Bible Storying Conference

A Truth That Sticks seminar led by Dr. Mark Snowden of the Missouri Baptist Convention will be offered at Corinth Baptist Church, London, KY, on Saturday, September 26, 8:30-4:30 PM. Mark Snowden is coauthor (with Avery Willis, Jr) of the book Truth That Sticks which details how Bible storying can be used to effectively make disciples. This training will demonstrate how to use this method in your church, small group or family. Click HERE to register.

Today in America, half of the people won’t or don’t read well. Begin creatively transforming the lives of this generation by using first-century methods of teaching?storytelling, drama, and dialog. The “TruthSticks” strategy is a revolutionary approach using the DNA of the first century disciplemaking that will…

  • Use Bible sorying to effectively make disciples at all levels,
  • Unite families by using fun methods to disciple children.
  • Revitalize small groups. and
  • Develop a disciple-making church.

Bible storying is a creative tool to use in Bible teaching, disciple-making, leadership, and evangelism. Come to this one-day training and learn how you can become a disciple-maker using the storytelling method. You will learn how to tell a Bible story and ask questions, which will help you make disciples!

COST:  $10 per person (includes a book and lunch)

LOCATION:  Corinth Baptist Church, 1671 Old Whitley Rd, London, KY

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Kentucky Baptist Religious Educators Focus on Disciple-Making

On Thursday, September 17, 10;30-Noon (Eastern time), Kentucky Baptist Religious Education Association will connect by WebEx to focus on Disciple-Making. Sam Newman, Minister of Education/Discipleship at First Baptist Church, Richmond, KY, will be the featured presenter. He will be sharing about his one-on-one and one-on-group efforts at starting a disciple-making movement at First Baptist Church.

KBREA will gather to hear from Sam Newman by WebEx in four locations around Kentucky:

  • First Baptist Church, 425 Eastern Bypass, Richmond
  • Kentucky Baptist Convention, 13420 Eastpoint Centre Dr, Louisville
  • Lone Oak First Baptist Church, 3601 Lone Oak Rd, Paducah
  • Northern Kentucky Baptist Association, 3001 Riggs Av, Erlanger

While Sam is using discipleship materials from the International Evangelism Association (Billie Hanks Operation Multiplication organization), his presentation will have more to do with practices, methods, and results. Materials will be available at each host site to view or purchase.

There is no cost for this event. Following the gathering, groups will enjoy further conversation and fellowship over dutch treat lunch at local restaurants.

For additional information, contact Bill Ellis, KBREA president at

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Six Disciple-Making Forums Offered

Interest in Kentucky is increasing in how to make disciples. Our faithfulness to accomplish disciple-making is essential in order to be found faithful at carrying out Jesus’ command in the Great Commission (Matthew 28:19-20, ESV):

Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit,teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.

In order to address the increased interest, six Disciple-Making Forums have been planned between October 8 and November 7. Here are dates and locations:

  • Thursday, October 8, 6:30-8:30 PM (Eastern time), Christ Community Church, 198 Frankfort Rd, Shelbyville; Register at 502.633.1198
  • Tuesday, October 20, 11:30 AM-1:30 PM (Central time), Blood River Baptist Association, 47 Aurora Hwy, Hardin; Register at 270.437.4203
  • Saturday, October 24, 9:00-11:00 AM (Eastern time), Lowell Avenue Baptist Church, 420 Lowell Avenue, Campbellsville; Register at 270.465.5600 or 270.403.1484
  • Monday, November 2, 6:30-8:30 PM (Central time), First Baptist Church, 216 Jenkins Rd, Eddyville; Register at 270.388.7693
  • Tuesday, November 3, 6:30-8:30 PM (Central time), Warren Association of Baptists, 6448 Scottsville Rd, Bowling Green; Register at 270.842.4160
  • Saturday, November 7, 9:00-Noon (Eastern time), Northern Kentucky Baptist Association, 301 Riggs Av, Erlanger; Register at 859.727.6522.

These disciple-making forums are planned for conversational exploration of the goal, strategy, and methods for disciple-making. They are designed for pastors, discipleship directors, and key leaders. The forums will focus on:

  • defining disciple-making,
  • strategic disciple-making questions,
  • assessment of the disciple-making impact of programs/ministries, and
  • ideas for launching successful disciple-making plans.

There is no cost for any of the Forums (except for lunch at the Hardin event). But registration is requested in order to have materials for everyone. Call the associational office number and tell them how many you plan to bring to the event with you.

Disciple-Making Forums will be led by Darryl Wilson, Sunday School & Discipleship Consultant for the Kentucky Baptist Convention.

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Disciple-Making Fruit of the Spirit

In Galatians 5:22-24, after Paul had listed the works of the flesh, he describes the life changed by Christ:

But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law. And those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires.

What means do disciple-makers have at our disposal to help our (His) disciples live out the fruit of the Spirit? How can we assist those in whom we are investing to exhibit the fruit in their daily lives? At the same time, how can we do so in such a way so as not to get in the way of the work of the Spirit?

As I look through the list, the nine fruit are more than simply feelings or attitudes. They are actions, choices, disciplines, and even Christian habits. In Practicing Sunday School Lesson Improvements,  there are three steps shared for helping teachers develop new good teaching practices. Those same three steps can also be used to assist disciples in developing spiritual, mental, and behavioral disciplines of the fruit of the Spirit.

Here are the steps shared in that blog post:

  • show them the change,
  • talk about the change, and
  • practice the change.

Allow me to explain how these steps could be adjusted for disciple-making. Consider the following brief, oversimplification:

SHOW THEM THE FRUIT. Identify one of the fruit of the Spirit on which your disciple wants (or needs) to grow more Christ-like. Demonstrate the fruit. Do some role plays. Show some movie clips.

TALK ABOUT THE FRUIT. Study scripture passages related to that fruit. Look for evidence of that fruit in Jesus’ life and the disciples. Develop a definition and description for that fruit. Talk about how that fruit might be expressed.

PRACTICE THE FRUIT. Talk about options for responses to situations that could test that fruit. Brainstorm or role play Spirit-led responses. Make assignments to practice what was learned during the week (before you gather back together).

This same process could also help in establishing disciple habits of prayer, Bible reading, tithing, etc. More than head knowledge should be growing as spend time with and live for Jesus. Our thoughts, attitudes, feelings, and behaviors should be impacted as well.

A consistent daily quiet time is key to all aspects reflecting the Spirit’s work in our lives. But the encouragement of a disciple-maker can make a world of difference as well.
For more ideas about disciple-making, check out these blog posts:
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Disciple-Making Decisions

As you put together your personal or church plan to make disciples, allow me to offer some questions for you to consider:

Group size. What size(s) will you include? Content delivery is possible in large groups, but disciple-making is nearly always accomplished in smallest groups:  one-on-one, one-on-two, one-on three, etc. Small groups and Sunday School classes can also contribute to the process of disciple-making. Think strategically about using group sizes.

Relationships. How can you encourage relationship-formation to encourage disciples to remain involved in the process?

Schedule. When is the ideal time and duration for each major element of the process you envision? If they cannot be there, it is a poor time–even if it is ideal for you. And some steps and practices of the disciple-making process, take time. Don’t unduly rush but don’t drag things out either.

Multiplication. The process should be able to be reproduced. If it is too complicated, reproduction will be limited.

Goals. What are you trying to accomplish? What changes do you desire to see? What knowledge do you want gained? What practices/behaviors do you want to be understood and learned?

Materials. What resources (books, articles, handouts, etc.) will you use in the process? When possible, think low-cost to avoid multiplication issues with those who may not be able to afford the materials.

Simple. Think simple. Make the process easy to understand and the steps easy to follow. The more complicated the process and the more steps involved, the harder it will be for multiplication. Help everyone to be able to complete the process.

What would you add to these ideas? Share your thoughts. Make disciples. For more ideas, check out these blog posts:

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Disciple-Making Brainstorming

GroupBulbBrainstorming brings collective intelligence and synergy to bear upon needs, problems, planning, and conversation. In order to identify needs in your church disciple-making, gather a group of key leaders for brainstorming. Ask them these questions and record their responses.

  1. What current church programs, activities, and events contribute toward disciple-making? What do they contribute? Be honest and specific.
  2. What can an individual disciple do to grow more like Jesus? What can impact him/her spiritually, socially, mentally, and behaviorally?
  3. Of the reponses from #2, which current church programs, activities, and events are helping to strengthen that impact?
  4. What are the strengths and weaknesses? Are there duplications? Are there gaps/needs?
  5. What could be done to help disciples continue to make spiritual progress?

It naturally would help to have a common definition of discipling, disciple-making, and discipleship. A biblical framework is also needed to undergird the above conversation. What questions would you add to the discussion? Press Comments and share you thoughts.

For more ideas about disciple-making, check out these blog posts:

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Discipleship Conferences at Super Saturday 2015

IDEASGrowing churches have trained leaders. Pastors, staff, and discipleship leaders pursue training annually. Bring your discipleship team to Super Saturday this year.
Here are conferences offered, locations/dates, and how to register:
10:00 AM – 12:15 PM  “Coaching: Life-on-Life Disciple-making.” Launch a method of disciple-making that is simple, life-changing, and reproducible.
1:00-2:00 PM  “Minor Leagues: Making Your New Member Class Even Better.” Adjust your current new member experience in practical ways to increase involvement, understanding, satisfaction, and member retention.
2:15-3:15 PM  “Position Coaching: Helping Members Find Their Place.” Focus on connecting individuals with unique passions, gifts, and abilities with opportunities to serve Christ in the church, community, and world.
For a complete listing of everything offered at Super Saturday, click here.
Register by pressing the location nearest you:

REGISTER EARLY. Register by Monday before your Super Saturday to save $10 per person. Cost is $25 per person by Monday before each Super Saturday, and $35 thereafter. The cost includes lunch.

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Discipleship Practice: Daily Bible Reading

BibleReadingDaily time with God in Bible study and prayer is an essential discipleship practice. It is vital to growing to be like Jesus. It is as vital as breathing is to life. Stagnation and distance quickly develop when we go without Bible study in the same way dehydration quickly develops when we go without water.

But there is a key question that should be asked to check on our practice of daily Bible reading and prayer. Here it is:

What is your purpose?

If we are not careful, our purpose for daily Bible reading can become diverted. What do I mean? Why are you doing daily Bible reading? Has your practice devolved down to habit? Are you currently simply just going through the motions? Are you just checking off your list of things that good Christians do?

Or is your Bible study practice more for sermon or lesson preparation? Are you reading more for ideas for your plans? There is a time and place for that, but there is a need for Bible reading and prayer that is more basic–and much more important.

Why are you doing daily Bible reading? Consider this:

The most basic and vital reason for Bible reading and prayer is for relationship with Him!

Our marriages cannot survive based upon past conversation and relationship. Conversation and relationship must be kept fresh. In the same way, our relationship with God cannot rest upon the past. Verses we memorized as children and scripture we read as teens will not return empty (Isaiah 55:11). But God desires a relationship that is real and personal.

Growth as a disciple demands living, active relationship with our Lord. When that stops growing, so do we as disciples!

Then how do we keep our relationship with Him fresh? By spending time with Him daily in His Word and in prayer. But that is why we must check our practice by asking, “What is my purpose?” Make sure you are doing it for the right reason: relationship. Seek Him first. Listen to Him. Desire Him. When you study, ask Him what He wants. Don’t miss Him! Be a disciple. Make disciples!

For more ideas about discipleship and growing in His likeness, check out these blog posts:

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Weddings, Marriage, and Discipleship

Wedding515Our youngest son, Jordan, was married back in May. Weddings, even simple ones, require a lot of planning and expense. They include rings, invitations, dresses and tuxedos, flowers and decorations, cake and food, gifts and honeymoon plans, photographer and pictures, and much much more.

Weddings are celebrations and rites of passage. The bride and groom move from singleness to oneness. They join hearts, hands, and households. Weddings are front doors for the marriage journey.

There are many parallels for the disciple-making journey in a family. Consider the terminology for the church: the bride of Christ. Think about a few of those parallels:

  • A wedding and marriage begin with a desire to be with the potential spouse for the rest of life. In a similar way, the discipleship journey begins with desiring the Lord and His way more than our own. It is a desire to spend time together for all of life and eternity.
  • Engagement is a time of making commitment to each other. It precedes the wedding and marriage. Likewise, a profession of faith is a time of repentance and committing to Jesus as Lord. The profession of faith precedes baptism and the discipleship journey.
  • Engagement (commitment) leads to a planning for and conducting a wedding ceremony, a public celebration of that commitment to each other. The profession of faith leads to a ceremony (baptism) which is a public celebration and communication of the inward commitment.
  • Gifts are given to the bride and groom to help them begin their married journey together. New Christians receive the Holy Spirit and spiritual gifts to enable them to serve well during the discipleship journey with the body of Christ.
  • Honeymoon trips are often planned for the couple to celebrate the beginning of the marriage relationship. In a similar way, new Christians are strengthened early in their journey when an Encourager/Mentor walks with them during the early weeks, talking about daily quiet time and discipleship life practices. This establishes early intimacy with the Lord.
  • Communication is necessary for the wedding, honeymoon, and marriage. All three will be more difficult or impossible with poor or no communication. Similarly, communication with God and with the body of Christ is necessary for the baptism and growth of the disciple.

What other parallels occur to you? Where might discipleship efforts be strengthened as you reflect on how your church begins and does discipleship? Poor starts often produce poor results! Give God and His people your best efforts. Make disciples!

For more ideas about discipleship, check out these blog posts:

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Disciple-making: Using Group Size Advantageously

Groupof5In The Impact of Proxemics on Disciple-making, I talked about four American spatial distances/zones and group size in those zones. Here is a summary of what I shared there:

  • Intimate distance: 0-18 inches (2 people)
  • Personal distance: 18 inches to 4 feet (3-7 people)
  • Social distance: 4 to 10 feet (8-35 people)
  • Public distance: 10 feet to infinity (35+ people).

With that information in mind, how can we use each of the four distances/zones advantageously in our disciple-making efforts?

INTIMATE DISTANCE DISCIPLE-MAKING. This is conversational discipleship. Here we listen, ask questions, and share openly and honestly. Relationships are usually deeper. Accountability is often present. Encounters can be spontaneous or calendared. The disciple-making agenda may be spontaneous or intentional. There is time to practice new behaviors during disciple-making sessions.

PERSONAL DISTANCE DISCIPLE-MAKING. Here, too, disciple-making efforts are often conversational. But they are usually less spontaneous and more planned. Accountability is often present, but less is shared because there is less time per person. This can be worked around by getting group members into pairs, but the group loses some knowledge/relationship depth. These meetings are usually calendared. Group members are able to share stories and ask questions which help and encourage other group members. If done, practice of new behaviors is often done in pairs or triads.

SOCIAL DISTANCE DISCIPLE-MAKING. Moving from personal to social distance in disciple-making changes group dynamics and interation. With more people in the group, not everyone can talk during a group meeting. Frequently here the group (and leader) expects the leader to talk while the group listens. It takes intentionality on the leader’s part to get group members to participate in the session. This comes in the form of questions, group activities, dividing into smaller groups, etc. Neither the leader nor group members know every group member. Accountability is difficult to pursue due to numbers and time. Practice of new behaviors is decreasingly scheduled and may be assigned. This can include training sessions.

PUBLIC DISTANCE DISCIPLE-MAKING. At this level, the leader frequently lectures, perhaps with some visual elements and questions. There is less relationship and more communication of content. Inspiration comes more from passion on the part of the leader rather than from the stories of group members. There is less time for individual questions or interaction unless a portion of the time is spent divided into pairs or small groups. Practice of new behaviors may be assignd but is seldom part of these sessions. This often includes worship and large group meetings and training sessions.

What observations would you add about using these group sizes advantageously in our disciple-making efforts? Press Comments and leave your thoughts and experiences. For more ideas about disciple-making, check out these blog posts:

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