Latest emails are at the bottom
Here is what is happening with Gary Stump's (onward Church) in Fishers, Indiana.
From Oct 4 blog post
We currently have in excess of 120 groups containing more than 600 people.
We have groups to 5 generations. Some of these groups (a few) are forming
into churches–which has been the greatest challenge. But we do have one
3rd generation church! More people are hearing the gospel in our community
each day and we’re seeing many coming to Christ.
And my email to Gary and his Oct 28 email to me
My quick question is it sounded like things were not going well with the 50 new groups going through the Gospel of Mark during the summer of 2012. That it wasn't until the Thru the Bible DBS lessons were developed and the Thru the Bible DBS groups were started in 2013 that you started to see significant multiplication occurring. Is that correct?
And his reply (which contains the two key adaptions they made for T4T to be successful in Fishers, Indiana)
Thanks for your question and for working through using T4T in your church in California. I’m convinced this is what the “Spirit is saying to the churches.” We simply have to find a way to mobilize the church (Christians) to engage the Great Commission.
Our first introduction after the initial round of training launched 50 groups but by the end of summer we had only about 20 groups actually operating. We did two things to try to improve this terrible result:
1. We developed the Thru the Bible to provide our folks with a clear pathway to invite their lost friends and neighbors into Discovery Bible studies using the inductive Bible study methods we had already taught them. This truly engaged where people were in our unsaved culture. The invitation was something like this... After one of our folks had shared the Gospel and the person wasn’t ready to trust Christ, they would say, “It might be helpful if you had more information. What if we met for just 8 times and I could give you a complete overview of the entire Bible? Do you think that would be helpful?” Overwhelmingly, the person said “yes.”
2. We spent time teaching that disciple-making was not something that could be added to your already busy schedule. It will require a sincere sacrifice for you to obey Jesus and engage the Great Commission. I think naively we thought that as soon as people were trained they would run right out and do it. But we found that instead of “persecution” as Ying Kai says must be included in your initial training, for us in the USA we need to teach “the cost of disciple-making” and challenge our folks to count the cost.
The Thru the Bible really caught traction and people are still starting new groups with lost people using it. One of our leaders recently shared, “You have never really studied the Bible until you have seen it through the eyes of a lost person. It’s way more fun than studying with other Christians!”
We now estimate that we have more than 120 groups—maybe crowding 150 with an estimated one half of the participants are unsaved. We’re seeing people come to Christ in number well beyond anything I’ve ever seen in my ministry.
Click here and then click on "Listen to the podcast" button near the bottom to listen to his Story in this July 3rd podcast interview
Click here to view his training documents
Rich's Oct 29 email to Gary
My KEY question is: seems like Ying Kai's principle is to get people witnessing right away and therefore the first thing he does is to train them to witness (testimony and gospel presentation) because he knows they won't do it until they are confident.
But since the U.S. soil is harder we need to train our disciples also to do DBS (Thur the Bible) with non Christians.
So, with Christians, what is the training sequence you would now recommend?
The first two weeks from Trainer's guide? Then the 8 weeks from Thru the Bible and then the last six weeks from the trainer's guide?
Gary's Oct 29 reply
I would recommend training everyone in the T4T short term discipleship first. That way they are effective in sharing their faith and know the end vision in how to train someone they win to Christ. The brand new Christian must be trained immediately when they’re saved. The most effective disciple-makers in your ministry have not yet come to faith.
I was discipled using Navigator materials in the mid 1970s through Christian Business Men’s Connection (CBMC). One of the most important issues in multiplication is to get the new Christian on mission immediately—I mean the day they are saved they need to be taught to share their faith—Faith Story and the Gospel.
I would recommend this sequence:
Six T4T Short-term discipleship lessons based on Ying Kai’s 6 lessons we have taught people:
- Share their faith story in 2 minutes
- Share the Gospel using “The Bridge” gospel presentations (based on Romans6:23)
- Pray using the Lord’s Prayer
- Study the Bible using several inductive Bible study methods
- The Church—defined by Scripture instead of culture (question is: “who is your church?” not “where do you go to church?”)
- The Father’s Will—how to listen to and follow the Lord’s leading through Scripture
- The Great Commission (a plan for reaching “their world;” transitioning to long-term discipleship; AND establishing Discovery Bible Studies with lost people using Thru the Bible)
Forming Discovery Bible Studies with lost people through their “oikos.” (Note: “oikos” is an important concept they will learn in the training.)
We have changed the order of our lessons a bit after being with Ying. I’ve attached lessons 1 & 2 from our new format and will be glad to send you the rest as we develop them further. We are in the process of training a number of new leaders and are having a great experience with them using these new lessons. We haven’t changed the information involved in the lessons so much as the order and formatting. Everything you do needs to be filtered through the mind of a brand new Christian—not an experienced one.
Ying said, “Pray; Keep it simple; Just Do it!” Pretty good advice. I’ll be anxious to hear how it goes. Let me know how I can help.
Here's the two attached files :
- Trainers Guide for Lesson 1 (v-3).pdf
- Trainers Guide for Lesson 2 (v-3).pdf