Four couples are meeting for a Bible Study on weeknight. They have been getting together for about four months, ever since three of them had been converted to Christ. One of the laymen in the church has been leading the study, and they have just settled down for one of their lively discussions. As they launch into their lesson, the phone rings.
“Is Joe there?” Joe is one of the four-month-old Christians. “Yes, but he’s busy right now. He’s in a Bible study.”
The voice is desperate. “Please! I’ve got to talk with him.” “OK.”
Joe picks up the phone and listens. “OK,” he says, “I’ll come right over.”
Joe comes back to his Bible study group and explains. His business partner wants him to come over and help him. There’s been a marital fight, and the man’s wife is walking out on him. The whole mess has been brewing for a long time, and Joe feels he should go and do what he can.
The leader of the study groups says he things it’s the right thing to do, and while Joe’s gone the group will pray. So Joes, a four-month-old Christian, picks up his Bible and goes out the door to try to save a marriage. The Bible study turns into a prayer meeting.
That scene is a real situation with real people. The leader of that group told me about it a few days after it happened. At the time he hadn’t heard from Joe on how his meeting with his partner had gone. I saw that leader again about three weeks later and heard the great news. Joe had been used by God to lead both husband and wife to Christ. He was no in the process of leading them in a study of the Scriptures.
The leader, in turn, had begun to spend a little extra time with Joes to answer some of his questions now that he and his wife were leading new Christians in a study of the Word of God. Though Joe had always been eager to study the Bible, he was more so now. He needed a great deal of help and knew it. The leader was only too glad to do what he could. He could see that the Lord was using that time to deepen their relationship and to deepen Joe’s life in the Lord.
It was also a challenge to the other couples in Joe’s study group. It had become evident to them that sooner or later the Lord would give them an opportunity to share with others some of the things they were learning. It made the study that much more meaningful to all of them.
That scene, with variations, is being repeated in many places around the world. It is not an isolated incident. In fact, the story of the pastor who met with me, mentioned earlier in this chapter, has a happy ending. After we’d spent the day together discussing follow-up and training workers, he went back to his church and began putting into practice the principles I shared with him and that are taught in this book.
Today, there is a steady stream of disciples and workers who emerge from his ministry to affect their neighborhoods and friends for Christ. These people from his church are being used by God to win others to Christ and to help their converts, in turn, repeat the process.
This concept of multiplying disciples has not always been so widely accepted as it is today. At one time, in fact not too long ago. Relatively few people were doing it. But many more today are retuning to that biblical process.
– From “The Lost Art of Disciple Making ,” LeRoy Eims. Used by permission of the author.