Disciple Making Movements (DMM) are really built on relationships.
I recently hung out with a former coworker. She didn’t grow up in the church, but also doesn’t currently have much interest in it. Despite this, we’ve had really candid conversations about God. She seeks to understand, asking “Why do you believe this, or do that.” She’s not really sure if she believes in God.
This last time when I hung out with her, once again we ended up talking about God. “I was hoping we would talk about this,” she said. She’d been looking for a job for the last year after being laid off (and I had been laid off a couple of years before that). She shared how stressed she was because she had to find a job that would pay for daycare.
“Well, can I pray for you?” I asked. She’d seen my journey over these years, but I’d never prayed with her before.
So I just prayed naturally, eyes open, for her and her family.
As we kept chatting I said, “Well, can I share a story with you that I feel might be helpful?”
“It’s a Bible story,” I added. And she was still open.
So I shared about Jesus calming the storm. I asked her, “What do you think this says about God, and about people?” As she shared her thoughts I told her, “You know, I really think it’s God who is giving you those insights. I’m not telling you to say that! I’ve never thought of that! I’ve done this with a lot of people, and no one’s ever said that.”
She was surprised. “Really?”
I told her that one reason I think the Bible is so cool is that God will share something new with people each time they read it, and whenever you do this with others you learn a little more about God. “So I just want to encourage you that I’ve never heard that!”
“What else do people say?” she asked.
“Just try it with your spouse,” I suggested.
“Oh, I will, I will! Can you tell me the story again, so I can know how to tell it later?”
So I read the story again, and then invited her to try to tell it.
I was just sitting in her living room, listening to her tell the story of Jesus calming the storm. And she doesn’t even really believe in God. So I said, “You know, if this is really from God—and I know you’re not sure, but let’s just pretend, and say, ‘Alright, if this was really from God’—it should change our lives, right? It’s powerful! So how can this story change your life? What’s something you can do this week?”
And she said, “Well, I guess I can just wake Jesus up, like in the story. And I’ll just ask him for help. Kind of like what you did earlier. Just out loud.”
What she said next really struck me. “You know, I think what helps me be more open to this is the fact that I know you’ve been in this boat before, and you made it to the other side. And I figure if this worked for you, I guess it’s worth a shot.”
I hadn’t been trying to show off my life in that way. I was laid off, and then God took me on a crazy journey. My life was changed. She saw me go through that because we were friends—and not even close friends. But she’s seen me enough, to the point that we can have this conversation in her living room where we simply discover God together. And now my friend is hopefully going to obey God and share with her partner. Who knows what will happen? I’m praying for the Holy Spirit to be at work in a way that they will both respond to.
The Discovery Bible Study process is really deeply rooted in relationship. This conversation never would have happened without the foundation of relationship, and that took time. But because we had those relational roots, we could have a simple interaction where I could honestly speak into her life and share, “God has changed my life. Let’s just see if he might change yours.”
You can be equipped to facilitate Discovery Bible Studies and expand Disciple Making Movements in your own city. Contact CRM’s Accelerate Team to find a mentor who will get you started.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Carol (name changed for privacy) lives in Dallas, Texas. In addition to her day job, she partners with a CRM movement mentor to see a Disciple Making Movement take off in her relational network.