I taught a missions class a few days ago.
One of the students had some follow up questions.
Here they are with my responses.
Thanks heaps for coming out to talk to us on Tuesday.I really appreciated hearing what you had to say.I am excited about what God is doing and how we can be involved in it.
Question:how many people come to Christ (per week? per month?)with the disciple making movement you described..
Steve: No way of answering this. I can tell you that over the last two months it has been around six with at least another six who are close.
But it's not that predictable. We weren't seeing those results last year.
There's no guarantee they will continue.
I can say that all around Australia when people have stepped out connecting, looking for persons of peace (POP), sharing etc. it has always led to new disciples.
You can listen to Tim Scheuer's interviews on the podcast to hear his story. 80-90 people in a tough neighbourhood over about 2-3 years.
Sandy: eg if you had a team of 20 people doing prayer walks to meet PoP and then starting the processof Connect - Share - Train - Gather - what sort of growth have you encountered?(how many come to Christ per week? per month?)
Steve: no way of saying exact numbers. It is early days and most of the reports are anecdotal.
But everyone is seeing fruit. People like me had led someone to Christ in years . . .
So we train as many people as we can knowing that God is at work.
Sandy: i imagine the growth is sort of exponential but can you give me some kind of idea?I am comparing this model with other models being used around the traps - [for numbers and quality of new disciples]
Steve: Don't know any "models" in Australia esp emerging/missional ones that are regularly seeing new disciples made.
Let me know who they are.
What we are learning is to leave models behind and begin connecting, sharing the gospel, teaching new disciples to obey Jesus. We'll have to fine tune it as we go.
But we've left behind abstract discussions on models and are focused on action.
Sandy: Another question: Did Tim Scheuer use this model with anglo aussies? or ?Has anyone used this model with anglo aussies? -
Steve: I've met Tim's folk. The ministry in SW Sydney (Airds) is now led by an indigenous guy. They have Aussie Samoans, Aussie Anglos, Aussie indigenous.
Tim has just begun widening the training and is mobilising average Aussie Anglicans to do this.
Two friends, Mark and Fiona found a person of peace married to an top CEO. They formed a simple church in a wealthy suburb, but it hasn't multiplied.
Some of Dave Lawton's people are working in outback and rural Queensland with real "fair dinkum Aussies"
Sandy: you mentioned the dude over in Nth Carolina in the trailer park?[I imagine the model sometimes needs tweaking depending on the receptor culture? - particularly at the connect stage]
Steve: Yes, the connect is sitting around playing the blues. The trailer park owner has given them a trailer to meet in.
But you could go around the corner and need a different approach to connect.
The key principle is we must connect and find POPs. How we do it will vary within cultures as well as across them.
Good questions. But I wouldn't bother too much about them.
The key challenge is to step out and begin connecting and looking for a person of peace. You're going to have to learn as you go.