[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.
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.
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.
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.
“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.
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?”
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?”
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.
Obviously this is essential. The Bible is the center of the discussion. Everyone is encouraged to obey it.
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.