Searching For Persons of Peace
As a Lifestyle
It was a normal hot humid day. I was again asking the Holy Spirit to show me where He was moving and what was my part in His work. I organized the kids and explained to them: “We are going on another adventure! We are asking God to lead us to someone who is open to hear stories of our great Savior…who in turn will open up their households to hear those stories.” As we started to walk around the neighborhood I decided to visit our next-door neighbor, whom we had heard recently lost her husband. The kids and I met not only this grieving woman, but also her new tenant, Liz.
Liz was a young married woman who yearned to have children. After what seemed like an eternity of almost two years, she remained infertile. Shame had begun to color her daily life, as her culture predisposed her to assume this “withholding” of blessing was somehow a curse from Allah. I asked if I could bless her and pray for her in the name of Jesus. She agreed, and I prayed.
DBS Storying with Muslim Women
As I continued to interact with these two women over the next few weeks, I began to share a brief Bible story during each encounter. Beginning with the story of Hagar, continuing through to the story of the Samaritan woman (John 4), I offered to study more stories of the prophets in the Holy Books. Liz said yes!
Immediately, I encouraged her to gather her friends to study with her. Liz was the first Person of Peace I had met in our new city. And just as the pattern of Matthew 10 and Luke 10 describe, Liz opened up her household (affinity group) for the truth to be discussed in her home.
Within a few days, we all met together to start a Creation to Jesus story set. After meeting twice, they had caught the pattern of 8 questions used, so we started rotating facilitation of the group. By the fourth meeting, Liz facilitated while I coached. I found I had to rely on the Holy Spirit’s direction throughout the “handoff” process. I visited Liz several times to encourage her to gather her friends and family. Several times I would show up and they were not ready--something had come up but I continued to persevere and pray for the Holy Spirit to move. We are at the beginning phases of what it means to implement a DMM approach.
How do I facilitate a Discovery Group?
When we meet together we follow a standard format: share praises, share concerns, repeat the story we learned last week, check in to see if we followed through with our commitments (obedience) during the past week, learn a new story and ask each other the same five questions at the end (see below).
It is clear that they do not have the Holy Spirit inside of them, since they have yet to trust Christ as their Lord and Savior. However, they are being drawn, being convicted of their need for repentance, and being messed with by the efficacy of God’s Word and the Holy Spirit.
How can I be more intentional?
Part of my increased effectiveness has come when I am more intentional in pursuing these women. At the beginning of each week, my husband and I spend time praying over the week and asking the Father, “What needs to be done in order to see the launch of a movement among these UPGs?” We then compare notes of what we sense needs to happen to that end for the upcoming week. Then, we make a plan in how to organize the week. For me to be intentional is to partner with my husband.
Though sometimes life circumstances are messy, I find that if I am more intentional that I can meet with these women to coach them to multiply.
For this particular Discovery Group, they have completed the OT stories of the prophets and are now moving into the stories of Jesus. Soon we will study the commands of Jesus to follow Him in the Discovery Group process. As I obey His commands to go and make reproducing disciples who fall in love with His ways, I am increasing in my trust in the Holy Spirit to be the one who draws these ladies and their respective households to Himself.
Discovery Group Questions for Households of Peace
(that don’t yet know Jesus)
- What are you thankful for?
- What are your struggling with / stressed by? How about your family, friends, and neighbors?
- REVIEW the previous story—How did you apply/obey?
Ask someone to retell the story from the last meeting.
- READ the new story two times and have everyone RE-TELL story two times as a group.
- What does this teach us about God?
- What does this teach us about ourselves / people?
- What do you need to apply / obey? “I will…”
- Who among your family or friends are you going to share this story with? “I will…”