John King trains indigenous church planters to teach others to do
simple inductive Bible studies. This approach has been used
throughout sub-Saharan Africa and has contributed to the planting of
thousands of new churches there. His blog can be found at:
I asked John to write this guest post to help people to understand Discovery Bible Studies, which are a pattern being used to start churches in many parts of the world. I recommend checking out his blog, especially the post on the 8 Questions to understand it further.
Little did I know what could happen in four weeks?
The new team that I work with recognized we need intercessors. One member was convinced he knew the perfect couple and he recruited them. After seeking God’s heart, they agreed. As they explored how we have been blessed to catalyze reproductive movements, the wife expressed interest in how to facilitate Discovery Bible Studies.
This lady has been leading a group of women for years. Their weekly gatherings range from twenty to thirty-five in number. Some have come to the group out of a recovery ministry that recognized they needed love, support and mentoring from mature Christian women. Here’s what the group leader wrote me about this group:
Let me give you a little info about this awesome group of ladies God has put together. About 70% are single, several with children. We have many Mary Magdalenes who have experienced the grace of God in wondrous portions. About half have no church background. The other half has come out of a strong legalistic background. I tell them I sometimes think it takes more grace to change a “self-righteous person” than an “unrighteous person.” Somehow God has taken the lies of both and shown us the beauty of new life through Jesus and the full salvation that is ours through the blood covenant of the New Testament and a strong family has emerged.
We have had two groups birthed from us in the last year. One is another ladies group that meets during the day. The other is in the local workhouse. A lady that came to our group 3 years ago from a life of addiction and all that goes with it, including lots of jail time, now leads a 10 week women’s study to women who are sitting where she has been.
They have been a discipleship group (without calling it that) for quite a while. My job was to equip them in sharing what they already know with others. Their biggest challenge is that their existing group is hard to recreate because it is dependent upon an older, strong, mature “Mamabear” matriarch to lead.
I was informed the group will have a retreat two weeks after our last session. Their theme is “Reigning in Life” concentrating on the “inheritance of the saints…here on earth.” I selected texts from Ephesians that fit this theme, holding their interest, and giving them good experiences in discovery.
When I shared this with “Mamabear” she replied, “Oh, now I’m excited. Ephesians is one of my favorite books!!!!”
For weeks I struggled to identify the passages, but had real peace when I saw this. The Wednesday before I started training them, they read Ephesians in their gathering time. The well was primed!
The second part of this post will appear on Wednesday