Marie Reavey – UK
Jesus said: Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptising them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. (Matt 28:19-20)
We are called to be witnesses and to make disciples of Christ, not followers of a church or a denomination. And as we make these disciples, we need to teach them to obey the commands of Jesus, not the commands of our church, doctrines or traditions.
How good are we at making obedient disciples? Over the years I have battled with the challenge of leading people to Jesus, many of whom then never want to become disciples! In recent years though, God has been taking me on a journey of discovering into a different way of being his witness. I’ve been learning how to be a witness for Jesus from those who are in closed nations, where sharing the Gospel in a “one and done” approach and speaking boldly about Jesus is not how they are able to evangelise. And as part of this journey, I’ve been reading a book called Contagious Disciple Making by David Watson of Disciple Making Movements (DMM). Reading this book has really connected with me and my friend Jacqui.
DMM is about doing what Jesus did, removing any barriers and preconceived ideas about Christianity, church and Jesus. We go out seeking people of peace – those in the community whom God has prepared to receive the Gospel for the first time and who will then go on to share what they learn with their own community. A community could be a person’s own town, their smaller community within this, their social group or neighbourhood.
We intentionally go out looking to have simple, serious and spiritual conversations which may happen in one conversation or over a period of time, as we visit the same café’s, and shops. Over many conversations, we are ultimately aiming to be at a point where we know and understand their challenges and from this place we are then able to say to people something like: There are these stories that are helping me and people all over the world with challenges like yours, I’d love to share them with you as I believe they can help you too.
We might share a relevant testimony about how God has helped someone that has faced similar challenges and if a person is hungry for God and wants to find out more, we then start to share the Gospel using a Discovery Bible Study (DBS) approach which begins at Genesis and works its way through to Christ in 28 stories.
The DBS approach is a simple bible study approach that can be easily replicated by those who are learning it and therefore it equips a person to understand how to read scripture, hear from God and be obedient to what He says; as very quickly, a person is able to share the gospel with friends. Instead of just giving people simple answers, when a new follower of Jesus asks a question, our answer needs to be: What must you do to be obedient to Christ?
We are in the early stages of putting all this into practice and it’s a much slower process of leading a person to Jesus; but by the time they discover who Jesus is, their life will have already changed and they will have become a disciple, obediently following Christ’s ways and sharing their faith with their networks of relationships.
To find out more about DMM, watch the first half of Sheep Among Wolves vol 2 or read the book mentioned above.