Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Applying the Bible with T4T

About a year and a half ago I was in a church planter's Bible study listening to a friend talk about how Jesus poured out His life for people when the Holy Spirit gripped me. The idea that we are commanded to follow Christ's example and pour ourselves out for others was convicting. I wanted to pour myself out for God, and I knew how to do that in prayer, study, and evangelism. I did not want to pour myself out for people. For the next year and a half my friend's words echoed in my heart. God continually brought that truth back to me, and I began to ask the Lord, "How do I pour myself out for people?"

The answer to that question will almost certainly be different for everyone, but the answer also came in the midst of God turning my thinking upside down on a number of subjects. My basic understanding of what it means to learn has greatly changed. If you are not doing something, then you don't know how to do it. Knowledge that's not applied is unproven. Until you obey the Bible, you don't know the Bible. Until you put Christ's commands in action, you don't know them. Your education is proven by the fact that you've gone out and applied what you have learned.

These two truths mixed with my evangelistic drive and frustration and led me to research Church Planting Movements and obedience based discipleship. I began to look at what God was doing around the world, and how He was starting movements that were winning people to Christ faster than population growth in areas with incredible growth rates such as India. My mind and heart were captivated by the rapid spread of a vibrant and obedient church where the norm for every disciple is radical obedience and everyday evangelism.

The question is how do I become a part of the rapid spread of the Kingdom around the world? How do I live as these simple obedient Christians in movements live? How can I allow God to transform me until my DNA matches what I see in the book of Acts?

I've written about this in my series on Discovery Bible Study, and the answers to these questions are the inspiration for many blogs. There is so much more to read about movements, Church Planting Movements, Disciplemaking Movements, and Missionary Movements all over the world. My reviews of Miraculous Movements and What Jesus Started are a good places to start as well. In this post, I only want to scratch the surface and point the way to obedience based discipleship.

One of the prime ingredients in every single church planting or disciplemaking movement is obedience based discipleship. Obeying Christ and obeying the Word of God is true discipleship. Learning about something is not obedience. Doing something is obedience.

I believe that one of the primary answers to my question of how to pour myself out for God and for people has come in missions training called Training for Trainers or T4T. T4T has been around for a long time and has spread across many nations, but a major breakthrough came for me in missions and in my personal life when I found an american adaptation for T4T and began to see practical ways to apply Christ's commands and example in my own life and culture.

I hope to write more about this in the future, but I would like to point you to the same training I received. The resources on this page include hours of testimonies and training designed to turn our nation upside down through simple obedience to the simple gospel.

Discipleship Cycle PDF

Discipleship Cycles: An American Adaptation of T4T- Part 1 from X-tended Missions Network on Vimeo.

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