“But the Advocate, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you all things and will remind you of everything I have said to you.” – John
Read any of the current books at the moment on global Disciple Making, and each will highlight the significance of the Discovery Bible Study (DBS). Across the globe, millions, even tens of millions of people from every people group, are discovering Jesus through the pages of Scripture – and then, in true obedience to what they read, telling others what they are learning about Him.
Don’t be fooled, DBS is no ordinary Bible Study though. There are no leaders, no experts, no teachers (especially) other than Jesus himself, through his Spirit. Time and again, as we run through this in our own groups, we are astonished as the unchurched make fascinating observations and insights around passages – passages we have often been looking at for years or more.
Further, DBS brings strict accountability on each participant to share what they have learned that week, to the extent of being required to report back the following week on whether they have been obedient (or not). It is the crucial difference between that and the traditional Bible Study, seeking to impart obedience more than knowledge. The result is something unique in Western Christendom; predominantly non-believers, learning and discovering Jesus through interaction and the prompting and teaching of the Holy Spirit, and from the outset appreciating that following Jesus means obeying Jesus. A key to that obedience is sharing him with others, whether we fully understand what that means or not.
In DBS, we have the full Ekklesia, with all its components of gathering, praise, teaching, pastoral, sharing and obedience. Adequate time is given to every part, and perhaps most importantly everyone is active and involved.
Around the world there are stories of Muslims, Hindus, aetheists and not-yet-believers, sharing their discoveries of Christ with others in their community. The Gospel spreads between believer and non-believer, community to community. The Church multiplies, the Great Commission is fulfilled with something as simple as a Discovery Bible Study. Above everything, Christ is allowed his role as head of the Church. How wonderful.
My wife has been praying for decades for her family, and recently she has taken each side through a simple DBS. All of them shared in the session, all of them were engaged. Around a table, each answered a simple set of questions and all participated, even answering the question, “who do you know this week who needs to hear this story, and when will you share it?” Like many others, they have begun to discover who Jesus is, in their own homes, with others in their own oikos. The Gospel story, the story of Jesus, will be shared into another oikos. The church multiplied, the Kingdom expanding.
We see the same in our own gathering. Every week the focus is on establishing new Discovery Groups, as we each ask the Holy Spirit to guide us into people of influence in our own oikos, so that we can continue to introduce Jesus to others.
This week, I was reminded of that simple beauty, with no teacher other than the Holy Spirit. A man, an uneducated man who is still working out his Faith, offered profound insights and responses to a well known passage, as those gathered around were amazed. But that was not even all of it, the same man committed to sharing with those in his own oikos. The Good News of Jesus spreads, and nothing will stop it.
Sometimes all we need do, is get out of the way.