DMM counter-intuitives—“Let the lost lead the Bible studies.” Lost people can facilitate reproducible inductive (3-column) Bible studies.
Of all these head-scratching statements, this is probably the most rejected. Last week I spent time with a brother who has introduced disciple making into cross-cultural mission work he has been doing in West Africa. He and his wife also shared these ideas with her brother who lives in New Zealand. His brother-in-law had tried to disciple a study group, but since he had never experienced a Discovery Bible Study he modeled a teaching-heavy approach. While some he was trying to reach were willing to try leading one, none would agree to doing it more than the first time. When my friend visited he offered to facilitate the study. After the study one of the New Zealanders spoke up, “If that is what leading a study looks like, I can do that!” What do you model when it comes to facilitating a Bible study?
“You can’t seriously let lost people lead Bible studies!” is one response we hear. “There aren’t lost people who are willing to lead a Bible study,” is another assumption. Both reflect a failure to understand what a Person of Peace is. The lost who facilitate Discovery Bible Studies are always Persons of Peace.
A Person of Peace is someone God prepares to serve as a bridge to his/her household/affinity group. This person already is looked to as a leader, so we are not putting a lost person into a leadership position. We do equip this person to facilitate a Discovery Bible Study. This coaching is done through a relationship that has begun around the spiritual openness of this person. We have met this person by being “overtly spiritual without being obnoxiously religious.” We openly point to God and what we are learning about him and his expectations for our lives as we interact with people. Our purpose for these comments is to identify and connect with Persons of Peace. After we find them (or they find us), then a relationship is built that leads to the point of willingness to lead their circle of influence in a discovery process.
Persons of Peace do not teach their family and/ or friends. They do lead the group in a process of hearing Bible stories and asking what they reveal about God and people along with what obedience to the passage entails and who they know who needs to hear these stories. The purpose of Discovery Studies is to facilitate a discovery process. No one has to teach. Together the group explores what God is like in the passages they encounter.
The beautiful thing about this type of study is many participants find it easily reproduced. They realize they, too, can facilitate this style of study. Many become willing to take this type of study to other family members, friends and co-workers. Let the lost lead so many learn how to facilitate!