Pathway is a simple strategy for making disciples who make disciples. Use it as a self-guided resource or as a template to train others.
STEP 1: BECOME A BIBLE READER.
Learn about The One Thing Study (OTS). It's a devotional tool that is designed to allow the reader to hear the voice of God through Scripture, in a personal manner. Even if you have a regular Bible reading discipline, we encourage you to learn about OTS, so you can pass along an easy to use resource to your disciples.
Do three One Thing Studies. This may occur over three days or longer. The purpose of doing repeated studies is to develop the practice of reading the Bible for personal fellowship with God, which is essential to spiritual health. Matthew 4:4 NIV
Move to Step 2 after doing Step 1. Don't stop doing Step 1. It is intended to become a lifelong habit.
STEP 2: DO DISCOVERY BIBLE STUDY (DBS) WITH SOMEONE YOU KNOW WELL.
Learn Discovery Bible Study (DBS). It's simple enough to learn and do on your own. However, if you want to join a free, one time online class, just contact us. View the DBS Story Sets for content suggestions. After doing a DBS, read the DBS Facilitator Notes.
Do DBS three or four times with one person you know well (family member, friend). Generally speaking DBS is a weekly activity. Doing DBS several times with a familiar individual allows you to learn the format, experience its power, and build momentum toward sharing it with others.
Partner with a coach if you are taking yourself through Pathway. Ongoing coaching is critical for long term application. Whether you are just starting out or a seasoned disciple maker, coaching is a great way to receive encouraging guidance and continued training. Contact us about free online coaching. Also, visit/join our Facebook Group. It's always "open" and a great place to get and give helpful input.
Provide ongoing coaching if you are taking someone through Pathway. Meet weekly between sessions to review a previous and preview upcoming meetings. Review by asking what went well, and what was challenging. Preview by asking what is the next step and if there are any questions. Consistent encouragement and ongoing equipping are the keys to effective coaching. View Coach for helpful questions.
Move to Step 3 after doing Step 2. The purpose of Step 2 is to become comfortable and confident using DBS.
STEP 3: FORM A DISCOVERY GROUP WITH PEOPLE YOU KNOW.
Invite at least two people you already know to form a Discovery Group. One could be the person from Step 2. A Discovery Group (DG) is a gathering of three or more people who do Discovery Bible Study (DBS) together on a weekly basis. Groups create a dynamic not present in individual meetings. They remember more, learn quicker, replicate faster and more often, protect against heresy and bad leadership, self-correct, and increase accountability.2
Meet for five weeks. Five weeks is long enough for participants to experience community, discover truths about God, and see multiplication. But short enough for attenders make an informed commitment that assures attending all the sessions. A break after five weeks provides a time for the group facilitator to make any needed changes. Additionally, it offers a natural exit for those who don't wish to continue. You can always resume meetings after a short break.
Follow the guidelines in DBS Facilatator Notes. They are important to know and adhere to. Some of the principles are counterintuitive to traditional Bible study leadership principles, but are the key to multiplication. DBS Story Sets are available for those looking for content.
Eventually, transition from the role of facilitator to coach. Try to move from facilitating discussion from inside the group, to coaching a facilitator from outside the group. The coach meets with the facilitator between meetings to equip and encourage (see Coach). The goal is not to meet long term with those you already know, but to start Discovery Groups with those you don't know.
Move to Step 4 after doing Step 3. The purpose of Step 3 is to become comfortable leading a Discoverey Group and hopefully, coaching a facilitator of a Discovery Group.
STEP 4: FORM A DISCOVERY GROUP WITH PEOPLE YOU DO NOT KNOW.
The real harvest is among those you do not presently know. John 4:35 Each day we encounter people who may be open to personal conversation, engage in spiritual dialogue, and welcome an invitation to learn more about God through Scripture.
Engage people you don't know. Two excellent tools are the FARM conversation and Prayer Walk. The FARM conversation works well with those you meet situationally; people you encounter in the course of everyday living. Prayer Walk works best with those you meet intentionally; purposeful efforts to discover people who want to know more about Jesus.
Coach those you engage, from outside, to form a Discovery Group. Allow them to facilitate their own Discovery Groups. Don't extract them from their existing community. Don't step into the role of facilitator. Use the principles in DBS Facilitator Notes. Coach from the outside. The goal is to keep forming multiplying Discovery Groups facilitated by someone in those groups.
Take the Disciple Making Movement (DMM) training. DMM training is for those who have a vision to see a disciple making movement in their entire area.
Move to Step 5 when you see fruit from Step 4. The purpose of Step 4 is to become comfortable training and coaching facilitators of their own Discovery Groups. Step 4 is not something that you stop doing. It's ongoing as you do Step 5.
STEP 5: BRING DBS TO THOSE UNREACHED BY THE GOSPEL.
Become informed about unreached peoples. Presently there are over THREE BILLION people worldwide who are unreached by the gospel. They are unreached because there are not enough people in their own culture to evangelize the rest of their own people. They will only be reached if Christians go and bring the gospel to them. Resources:
- Examine Joshuaproject.net.
- Watch the following videos, Beyond.org.
- Study the following infographics.
- Read from the Unreached Library.
- Read articles from the following magazine. It's free online.
- Explore REACH. An in-depth mobilization resource.
Become involved in making disciples among the unreached. Contact Beyond.org. They focus on using the Disciple Making Movement (DMM) strategy among the unreached. Become SOGY; Support Others or Go Yourself. Supporting can be done gradually by becoming an informational and prayer partner before possibly becoming a financial partner. Ask to be included on the mailing list for newsletters, for those working among the unreached. Going can also be done gradually by going on short, medium and then long term mission trips.
The purpose of Step 5 is to become a global disciple maker. Get involved in helping the unreached (those with no access to the gospel). This can be done through personal trips (Go Yourself) or partnerships (Support Others).
- See DMM Resources
- Stan Parks and Dave Coles, 24:14: A Testimony to All Peoples (Spring, TX: 2019) 107-109 Kindle
- Paul Watson, Small Groups That Have the DVA of a Disciple Making Movement (Mission Frontiers, Nov-Dec, 2012) https://www.missionfrontiers.org/issue/article/small-groups-that-have-the-dna-of-a-disciple-making-movement