He looked like an “insider.” His hair was black, his skin brown. When he wore a kurtah shirt and walked down the street, he looked like an Indian. He had even picked up some Hindi language skills. My friend Jordan* was definitely not an insider though! He had been raised in America by adoptive parents. Though born in India, he was definitely an outsider. Movements that grow rapidly are led by insiders. Who is an insider? Who is an outsider? This week’s blog explains the difference and why it matters.
Many people who come to our discovery home groups would never enter a church building. As a devout Muslim, they may be afraid of what their relatives would say if they saw them go to a “church.” They may have attended church at some point and had a bad experience. People want to know God, but some have little interest in organized religion.
Introducing the concept of church in your home group is important in launching a Disciple Making Movement. After people have committed to following Jesus, move them gently toward becoming a body of believers.
Studying God’s Word brings life, transformation, and hope. Both believers and seekers encounter God in His living Word. Studying the Bible together, however, is not enough. Disciples need to function and grow together as the body of Christ. DMM practitioners must learn to transition Discovery Bible Studies into fully functioning churches. Without this critical transition, a Disciple-Making Movement (DMM) will not take place.
In the next few blogs, I will be writing about how to go about doing this. We will look at five steps; 1) Call to Commit 2) Introduce Church 3) Elements of Church 4) Life of the Church 5) Multiply Church.
Rabbits are one of the fastest animals in the world to multiply. Did you know that one rabbit averages around 1000 babies in a lifetime? If one rabbit has 1000, and those rabbits have another 1000 babies…you do the math. Within a very short amount of time, you have a lot of rabbits! When talking about the rapid multiplication of disciples, we often compare the growth to that of rabbits. Thus the term, “rabbit churches“.
DMM trainers, like myself, contrast these “rabbit churches” to what we sometimes call “elephant churches.” Elephants are big, heavy and they reproduce very, very slowly. In fact, for an elephant to give birth, the gestation (pregnancy} period is twenty-two months! Most elephants average around five or six babies in a lifetime.
Green people? Are we talking about Martians? Nope. In every disciple-making group there are different kinds of people. Check out this video to find out more about the four kinds of people in every group. Read further to understand how to help red and yellow people become green or blue!
Red People – come to the group faithfully but don’t obey.
Yellow People- come to the group, share the gospel, but don’t disciple others.
Green People- come, share the gospel and disciple others. They don’t train them to start new groups though.
“We practiced Discovery Bible Study groups in our training. Everyone understood the concepts and liked them. But when the school was over, only a few people started groups.” The trainer I was talking with seemed frustrated. “What am I doing wrong?” He wondered. As we train people in Disciple Making Movement (DMM) principles, we must communicate more than the method. Our mindset and lifestyle matters. In many ways, disciple-making is much more caught than taught. Are you living as a disciple-maker or just training people about it?
We looked down the path and saw him there. A young man lying on the ground, thrashing back and forth. His body out of control with some kind of seizure. Was it epilepsy? A demonic manifestation? What was going on? What should we do? Casting out evil spirits was something Jesus instructed His followers to do. Was that what was needed here?
In this case it was. Laying our hands on him gently, we commanded the demon to leave. As we prayed in Jesus’ name, he calmed. His eyes focused and he looked up at us. We shared with him and his relatives that Jesus Christ had set him free and invited Him to learn more.
“They come every week. They like the Bible stories and seem to understand them, but they are not sharing with their friends. I don’t see much transformation taking place in their lives,” he told me. Sound familiar? Many of us who train or teach others the Word of God long to see greater transformation take place. We want to see our disciples multiply and make more disciples.
Some years ago while reading Steve Smith’s book T4T, I learned about the 3-part meeting. I had also heard about it in a Harvest Multiplication Training (HMT) run by YWAM Frontier Missions leaders.
He opened the Bible, flipping pages. “Which scripture should our Discovery Bible Study (DBS) be about today? Hmmm. I really like the book of Psalms!” He thought. “But my last two Bible studies were also from Psalms.” Pages turned as his hand swept through them. “Maybe the New Testament is better. How about something from Jesus’ life?”
Random selection of scriptures is common in many discipleship efforts. I even find myself tempted toward this as well. God works through His Word. Any scripture we help people study is useful. That is definitely true.
We moved around the room silently. One person was given a watch. Graciously receiving it, he silently prayed. Should he keep it or pass it on to someone else? Another person turned to his neighbor, he gave him a newly purchased jacket. The power of generosity was being released in the room as we did a giving exercise.
Generosity breaks the curse of poverty over our lives. It’s also a sign of revival. We help new disciples be free from constant physical need by training them to give to others.