but move me to seek out dinner with the Master Chef. I have a million excuses. No, I really only have one: I let any excuse be bigger than my drive to being more like Him.

So here is to being hungry! To being truly grateful for the food before me and my family. To pushing away the distraction of seeking comfort in favor of seeking His Voice. Today I’m praying that you, the reader, will find real mealtime with the One Who Loves You most.


Learning to Fast