How often are you learning about discipleship and people? How fast can you apply what you learn?  Last week I spent three days with other small group pastors and leaders who are getting it done in a not so new way. Real Life Ministries of Post Falls, Idaho is making disciples that make disciples that make disciples… And I applied what I learned from them to our small group meeting Sunday night.

A Lesson I learned at this conference was to tell a Bible story in your own words.  Many times we try to communicate too much in a small group Bible study.  Just tell the story. Then ask one or two open questions where everyone is given time to respond and transparency can flow.

We are in the middle of a study of Radical by David Platt.  In this book, Platt asks in what areas of our lives are we totally depending on God.  2 Corn 12:9; Platt pg 48. Are we taking the Gospel to places that we have to depend on God?  What are we attempting that only God can make happen?

I asked my first question “Who was the first person to tell you about Christ?”  Not only did everyone have an answer but a story to accompany it.  A lot was learned in response to this question.  I asked the second question “What are you doing to model what they did? Where are you attempting that only God can accomplish?” Everyone had an answer here as well, but this time the emotion was much higher and the transparency was much clearer.  Some tears were shared from the heart as people encouraged each other on what they saw God doing through them.

Real life discipleship happens in the conversations that we allow God to direct.  Small Group Bible study does not have to be all about bestowing knowledge or debating.  The way we prepare for the small group meeting, the questions we decide to ask, the time we allow for answers (my new learning) to those questions can have a major impact on how transparent, how included, how deep our meeting can go.

Real Life Discipleship is the name of a book by Jim Putman, founder and senior pastor of Real Life Ministries.  He was guest speaker, along with pastor/author David Platt, at DNA 21 hosted by Nav Press. Wish you had been there, but you can still get the book and manual.