God’s Word our Foundation, His Spirit our Dependable Guide
We know God wants us to discover truth through His Word. He gives us all the direction we need in order to do His work. We are invited to partner with Him in the extraordinary task of making disciples who make disciples in this world. The launch of cascading movements to Christ depends on the efficacy, inerrancy, and supremacy of God’s Word in partnership with deep reliance on the power of the Holy Spirit. In the process of Discovery Bible Study, the group/household learns to dig deep and to discover the richness in the Word of God rather than being told what the passage says. Even pre-believers can discover truth from the Word.
Transformed by the Spirit
Here’s one example of the DMM process, from our UPG focus:
Fatima, Muliati, Amina, Mun, and Fitri chatted excitedly shared their stories with our local partner, Anna. She had them review their steps of obedience from the previous week’s prophet story from the Old Testament. Each of these Muslim women had come into contact with Anna while she was facilitating a literacy program.
I had been training Anna in looking for Women of Peace, as described in Matthew 10 and Luke 10. She and I had gone out together looking for those whom God was preparing to open their respective households and/or affinity groups in order to discuss the Straight and True Way of Allah.
To model, assist, watch, and continue to coach Anna is a great joy. God provided five Women of Peace for Anna. Yes, five! To discover one person whom God is preparing and who will open their household often takes a lifestyle of intentional trust in the Holy Spirit to lead at any moment, in any situation, and with anyone. One Person of Peace is a big deal but to have five Women of Peace in one stream is pretty amazing! Anna began to model, to assist, and to coach/watch for these women to take the Prophet Stories, one by one, back to their respective households. All five of these Women of Peace are at various places in life: Fatima is married with children, Muliati is a widow with grown children, Amina is divorced with no children but a large extended family, Mun is one of five wives, Fitri is married with high school children.
On this particular day, three of the five women discovered they each had experienced a dream on the same night.
“Forgive your husband,” Fatima recalled Isa Al Masih telling her in her dream.
“What you are studying with Anna is My Truth,” Muliati relayed as she described Isa Al Masih instructing her in her dream
“Isa pulled me to Himself and hugged me!” exclaimed Amina.
The other two women shared their steps of obedience. “I told the local Imam about these stories of the prophets,” explained Fitri, as she recalled her application point from the previous week.
“Though I was nervous I shared the story about Adam with my son’s household. I used the questions Anna has helped us to ask. They liked this story so much that they have asked me to visit their larger group of friends and share the next story. Before they left, I encouraged them to share this story with their friends,” recounted Mun.
The Word and Spirit in the Reaching of Households/Affinity Groups
A few weeks later, the group studied the story of Jesus healing a blind man (John 9). Anna asked all five of the women which of the people in the story (the blind man, the parents, or the Pharisees) best represented their hearts before God.
Each made a clear profession of repentance and followership to Christ. Their salvation stories rang clear, describing their choice to follow the way of Isa. Soon thereafter, Anna helped them discover in Scripture the role of outward obedience as a demonstration of inward followership of Jesus, and they were baptized at a nearby rice field.
Each of their households were using the same pattern of 8 simple Discovery questions and engaging in the same group process. At that time, they each facilitated DBS groups which extended to 2nd generation and, in one case, 3rd generation households.
One strategic piece for coaching these forming house fellowships was to equip the women facilitators to engage the men in their respective households in the process. Where Women of Peace are the first contact for the households or relational groups in a DBS, we train the women to ask for help from their men in a natural yet honoring way so that these men become the leaders. They might say, for example, “Oh husband, thank you for your desire to lead us spiritually as a household. Would you be willing to ask us what we are all thankful for?” Then, the women are trained to affirm the men all the way through the 8 DBS questions.
As God’s Spirit moves, the Word of God speaks and people are drawn to Jesus Christ. Admittedly, at times this process is messy! However, in the midst of the challenges, I am so grateful for the opportunity to trust God’s Spirit and His Word to bring the launch of movements according to His ways, in His timing.