But Wait, There’s More…

Tim Shaw became the face of Demtel International and popularised the saying, “But wait, there’s more…,” for the Australian TV viewing audience.

In recent posts I have described my experience with Discovery Bible Study groups and have encouraged others to start a discovery group.

But wait there’s more!

Discovery Bible Study is one tool, or strategic action, in a whole disciple-making or church planting movement.The disciple-maker is open to meeting God-prepared people, people who are seeking and hungry for the gospel or people who have already received  Christ as their Saviour and want to learn how to share the gospel. Discovery Bible Study, with it’s obedience-based  methodology, becomes the instrument for reproducing disciples, who reproduce other disciples.

“Whoever has my commands and keeps them is the one who loves me. The one who loves me will be loved by my Father, and I too will love them and show myself to them.”

John 14:21 NIV

Again a quick search of the internet will reveal a wealth of resources on disciple-making or church planting movements. For starters Steve Smith’s article, CPM Essentials on a Napkin, http://www.missionfrontiers.org/issue/article/kingdom-kernels2, and the book, Contagious Disciple-making: Leading Others on a Journey of Discovery, by David an Paul Watson, are highly recommended. 

Pop-Up Discovery Groups…

Pop-up food venues have become popular. Food trucks and stalls are popping up, and down, all year round. Food vendors congregate, set up tables and chairs, and in no time people arrive to whet their appetite and enjoy conversation with like-minded others. Sharing food is so often conducive to meaningful conversations. Food addresses our physical hunger and eating with others can satisfy our social needs.

Important as these experiences are to our wellbeing Discovery Bible Study groups go beyond that to address our deeper spiritual needs.
Jesus answered, “It is written: ‘Man shall not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God.’  ”

Matthew 4:4 NIV

People, who are searching and spiritually hungry, come together to feed on the Word of God in a Discovery group. They encourage one another and seek answers to the question, “Having read this passage how then shall I live?” They are open to the Spirit of God and are prepared to step out in obedience when the the answers come.

The possible venues for pop-up Discovery Groups are limited only by our imagination, homes, cafes, shopping centres, workplaces, retirement villages, prisons, schools, colleges, universities and hospitals.

There are lots of easy-to-read resources available on the internet for discovery bible study and the obedience-based methodology.

Take a look, get started and before you know it you will have a thriving pop-up Discovery group.

Oh, and don’t forget drop me a line. I would love to encourage you.

“The wind blows wherever it pleases. You hear its sound, but you cannot tell where it comes from or where it is going. So it is with everyone born of the Spirit.”

John 3:8 NIV

Bromeliads Part 2…

In an earlier post, January 2014, I mentioned that I had transplanted several pups from a bromeliad that my brother had given me. But, alas, I have to report the transplants failed!

I reported my failure to my brother anImaged he explained that the pups I had cut off were too small.

Fortunately another pup appeared, so I left it attached to the original plant until it had grown larger before cutting it off and transplanting. The good news is that it has taken and is happily growing in its new pot.

While the original bromeliad, given by my brother, has continued to produce pups, those I cut off too early withered and died, and the pup I left attached longer has not only survived but thrived. Again my experience with the bromeliad reminded me of the Parable of the Sower told by Jesus in Matthew 13.

Jesus wants to reproduce disciples many times over across the nations. We need to be about the business of sowing the Good News of Jesus so that God can produce the harvest. However, there will be those who fall by the wayside and seemingly wither away.

The other important lesson is that we need to nurture new followers of Jesus and give them time to grow into maturity so that they too can reproduce other disciples.

Fred Hollows

When respect for the dignity of human beings is omitted from medical assessment, medicine ceases to become a science and is in danger of becoming a set of formulas, as arid and unhelpful as spells, curses and other hocus-pocus.

Fred Hollows, Updated Autobiography with Peter Corris

This statement struck a cord with me and I recalled another statement by Hans Eisen and Bernard Mulraney in their survey, Impediments to the Adoption of Modern Quality Management Practices (in Australian Manufacturing Industry) Monash University, 1992, “…an attitudinal change is required for success. This should begin with a reappraisal of the intrinsic worth of the individual at all levels.”

Fred’s work while identifying the urgent need for appropriate Vitamin A capsules to address deficiencies also calls for a better understanding of how people in the affected societies live.

He recalls getting into an argument with a researcher who gained a considerable reputation by showing the dramatic improvement in general health experienced by African children who were fed green, leafy vegetables.

When asked why the mothers hadn’t fed their children in this way the researcher replied that they were too ignorant to do so.

This made Fred angry. People are never, in Fred’s belief, too ignorant to guarantee their own survival. On a little reflection better answers to the question emerge, for example green, leafy vegetables may well have provoked diarrhoea and digestive disorders more threatening than the vitamin deficiency.

A deeper understanding of how people behave in systems begins with respect for the dignity and intrinsic worth of the person.

The Dish

The Dish, starring Sam Neill, featured the radio telescope at Parkes, NSW.
The telescope played a major role in the Apollo 11 mission to place a man on the moon.
Cliff (Sam Neill) and Glenn (Tom Long) were out on the dish after locking on to the signal once again after loosing all the data following a power supply failure.
Cliff: Imagine stuffing it up.
Glenn: How come you’ve changed?
Cliff: My wife told me, “Failure is not quite so frightening as regret.”
Glenn: That’s good advice. I wish someone had told me that.

Jessica

Jessica, an Australian TV mini-series, is based on the novel, with the same name, written by Bryce Courtney.
Jessica Bergman, played by Leeanna Watsman, had been committed to a mental asylum by her mother.
Wandering the grounds of the asylum with her barrister, Mr Runche, played by Sam Neill, who is down and out and often inebriated, Jessica explores the possibility of regaining custody of her young son. Coming to the realisation that it will be next to impossible given her circumstances she turns to Runche and looking at him she apologises, “I’ve wasted your time.” Runche replies, “You can’t waste my time. It belongs to me and if I choose to use it on your behalf I will do so.”
Runche’s pithy reply expresses the essence of the effective use of time that is available to us. Time is a gift, assume responsibility for it and use it wisely.

Duty

She had looked her duty courageously in the face and found it a friend – as duty ever is when we meet it frankly.

L.M. Montgomery
Anne of Green Gables
After a successful year of study at Queens College and the future rosy with promise Anne had returned to Green Gables only to face in quick succession the death of Matthew and Marilla’s failing eyesight and the consequent sale of Green Gables.
Duty is, a moral or legal obligation, the binding force of what is right or what is required on one and is so often seen as an onerous responsibility.
However, there is a delightful twist or insight in Montgomery’s quote. Faced openly and courageously we can discover in duty a friend that leads us rather than onerously but delightfully toward maturity, living life freely and responsibly.