the fives: disciple making tools


Copyright: badboo / 123RF Stock Photo
Copyright: badboo / 123RF Stock Photo

This is the last in a series on The Fives – the five principles, skills and tools that can help you advance disciple making movements.

Jesus did something surprising when he sent out the Twelve and the Seventy-Two to make more disciples:

He sent them without any disciple making tools!

Instead, Jesus gave his disciples a simple set of instructions to follow (Luke 9:1-5 and Luke 10:1-16), and expected them to apply the principles and practice the skills that they had seen in him.

This gives me cause for pause: as helpful as they are, disciple making tools should never replace disciple making skills or principles.

With this caution in mind, here are my top five disciple making tools:

1. Four Column Bible Study. This tool helps disciple makers hear from God, and discover and verify disciple making principles individually or as a group.

2. Questions. Questions identify spiritual hunger, honor lost people and create opportunities for God to teach.

3. Bible Story Sets. Bible stories help lost people discover and respond to God. Which stories you use, however, depends on what people already know about God and the Bible, and whether they think in terms of guilt/innocence, shame/honor or fear/power.

4. Three Question Study. These questions can turn the mention of a Bible verse into meaningful discovery: What does this say about God? What does this say about people? If it is true, what is one thing you would do?

5. Discovery Bible Study (DBS). This tool establishes the reproducing DNA of “church” in an existing group of lost people. Note: a DBS is best led by people of peace.

Your turn:

  1. How do you evaluate the benefit of a given disciple making tool?
  2. What are some consequences of emphasizing disciple making tools more than skills and principles?
  3. What disciple making tools would you add – or subtract – from my list of five?

Share your thoughts and make it a conversation!

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