What I learned from Peter

Peter Roennfeldt 201x300

When I catch up with someone like Peter Roennfeldt I expect to learning something.

Our coffee by the lake the other day was no exception. Here are a few insights. . .

Many of us are working hard hoping that somehow that what we do will result in making disciples. It doesn’t and we don’t know why.

Often it’s the “tweaks” that make all the difference. But we can’t see it without input from another practitioner outside our situation.

The couple in Bosnia signed up to make disciples and plant a church. They established many relationships. Yet no one had come to faith and gone onto discipleship. The couple were disappointed.

Many of us are well connected in our communities, but we’re silent witnesses. There are people out there ready to learn more about Jesus, but we’ll never find them if we don’t ask. We need simple methods like Discovery Bible Study, sharing our story, sharing God’s story, praying for needs. Someone like Peter needs to train us and help get us started.

Peter will no doubt circle back with an email, a Skype call or another visit and find out how the new groups are going? He’ll want to know are people coming to faith in Christ? Are any groups reproducing? How will you help the groups form into churches? How can you train others to do what you are doing?

Get some basic training. Start reaching out. But don’t go the journey alone. Make sure you have other practitioners and mentors like Peter speaking into your life and ministry.

Coffee with Peter Ronnefeldt


Peter Roennfeldt was in town yesterday so came out to see me. We took a walk in rain around the lovely Victoria Park and then sat down for coffee at the Pavillion by the lake.

Peter has been in Bosnia encouraging church planters. As he does all over the world.

He met up with one couple who were well connected in their region but had see very little fruit. He asked them what do you do once you’ve established a relationship? How do share with them?

They weren’t too sure. It’s a common problem. We think presence is enough. Somehow by osmosis people will come to faith. Say nothing and let your life speak. No one comes to faith, but at least we’re being faithful.

So Peter taught them a simple method of Discovery Bible reading groups. Then they hit the road and started visiting the contacts the couple had established.

They went from household to household throughout the district visiting 40 homes.

After two weeks the couple had started 30 Discovery Bible reading groups.

A must read

I’ve just received my advance copy of Contagious Disciple Making by David and Paul Watson.

I’ll have more to say once I’ve read it. I first met David Watson six years ago. His method of Discovery Bible study as the key building block of a disciple making movement has made all the difference in so many contexts around the world.

What can I say? Get this book and read it!

“Contagious Disciple Making: Leading Others on a Journey of Discovery” (David Watson, Paul Watson)

New edition of the Four Fields manual

Four Fields

Nathan and Kari Shank have released a new edition of their Four Fields manual.

From church to movement: Nathan Shank [podcast]

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Trekking on the Nepal-India border with Nathan (2nd on left). I’m 3rd right.

Following the theme of helping existing churches fuel disciple making movements, Nathan Shank talks to Steve about his experience in North India.


What happens when the church leaves the building

2014 09 Ray Vaughn training

Ray Vaughn reports in

Recently been training The Church of God’s Destiny in Columbia, SC.  Today we got to go out as the church on Sunday, we prayed for 41 people. We shared a Gospel story about the paralytic man becoming healed ten times to various groups.  Five people decided to become near to God through Christ Jesus. Eleven homes opened up for us to come back for follow up Bible studies… 

Notice this is not hit and run evangelism. The goal is to return and begin Discovery Bible groups in homes. They want to make disciples in the community who can reach the community.

From church to movement – Peter Snyman [podcast]

Peter Snyman

Peter Snyman

Peter Snyman is the senior leader of the Lighthouse church in Cape Town, South Africa. In the dark days of apartheid Lighthouse was one of the first churches in South Arica to open its doors to all nations.

Despite being a church of over 2,000, God gave them a vision to reach the unreached. With the best intentions and many attempts they weren’t able to turn the vision God gave them into reality.

Then in 2010 God brought David Broodryk along. David introduced Peter Synman and the Lighthouse leadership to some simple methods of Discovery Bible Study that gave them the “handles” they needed to fuel disciple making movements and among people who were far from God.

This is the second half of a story that began with my interview of David Broodryk.


Gary Stump on How to Share your Story

Here’s Gary Stump on how to share your story.

You’ll find more training videos and resources at NoPlaceLeft.

Ray Vaughn on how to share God’s story

Ray Vaughn show us how to lead someone to Christ in a simple, clear and transferable way.

Notice at the end how the presentation leads to discipleship through Discovery Bible Study in the person’s world with their friends and family.

Before you decide that this method won’t work in your context, learn it, practice it, share it with 100 people and see what happens.

Going door to door


A member of the Following and Fishing forum posted this question,

How are your experiences with going from door to door? What did you say? How did it normally go? I think I would like to start it, but when I did it three years ago I was having a very difficult time and since that never done it in a western context again…

Here’s my thoughts

1. Don’t rule it out.

If post-modernism has taught us anything it’s that there is no single “Western context”. 

We’ve just moved to the EastEnd in London. Outside our door is a myriad of “contexts”. Hipsters, Bangladeshi Muslims, Bangladeshi hipsters, old time EastEnders, Filipinos from Barcelona, single mums on welfare, single mums on drugs. Ten minutes away is Hackney, that’s Afro-Caribbean. Across the city there are Poles, the French, Nigerians, Nigerian Muslims, Nigerian lapsed Christians, Nigerian hipsters.

How do you find out what works in your “context”? Try knocking on one hundred doors and see what happens. 

2. Don’t go alone.

No need to explain. Just don’t go alone.

3. Learn from best practice.

Listen to people who have done it and learn from the best. Start with Jesus. How did he enter an unreached community of strangers? What does that look like today.

Here’s a couple of great podcasts with people who regularly visit unreached communities.

Scattering to Gather

On the frontline with Ray Vaughn

God, give us Austin Texas or we die!

4. Begin with the end in mind.

Why are you knocking on doors? From a movements perspective the end game is a “person of peace” leading to a new group of people gathered around the Scriptures learning to follow Jesus. If going door to door gets you there — do it. If not, try something else. The best practitioners know the end game and keep trying until they find the most effective way to get there.

If someone tells you it won’t work, ask them if they have a better proven method that does.