“Who do you know who needs this message that you will tell this week?” is a powerful seed for multiplication. This is only true when Discovery Groups will name names and then share with those named.
Tragically, many self-identified Christians do not like answering this question. Even fewer follow through with sharing with the people who come to mind. If you are not getting new generations of Discovery Groups, you can be sure Question # 7 has been dropped or altered.
If your Christian group experiments with using a Discovery process pay special attention to their responses to this question. If they do not know any lost people who need to hear God’s Word, then they need to get out more (in person and/or online. They need to become active listeners. And they need to become better at intercession—pleading God’s promises for the people where they live, learn, work and play.
Who are the people who walk regularly in your neighborhood? Could you ask them to join in their walks? Get to know them. Talk about casual topics. Explore a meaningful topic. If they are comfortable with that shift, try a spiritual theme. If they say they are a believer, “already have a home church,” or signal they follow Jesus, then tell them you want to find lost people in the neighborhood. Ask if they will help. Invite them to join you in prayer walking while you exercise.
If they are not willing to talk about spiritual matters, then you need to begin praying that the Holy Spirit will produce and opening. Get their names. Mobilize others from your home church, small group and/or disciple making team to start praying for them. It is possible they are believers who have been wounded by other people at their last church, or they may not know Jesus at all. Keep walking. Keep developing a relationship and revisit the importance of spiritual matters.
Whenever someone is open to spiritual topics ask if he is interested in reading the Bible to see what God is really like. If she is willing to do that, then ask if she has family or friends who might be willing to join in, also. Start a new Discovery Group with this person and his family/friends. They will be prompted to share the passages they explore with others, too.
Hi John? in this statement “Whenever someone is open to spiritual topics ask if he is interested in reading the Bible to see what God is really like”, I notice you use “reading” but group members will be led through study. Why not say ”studying”?
Many people have a set idea of what a “study” looks like. For many church goers a Discovery Group is not a “good study” because it does not live up to their expectations. For lost people, especially those who have never read the Bible before, the word carries almost the opposite connotation. They may feel unqualified to “study the Bible,” assuming only trained experts can do that. Inviting them to “read the Bible” helps avoid two very different imagined settings.
They read, we interact with basic questions and begin to be transformed through hearing God speak through the Scriptures, through the Holy Spirit and through others participating in the Discovery Group. Great question, Edouard!
Thank you, John. Very insightful!